Sky-high OUC water bill puzzles frugal customer

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ORLANDO, Fla. - OUC customer Doris Cortez lives in a small home off of Lake Underhill Road near Semoran Boulevard in Orlando.

She said her normally small $2-a-month water bill jumped to almost $500 in April – almost 100,000 gallons of water use.

The only possible explanations OUC has given is she left a faucet on by mistake, or it could have been stolen during a break-in at her home while she was out of town.

Cortez said even that seems like a lot of water for someone to steal.

Ever since she moved in last June, the water-use portion of her bill has usually been less than $2 dollars a month.

But that recently changed when she received a post card that said there had been an excessive amount of water being used in the house.

She had even been out of town most of April. When she received her bill, the water-use portion totaled $472.03, enough water to fill five average-sized swimming pools.

She said she did have a break-in at her home, but can't imagine a thief could take that much water. She said OUC hadn't been willing to budge on what she owes until Eyewitness News contacted them.

"I've been with them back and forth. Calls and nothing's getting done. That's why I decided to call you guys," Cortez said.

OUC said it doesn't believe there's been a mistake reading the meter. It said it's working with her and will likely credit most if not all of the money back.