A Danville family is shocked when they receive a water bill in the thousands for a home that's not been used in years. What's worth is they can't get an answer as to why it's so high.

The Danville house hasn't been lived in for two years not since Lurlene Gray went to a nursing home. Now her granddaughters are saddled with a huge water bill for $8,000 for part of January and February. But the city's water company wants them to pay up.

Sherlene Tucker paid the last bill she received, a reasonable amount, about $35 to cover the period from October 9th through December 11th.
The ground around the house isn't saturated and there are no apparent signs of a leak.

The family says they've called and gone to city hall for an explanation. When 27NEWSFIRST went there the women at the pay-desk immediately knew why we were there.

We decided to go directly to the city manager's office where officials were behind closed doors.

So for now there seems to be no end in sight for the water war. Sherlene Tucker says she was told by a water company employee that the $8,000 bill was not a clerical error. The water was turned off yesterday.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Billy Location: Kentucky on Feb 22, 2008 at 07:23 PM
    I laid out the facts but wkyt will not post my comment??? What is wrong with you!
  • by kymom Location: lex on Feb 22, 2008 at 01:14 PM
    If it were me, I would send them a check for $35, which was the amount of the bill the month before. When they asked for the remaining balance, I would refuse to speak to them, but have someone else tell them it was NOT a clerical mistake and there was nothing else I can do!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 22, 2008 at 12:56 PM
    I'm a public servant in Danville and have had to deal with this family MANY times. Based on my past experience, I'm sure they haven't done anything to help resolved the situation. They probably made it worse if anything.
  • by Joe Location: Stanton on Feb 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM
    They need to make sure that noone changed out the water meter on them. Make sure the meter has the correct serial number.Even if it has the corect serial number someone could have taken the meter and filled up a pool or something and brought it back. They are very easy to change out. You wouldn't believe what dirty tricks I caught people doing while I worked at the water company. The city better hope that meter doesn't disappear or they will have one hell of a time proving in court what the meter reading actually was.
  • by Alloy20 Location: Lexington on Feb 22, 2008 at 12:05 PM
    Elaborating on Mike from Toledo's post on 2/22 at 1:33pm - I didn't check Danvilles water rate per 100 cubic feet, but his math is good that 1591 cubic feet equals 11,903 gallons. Assuming 60 days at 24 hours per day, 11,903 gallons is a leak rate of approx 8.26 gpm. Since no one noticed any water in or around the house, then one would guess that the leak (assuming there is one and it isn't clerical or meter error) is underground between the meter and the house. Depending on the soil type and soil drainage, and with all the rain we have had over the last two months, then a 8.26 gpm underground leak could well go undetected. Chill out people and let the utility investigate the situation, and then make a judgement after they do.
  • by Mike Location: Toledo on Feb 22, 2008 at 10:33 AM
    Not being a utility expert, like some, check out the water rates page for the Danville Water company (Google Search, easy). Do just a little math and you'll see that a water bill that high cannot be the families fault. Mapquest Aerial View (Address is shown in the video) shows that the house isn't in the woods (there's a field across the street from the house though) where a leak could be missed. That many gallons of water wouldn't be missed by the neighbors OR vehicles passing by. Even when applying the first 100 cubic feet rates for the whole 8 grand of utility bill, your looking at 1591.4 cubic feet of water, which is 11,903.672 gallons of water. That's just the minimum because the rates are broken down further for the next 200 cubic feet, then the next 1500 cubic feet and then finally a lower rate for 1800 cubic feet of water usage. You ever see a water main break that winds up in the sewers? You can't miss the torrent of water coming out of the manhole covers.
  • by Anynmous Location: Kentucky on Feb 22, 2008 at 09:45 AM
    I would like to say thanks to the Lawyer Stacy in location Danville for the good information.
  • by me Location: lex on Feb 22, 2008 at 09:17 AM
    Surely, there is one person at the water dept. who is smart enough to figure out there is an error......then again, this is KY, maybe not.
  • by Jeanna Location: ky on Feb 22, 2008 at 08:45 AM
    Di, you are still missing the point, read the Danville Advocate, the family had already been to the Water Company and threatened the water company with a lawsuit. To Anonymous: No the water and power companys do not charge what they want to. You forget that the people who work in these places, have to pay bills also. And most of the employees write checks to prove that they have to pay just as any other company. So why would they try to cheat someone else.
  • by Me Location: EAstern KY on Feb 22, 2008 at 07:33 AM
    We once got a water bill like that. The people just laughed and only made us pay the regular amount. This is so stupid that they are forcing her to pay the entire thing. You know it's the companies error!!

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