Weak meter signal the difference between $3,000, $300 water bill, city says

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland woman was shocked when she got her last water and sewer bills, which totaled more than $3,000 for the most recent billing period.

The bills came from the Cleveland Water Department. Gretchen Lyons fretted over the bills one weekend, even posting them on Facebook to get feedback on her situation.

That's when Cleveland 19's Orlo Wants to Know segment involved. After reporter Paul Orlousky made a call to the water department the bills were quickly cut to just more than $300.

The reduction left Gretchen wondering how it happened in the first place. The bills said she used 25.1 metric cubic feet of water. That is enough to fill an Olympic size swimming pool 1/3 of the way up -- in all, more than 187,000 gallons.

She believes the problem is tied to a new metering system installed in her basement, saying there has been trouble with it in the past.

"They want the new meters to be able to read from the street so the guy can just drive up, use his equipment and read from the street and we've had trouble basically since that time," she said.

A worker was at her home Tuesday to make yet another adjustment.

"It's been corrected several times, so hopefully this is it," Lyons said.

A Cleveland Water Department spokesman confirmed that the signal between the meter in the basement and the reader outside was weak. He believes the problem is corrected.

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