Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Imagine opening your water bill that is usually under $50 and finding the amount you owe is more than $3500. That's what happened to one of our viewers.
Mary Gresham said she received a bill from the city of Columbia for more than $3500. "I was just, I don't know, out of it because I couldn't believe they sent me a water bill for $3500," she said.
Gresham said in mid-February, she noticed that her water pressure was low and saw water gushing from the line down her street. She claims it began after the South Carolina Department of Transportation moved the lawn. She filed a claim with the department, but it was denied.
According to the Claims Office, "Ms. Gresham's claim was handled and denied by the Insurance Reserve Fund. However, our recommendation was denial based on the fact that someone notified the City of Columbia of the water leak on February 15, 2017, but our employees did not cut grass at that location until February 16. Further, when our employees did cut that area on the 16 th, one of them noticed the cut line and was instructed by the foreman to pass that area and not mow around the broken line."
Gresham then decided to contact the city of Columbia to try and get answers.
"When I talked to someone from the water place, they said they were going to review it. The next thing I knew, I received a pink letter, saying the $3500 was reduced to $1700," said Gresham.
News 19 reached out to the Department of Utilities and Engineering. In an e-mail, the Department said, "We understand she believes a third party to be responsible and she may be filing a claim with that third party...We take very seriously the need to be fair and equitable to all of our rate payers."
"Nobody wants to be blamed for it. SCDOT don't want to be blamed for it. The city doesn't want to be blamed for it. But it's somebody's fault. They all want to put it on me. I don't use that much water, not just one person. I think it's unfair for them to run it all up on me."
If you have noticed any drastic changes with your water bill, contact Kayla Binette on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.