I was horrified when I was sent a £16k water bill for 6 months’ use & told it's NOT a mistake – I have to pay | The Sun

A WOMAN was furious after she was slapped with a £16k water bill – following an undetected leak.

Claire Fitzpatrick, 47, said that the figures were "spinning at 100 miles an hour" when she went to check her meter.

Inexplicably, the cosmetic product developer – living in Bridgend, Wales – suddenly owed a four-figure sum to Welsh Water.

She said: "I first realised something was wrong when when I was alerted by my bank about my monthly direct debit having gone up", Claire told Wales Online.

"So I rang Welsh Water and was the told my outstanding balance was £3,823.27 – I couldn't believe it.

"After that an engineer came round, said he'd been inspecting the area and believed there was leak somewhere. I was then told that they'd had no luck locating it and that my driveway would probably have to be dug up."

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The issue led to a large hole forming on the ground outside her house, but the water company was still unable to find the leak.

They still couldn't find the leak though and were given instructions in blue spray paint nearby to "dig deeper".

Claire continued: "So again they dug and again they couldn't find anything. And they were back again earlier this week for a third attempt."

Amidst the chaos, Claire was astounded when hit with a six monthly bill for a whopping £15,833.11.

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She seethed: "I was gobsmacked – they must think I'm operating a waterpark in the back garden.

"Welsh Water have also said that, if they fail to find the leak, I'll have to pay to hire a private contractor to locate it.

"Until then my account apparently been frozen until a decision is made on what the next step should be.

"There's even been talk about a payment plan. I thought, 'You must be joking' – there's no way I can afford to pay back nearly £16k."

A spokesperson for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water said: "We are aware of the leak at the customer’s property and identified early on that the leak was not on our pipework but instead on the internal pipework of the property.

"While the responsibility of leaks on internal pipework does lie with the customer, we have as a gesture of goodwill tried to assist on a few occasions.

"We are continuing to liaise with the customer in advising them on the steps they need to take to resolve the matter.

"We are sorry if the bill has caused alarm but we have explained to the customer that, in the event of internal leaks, we will apply an allowance to the customer’s account once the repair has been completed.

"We will continue to liaise with the customer on this."

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