Seattle homeowners get $26,000 water bill, working on permanent fix

SEATTLE —A home in West Seattle off 45th Ave SW will be passed down to 19-month-old Julia after a big problem gets fixed.

“A bright pink note that says you might want to check to see if you have a leak,” said homeowner Susan Rose.

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Neighbors next door to the Rose Family let them use a hose to get water access into their home while they work on permanent leaky water pipe fix.

West Seattle Homeowner Susan Rose says that was their first notice from Seattle Public Utilities they had a water leak. The Rose Family couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  Shortly after, their utility bill came in the mail.

“He said what do you think the number is… and I said well based off the way you’re saying it… I think it could be $20,000,” said Rose.

The actual total: close to $26,000.

“We had to laugh it off because it was like you either laugh or you cry,” said Rose.

Rose says SPU came out and couldn’t find the meter for an hour. It was down a way, down the street, across an intersection in front of another person’s yard.  Rose says the pipe was put in place in the 1950s and fixing it would mean ripping up a great stretch of road.  SPU says it’s the homeowner’s responsibility for leaks on their property and private structure.

“We are really, really thankful to Seattle Public Utilities for helping us out,” said Rose.

Their water’s been shut off for nearly a month, but their neighbors are stepping up by letting them connect a hose to their water line.

“We’ve got it run from their yard inside to our plumbing systems,” said Rose.

It works for now while the Roses look for a permanent solution.

SPU says they can offer assistance to income-qualifying homeowners.  SPU also says to check your meter and bill regularly.

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