Woman unsure how water bills hit $9K

Maria Lopez says home has no leaks; Meter ruled to be working


MIAMI – A Miami woman said Monday that she's unsure how her water bills are costing her more than $9,000.

"I'm going to die. I can't pay this. It's just ridiculous," said Maria Lopez.

For the last four years, Lopez paid about $100 quarterly for 15,000 gallons of water for her Miami home. But the last two billing cycles, she was charged for nearly 386,000 gallons -- costing her a total of $9,743.68.

"You should have like a 15-story building with a leak to have this much amount of water," she said.

Lopez hired a plumber, who did an inspection and found no leaks. She then had her meter check.

"The only way to read it is the meter. The problem has to be the meter," she said.

"Water was used, water went through that meter. What happened to it? We don't know -- we weren't there," said Jennifer Messemer, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department.

Lopez said she's still without answers after hiring two different plumbers who didn't find any leaks.

"They (Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department) should have talked to me," she said. "Alert me, work with me, because you don't know what to do."

Lopez retained an attorney. She can appeal her bills or ask that the meter be removed and inspected.