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Broken Arrow woman facing thousands in overdue water bills after unknowingly being taken off auto pay

Posted at 7:03 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 14:58:46-04

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — A Broken Arrow woman is facing an overdue water bill in the thousands. She claims the bills stacked up for months without her knowledge.

Connie Hebert’s water bill last got paid in December. She thought her account was on auto pay, so she never thought twice about her payments. It wasn’t until recently when she found out Rural Water District No 4 took her off auto pay in January when her water usage suddenly shot up.

“When I found out about it, I was ‘holy cow, shut it off!’” Hebert said.

She said she doesn’t use credit cards and admits she rarely looks at her bank statements; but she never questioned whether her payments were going through.

“I haven’t gotten a late notice, nobody called me, nobody said anything,” Hebert said. She found out when the district notified her about a potential leak on her property on July 17. When they didn’t find anything, she called a plumber who discovered a leak under her kitchen floor. However, by then, her water bill was high enough to drain her bank account.

“It was $6,800 at the time,” Herbert said.

Hebert took her claim to the water district's board and asked to get the bill reduced because she hadn’t been notified that her account was no longer on auto pay and the bill was shooting up.

Rick Lang, operations manager for the district, claims they did try to get a hold of her.

“It was partly our fault because we took her off auto pay,” Lang said. “But it’s not our fault that we can’t get a hold of her on the phone.”

The water district board cut Hebert’s bill in half from $8,511 to $3,145; which will be divided by 12 months on top of her current water bill. Still, Hebert says that’s money she doesn’t have.

Hebert already paid $1,000 towards that lump sum, but she still plans to go back to the board later this month and plead her case for a reduction.

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