MT. WASHINGTON (KDKA) – A Mount Washington couple was facing an enormous water bill that was issued in error. So, they reached out to KDKA and Get Marty.

According to records, this was one the biggest leaks and highest water bills for an individual owner the City of Pittsburgh had ever seen.

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The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority said 800,000 gallons of water leaked from the couple’s pipe in eight days.

That translated into a bill for $12,241.60.

“I thought it was a mistake. I said, ‘There’s no way it’s $12,000,’” Lisa Erdner said.

When they couldn’t get a resolution from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, they enlisted the help of KDKA-TV’s Marty Griffin.

The first step was to take them to the Water Board, which made no decision and told them it could take a month or so.

The next stop was to see PWSA’s Melissa Rubin.

Rubin said the Erdner’s meter froze. The PWSA had to replace broken parts and someone misread the meter big time.

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“So, it appeared as though they used 810,000 gallons instead of the three that was actually used,” Rubin said.

So, what would the bill actually be if they only used 3,000 gallons of water?

A grand total of $23.

So, why did it take nine months to address this gross error?

“We had an extraordinary winter. In fact, the call center, the calls spiked 250 percent just in the month of January alone,” Rubin said.

Meanwhile, a bill that once threatened to sink the family’s finances now brings joy.

Still, they hope PWSA learns a lesson about responding to folks in a timely manner.

“You can’t keep doing this to people who work hard and pay their bills on time,” Lisa said.

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