Indianapolis family receives $4,000 water bill

Family says they were unaware of water leak

INDIANAPOLIS - A family on the city’s south side wants some relief from Citizens Energy Group after they received a $4,000 water bill.

The water bills for the Strykowski family are normally in the $50 range, but last month's water bill was unusually high because of an unknown water leak. 

"We barely make it every month. I don't think it’s fair. We bought their insurance," Sarah Strykowski said.

Strykowski, 57, is moved to tears when she looks at her water bill that officially came in at $4,043.57. Strykowski said she didn't notice the leak until March 21 because of the ice and snow.

She contacted Citizens Energy and a thermal imaging company came out to assess the situation. They thought they found the leak in a bedroom, but when they dug up the room, it turned out there was no leak. Eventually, the leak was found in a closet.

Officials with Citizens Energy agreed to some adjustments.

"If the homeowner can show that repairs have been made at the home, that the leak has been addressed, if they can show us receipts that a licensed plumber came out and fixed the leak so we know that it’s not gonna happen again next month, we will give them a 75 percent credit on that bill," Citizens Energy spokeswoman Sarah Holsapple said.

Citizens Energy admits in a normal month, Strykowski and her husband only use six or seven units of water. Last month with the leak they didn't know about, they used 687 units. Even with the bill modification, Strykowski thinks it is still too much.

"I want not to have to pay this huge water bill. We can't afford that. There is just no way. He works at the post office," Strykowski said.

Officials with Citizens Energy said they will try to come up with a flexible payment plan for Strykowski, but she is still hoping for more adjustments to her bill.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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