Action 9: Woman's water shut off after unexpectedly high bills

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


A woman refused to pay her water bills when they turned up hundreds of dollars more than she usually pays.

The city turned her water off, so she called a plumber to find the problem.

When she still couldn't get a response from the city, she turned to Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke for help.

"I got quite a few of them bills," said Angie Wallace. "I'm like, 'hold up.'"

Wallace's water bills were always around $50 per month.

But then July's bill was $324, August's was $672, September's was $268, October's was $284, November's was $153 and December's was $147.

She refused to pay most of it and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department shut off her water.

"Man, I was really boiling," Wallace said.

When Action 9 was in her home, there was no water dripping or toilets running, which are common reasons for high water bills.

Another reason is a leak, which if it's on the homeowner's side of the meter, he or she is on the hook for the bill.

If the leak is on the city or county side, the homeowner does not pay, but the homeowner will have to hire a plumber to find out.

That's what Wallace did. She paid out $120 that CMUD will not reimburse and she hired two companies, and one found a leak on the city side of her meter.

She said she called CMUD, but wasn't making any progress.

So Action 9 got involved and talked to CMUD.

Wallace said within 24 hours and, CMUD agreed to erase her bills and, most importantly, turned her water back on.