OLNEY, Md., (WUSA9) -- "Panic! Like, there's no way I could pay this. What's going on."
That was Debbie Doherty's first reaction when she saw the jaw dropping amount she owed on her recent water bill. The Olney resident figured this was an $1100 mistake. So, she quickly called WSSC.
"I asked about a leak somewhere, and that's when she told me, well, your meter is in your house. So, if there's a leak outside it wouldn't reflect the usage," Doherty says.
Debbie thought she was the only person served with a sky high bill. Until...
"It was $500, never seen that."
"It's almost $100 more than it usually is."
"We received our highest bill ever. I'm shocked."
It turns out other residents were sounding off about their statements on the Olney Brookeville community listserv.
Debbie says, "Now I'm thinking there has to be something else going on."
Still she followed the advice of WSSC. She and her landlord walked through her town home checking the faucets, conducting a dye test on all the toilets, and checked her meter.
"It's ticking up like it normally would," says Debbie.
The WSSC tells us they are looking into that jump in Debbie's bill. But, they say customers need to know that this current billing cycle could be up to 30 days longer because of the weather.
And, a spokesperson tell us that bill includes the holidays and recent snow days where there tends to be more water consumption.
WUSA 9 Anchor Lesli Foster asks Debbie, "If the WSSC continues to say it's your problem, not ours, what are you going to do?
"I won't be able to catch up. There's no way I can pay them in the next three months. There's just no way," she says.
The WSSC says it will work with Debbie Doherty. The utility has a high bill adjustment plan, and these kinds of issues are not unusual.
They tell us that they plan to go back to her house next week to check the meter. They also tell us that there was nothing out of the ordinary in terms of usage for 13 other houses on that street.
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