A HOLE in a PIPE cost over $10,000 to fix? My Water Bill Nightmare!

How does a pipe 6 feet under the ground, that no one has seen or touched since the house way built 35 years ago, get a hole like this? Turns out the minerals in the ground can reportedly dissolve away enough copper in the pipe to open up a pin hole like this allowing the water to leak out.


We've owned our home for 12 years now after buying it in 2006. We're billed for water from the city quarterly. For several years back in the beginning of living in this house, our water bill was stable and would typically come in between 90-110 bucks.

Now I'd bet your family,like ours, has water usage that fluctuates throughout the year. In the Spring and Summer, we're certainly watering plants more that this time of year. There are also other reasons for variation like when the kids were younger, they'd run through the sprinkler in the Summer. That was replaced by them becoming teens, maturing from arguing about having to take a bath twice a week to 45 minute showers, three times a day. Parents, you get the idea!

Additionally, nothing seems to get cheaper these days and like milk, bread and beer, the water charge per gallon has steadily increased as well.

Fast forward to 2006-2017, our once $100-ish water bill per quarter had grown to more like $150-$160 per quarter.

Cue the dramatic music....Dun, Dun, Da...then in late 2017, I started seeing $275, $300, $325 a quarter, FOR THE WATER BILL!

At first, I'm thinking, "Who's leaving the hose on?", "Is a toilet running?","Do my teens REALLY need the third shower TODAY?"

Time passed when finally , I had a revelation AND what felt like HEART FAILURE!

A water bill arrived, and as I opened the envelope, I felt the blood rushing from body, a tingling sensation from head to toe and I saw that bright light you hear about when the end is near. I seriously almost fell over when I realized they were billing us almost $600 for WATER!

On the phone again with the Water Department. Yet ANOTHER investigation opened and I was told they were certain I had a leak or an entire NFL Football team showering at our place!

A plumber came out and said he was sure it was in under our front yard after checking out all of our fixtures. He'd be glad to fix it for $$$4000-$4500!!!. At that point, I was beginning to wish I HAD seen that bright light for real!

He told me about another company called American Leak Detectors, who for around $800 could come out and detect EXACTLY the location of the leak, saving us money from having to dig up and replace the entire water line from the street to our basement wall.

Now, with even another water bill showing up... again at around $600 (while we were trying to sort this all out), I felt like I was literally burying money in a hole. I hired the leak detector guy. He found the leak. Then I hired a different plumber who wasn't trying to retire off of the profit from my job. That guy charged me a little less than $1000 to repair it and the leak was fixed.

Now four months later, just got the first bill after the repair and we're back to $168!!! Yeah! Great right?

Not so fast. See while this has been going on, turns out the County goverment, where they assess Property Taxes decided to charge me a SEWER SURCHARGE because of the excessive water we were obviously using. Therefore they assumed all that water was going back out through the sewer. That added over $4000 to our tax bill!!!!! #Nightmare.

Anyone who owns a home knows that the property taxes are paid through an escrow payment added to your monthly house payment. In order not to come up short, when the bank got wind of all of this, they adjusted my escrow causing my house payment to jump almost $500 a month!!!

All becasue of a water leak! Now that the new lower $168 bill has proven that a repair has been made, I am working getting the Water Department to give me an adjustment. I am also talking with the Property tax people to get that adjusted and eventually this will all work out hopefully so my bank can reduce the escrow back and take our house payment back to what it was! Crazy how this sort of thing can take almost a year to work though.

The joys of home ownership right? MERRY CHRISTMAS.

When you sing "Oh HOLY Night", picture my little HOLE!Yep that's the one AND the area in the yard I had to dig up! If this happens again they might have to dig another one about that size to put me in ! LOL :) MJ

Michael J.

Michael J.

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