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Toilet trouble! Leaky toilet results in $2,000 water bill

Toilet trouble! Leaky toilet results in $2,000 water bill

By Colleen Hogan. CREATED Nov 4, 2011

Toilet troubles in the Cape! A couple gets a $2,000 water bill from the city after they discover their toilet has been leaking.

Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan asking the pro's what you can do to avoid a surprise bill.

The McCoy family's duplex is hooked up to city water and their monthly bill normally runs them about $90.
So you can imagine their shock, when their last bill came to more than $2,000.

Talk about a pricey potty!

Harley McCoy was shocked when a city worker read his water meter and discovered something was very wrong. The meter was showing the family used enough water last month to fill ten swimming pools! Way more than normal and at $2,300 the bill was way more than normal too.

"No way," McCoy joked. "Can't be mine. There's just no way. Not for water."

It all became more clear when a plumber discovered a leaky toilet was the trouble.

"I think that was part of our culprit was a toilet that was consistently running," plumber Jim Lapointe said.

"Could a running, leaky toilet really cost someone $2,000 in water bills?" I asked Lapointe.

"A leaking or running toilet is the same as turning on a garden hose or a kitchen faucet and letting it run all day," he said.


The McCoy's didn't notice anything wrong with their toilet to tip them off that something was wrong. Still, the leaky toilet used more than 100,000 gallons of water last month.

Lapointe says the city's not responsible for any problems past your water meter outside so whatever happens past that, is on you. He recommends checking your fixtures and making sure everything's running right. If you notice your toilet's running when it shouldn't be or shutting on and off or you see water damage on your walls or ceilings have it checked out by a professional.

"It's basic things that add up," Lapointe said. "A drippy faucet adds up to a lot of wasted water."

"$150 today could save you $2,000 tomorrow," McCoy laughed.

Here's the good news. The city is working with the family on the bill. They've agreed to cut it in half so the family is only responsible for about $1,000 of the bill and they can make payments on the remainder.