ATLANTA - Residents in a local condominium complex recently received a water bill for $47,000 which is 700% higher than normal.
The property manager reached out to Channel 2 Action News after she said they have not received any help from the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management since January. After Channel 2's Craig Lucie started investigating, we got answers in just hours.
Simmons’ jaw dropped when she saw the latest bill for the Cityside Lofts at the corner of Pryor Street and Fulton Street in southwest Atlanta.
“This is the latest water bill we have received from the City of Atlanta. It’s for $47,408,” said Lisa Simmons of Beacon Management Services LLC.
Simmons says the property consists of 100 units and the water bill started to increase in January.
“It’s almost a 700% increase in water consumption, and they are claiming that we used, or this complex used, 1.5 million gallons of water. This is a small community, and it’s impossible for this community to use 1.5 million gallons of water” said Simmons.
Simmons hired a plumber and a leak was not found. She says they have spoken with five different people with Atlanta’s Water Department.
“They seem to be pushing it off to another person and we never get anywhere,” said Simmons.
She says she did get one answer at one point.
“They have threatened to disconnect our water and if we don’t pay this amount of money so we are reaching out because we need help from the city to help us determine what the problem is and how we get to the bottom of it. There is no leak on the property,” said Simmons.
Lucie reached out to the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management and a spokeswoman from Mayor Kasim Reed’s office called him and then sent this statement:
"The Department of Watershed Management conducted an investigation into water meters and billing after receiving Beacon Management Services’ inquiry through the ATL311 customer service center.
The investigation determined that the water meter was not functioning properly, and that the meter was misread.
New meters have been installed. In addition, the billing statement was updated and a new balance that reflects typical water consumption will appear in the next billing cycle.
The Department of Watershed Management encourages customers to continue to report issues to ATL311. Customer service is a top priority and the department will continue to work diligently to address customer issues quickly and efficiently."
A spokeswoman also told Lucie that people were investigating the issue when Simmons first reached out to them.
Simmons is relieved the bill will return to what it is normally which is around $4,000 a month.