DC WASA Stands Behind Exorbitant Water Bill

99-year-old woman's meter working properly

By Matthew Stabley
|  Thursday, Jun 25, 2009  |  Updated 6:15 PM PDT
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DC WASA Stands Behind $1,181 Water Bill

WRC

Jeannette Cohen's family is having no luck avoiding next week's hearing.

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DC WASA Stands Behind $1,181 Water Bill

After checking a 99-year-old woman's meter and finding nothing wrong with it, DC WASA is awaiting a hearing next week before taking action on her exorbitant water bill.
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WASHINGTON -- Following Tom Sherwood's report last week  that a 99-year-old woman's water bill jumped almost 4000 percent, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority tested the meter and determined that it is working properly.

Jeannette Cohen told Sherwood she did a double take when she saw her March water bill. Usually she uses about 3,000 gallons and pays about $30. The March bill said almost 140,000 gallons of water went into her house at a cost of $1,181.

D.C. WASA's records show a sharp one-month rise in water at Cohen's Northwest home followed by a return to normal levels, Sherwood reported.

A leaky commode or faucet could account for the increase, according to D.C. WASA, but Cohen's family had plumbers check the home for leaks twice.

The family has sought a compromise on the bill, hoping to avoid a hearing scheduled for Tuesday and ease stress on Cohen, who turns 100 in December.

"We've had further discussions with WASA since last week," Cohen's daughter-in-law Ellen Cohen told News4. "WASA has expressed its intention to collect the full amount."

WASA will await the independent hearing officer's findings on Tuesday and won't make any collection efforts before then, officials said.
 

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