Arkansas woman shocked after receiving $23,000 water bill

PROCTOR, Ark.– A Crittenden County, Arkansas woman is overwhelmed after she says her monthly water bill jumped from a normal $100 to a staggering $23,000.

Kristan Bussman said he contacted the Midway Public Water Authority in Proctor, Arkansas after receiving the bill.

“$50 to $100 is the most we’ve ever used,” Bussman said. “It went from $1,000, then the next month it went to $3,900, almost $4,000, for now it’s $23,000.”

She said the odd thing is that she and a Midway worker walked through her property after one of her previous monthly bills reported water usage of more than 800,000 gallons.

“We walked everywhere, I mean all around the property and there was absolutely no water,” Bussman said.

This was after Midway had shut off the water for three days to test the system.

She thinks the problem lies with Midway’s water meter, which she says is still working even though Bussman turned off the water herself a month ago to avoid a higher bill.

“Now the water was off all month, wasn’t on, and I get a bill for $23,000,” she said.

She admitted she had a leak in her kitchen drain, but doesn’t think it could have caused such a high water bill.

We contacted Midway to find out if the water meter — called the cell-reading meter — might in fact be faulty.

“It’s possible. Anything is possible. I don’t think it is, but anything is possible. I’m definitely not going to say it’s not,” said Allan Massey of Midway Public Water Authority.
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He told us he intended to return to Kristan Bussman’s property and investigate the causes of his high water bills.

“I don’t want us to be blamed for something that isn’t our fault and I don’t want her to pay a bill that isn’t hers either,” Massey said.

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