Imagine getting a water bill ten times higher than you expected.
That has been happening to one Little Rock woman for several months now.
And things are getting serious. Jackie Sykes has ten days to come up with about $500.00 or have her water cut off.
That is the problem. Nobody seems to know exactly what is going on with the water at Sykes' home...other than the bill for that water is going through the roof.
"So you've got the landlord saying it's the water company's problem. The water company is saying it's the landlord's problem. In the meantime you're getting $500 water bills."
"Yes sir," agrees Sykes. "You know that's not good. Yeah."
And not just one $500.00 water bill. Three months of $500.00 water bills.
In a small rent house with just three people...Sykes and her two sons...something is wrong.
"What should your bill be?"
"Like...it should be like...$40.00 or $50.00," says Sykes. "My sister...there's six of them and her light bill....her water bill ain't but $42.00. My neighbor across the street...I was telling her...and her water bill is just $62.00."
Central Arkansas Water over the past several months has sent three teams to check things out. No one has been able to find a leak or a problem with the meter.
The landlord has also sent out a licensed plumber who also failed to find a reason for the sky high water bills.
With no explanation or solution in sight, it appears Sykes may be forced to move.
"I've been giving her (an employee with Central Arkansas Water) $200.00 just to keep my water on," explains Sykes. "She said "Ma'am...although you pay $200.00 you still gotta come up with...I think it's like...she told me $580.00 or $480.00...something like that. Anyway if I don't have that they automatically gonna turn it off."
Central Arkansas Water is willing to take yet another look at this mystery.
And Sykes' landlord sent his plumber by yet again Monday morning...but still, no answers. No explanation.
And still an April 11th deadline for Sykes to pay a substantial portion of this bill.
Air date: April 1st, 2013