Woman fights $23K water bill: 'This is ridiculous'

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- It's a water bill so massive, Loretta Maddox said she doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.

"$23,063 and one cent," Maddox said. "I just got crazy. This can't be right. There must be something wrong."

The Georgia homeowner said she's had a few leaks around her house, but not one that leaked anywhere near the amount of water the DeKalb County bill claims she used: more than 1 million gallons in just the past month.

"My house would be floating down the road with all this water they're talking about," Maddox said.

Within hours of receiving the bill, she went to the county, demanding answers.

"I was getting kind of upset with it, because I couldn't get no answers. So I just walked out," Maddox said.

So she called WSB, and the station contacted the county.

A spokesperson said it could have been caused by the leaks, saying the home had "multiple issues with its water system that included a leaking hot water heater, broken water lines and plumbing."

But Maddox said those issues were fixed months ago, and the bill shows a spike in usage just last month.

Maddox blames the bill on what she believes is her faulty water meter.

Just last week, WSB reported on efforts to replace faulty meters across DeKalb County, which led to high bills for many customers.

Maddox hopes hers is replaced to end her flood of problems.

"This is ridiculous," Maddox said.