Did water leak or billing error cause $14,000 bill for local family?

A whopper water bill

STRONGSVILLE, OH (WOIO) - A Strongsville woman got the surprise of her life when she opened a recent bill from the Cleveland Water Department.

"The sewer was almost $7,700 and the water $5,500," said Carrie Ann Amosk. "A lot of water. I could have probably filled the entire neighborhood."

According to her bills, she used enough water in one month to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. She and her family would have to flush 14,000 times a day in order to use that much water.

When the bill came, she called the water department thinking the bill could be for a home she and her husband sold in 2016.

"It was two separate account numbers so I asked which one this letter was referring to and she clearly said it was the other property," she said.

Amosk says when the next bill came and everything was fine. Her bill shows a zero balance as of March 29, but massive new charges came the next month.

"$14,000 of combined water and sewer," she said.

The water department had been checking and only came up with an extended payment plan for Amosk and her family, but no bill reduction.

Is it even possible to use 681,000 gallons of water in a month? When Cleveland 19 contacted the Water Department they promised a full investigation.

Already, it has been found that a manual review of the family's account wasn't done after the initial high use period. Had that been done, it would have alerted Amosk to the problem.

She was not notified, so the problem continued.

After the shocking bill came, the family contacted a plumber who found no leaks or explanation for the bill, no leaky toilets, absolutely nothing. How the usage supposedly spiked for a period then corrected itself is unexplained.

Amosk is going to pay for the Water Department to come and check her meter to see if that is where the problem lies.

In the meantime, she still owes the unpaid $14,000 bill.

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