Woman says $20K water bill forced her out of own home

Woman says $20K water bill forced her out of own home

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A Douglas County woman says she can’t live in her own home because of an outrageous water bill.

“Sad, very sad,” Carolyn Ward said.

Ward showed Channel 2's Justin Wilfon the $20,000 bill that she says forced to live with friends and family, saying it's the only way to avoid the bill.

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“I don’t have it. I’m on a limited income,” Ward said.

The bill started getting bigger and bigger about a year-and-a half ago when Ward said a pipe under her Douglasville home broke and went undiscovered for months.

“During this time, I lost my son. And I didn’t even have time to grieve properly over my son’s death because of worrying about my water bill,” Ward said.

Douglas County Water did agree to cut the bill in half, but Ward told Wilfon she eventually put the home’s water in her daughter’s name to avoid paying the $10,000.


“It’s really not fair to make my daughter and I do this to get water,” Ward said.

The arrangement also means Ward can’t live in her home.

In a statement, Douglas County Water's executive director said:

“The balance does stay with the original customer, so if Ms. Ward resides at that house, the balance would rightfully be reinstated.”

“They made my life very difficult, yes!” Ward said.

Douglas County Water also said they’ve tried to work with her as best they can over the past couple of years. They believe she should have fixed the leak sooner.

They also said it’s unfortunate the situation ended up this way.