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This Richmond family's water bill is usually $120. Now, it's over $3,000.

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Posted at 5:24 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 11:22:44-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond family is searching for answers after their normally $120 water bill is now over $3,000.

"I assumed that it was just some sort of clerical error," Shaun Reardon said. "That's a lot of money. You know, that's not walking around cash. It's impossible. I don't think anybody's using that much water."

Reardon said for more than two months, he has been trying to get the water bill straightened out. He said a plumber found a small leak on their side with they repaired.

An assessment by the plumber convinced him there was a leak on the city's end.

"In order for it to warrant that price, it would have had to been enough of a leak to fill up two Olympic-sized swimming pools," Reardon said.

CBS 6 Problem Solvers contacted Richmond's Department of Public Utilities about the family's bill.

Spokesperson Rhonda Johnson said they have been in touch with the family and sent a crew out to the home. Johnson said they found a leak on the city's side which has now been repaired.

"They're pleased to announce there is an investigation ongoing but they didn't have a set timeframe or even a possibility of what the resolution might be," Reardon said.

The family is looking for concrete answers so they can put the huge bill behind them.

"I wake up in the morning and I turn on the faucet and I'm not sure if there's going to be ample enough water for my family, you know," Reardon said.

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Despite the fact that Johnson said the family isn't at risk of losing their water service, Reardon said seeing a drastically reduced balance on the bill is about the only thing that will give him peace.

"So we are not in danger of being cut off but still, I mean, it's still scary. It's still a possibility in my head," Reardon said.

Johnson said that once the city takes a meter reading in April, they will adjust the bill accordingly. If the balance is still not manageable for them, the city will work with the family to create a payment plan.

If you receive a high water bill, there are options to remedy the problem. Experts say you should contact your water provider. You can also reach out to your councilperson or board of supervisors member for help.