Anthem homeowner gets $1,500 water bill, questions how it could happen

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Stephanie Cornelius can't believe she got a water bill for nearly $1,500. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Stephanie Cornelius can't believe she got a water bill for nearly $1,500. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
According to the Anthem mom, the monthly statement from Epcor Water said she used more than 150,000 gallons of water in April. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) According to the Anthem mom, the monthly statement from Epcor Water said she used more than 150,000 gallons of water in April. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The concerned customer said she brought in a plumber, two landscapers, and a pool man to investigate and nobody could find a major leak or problem. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The concerned customer said she brought in a plumber, two landscapers, and a pool man to investigate and nobody could find a major leak or problem. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A spokesperson for Epcor said it appeared as if a faulty irrigation valve may be to blame. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A spokesperson for Epcor said it appeared as if a faulty irrigation valve may be to blame. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
ANTHEM, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

An Anthem homeowner will have to cough up some serious cash, after receiving an outrageous water bill.

The $1,500 bill is about 15 times more than what Stephanie Cornelius usually pays every month.

“I was numb," said Cornelius. "It's just so crazy.” 

According to the Anthem mom, the monthly statement from Epcor Water said she used more than 150,000 gallons of water in April.

It is quite a bit more than the 2,0000 gallons she used the month before.

Cornelius said she never drained her pool, and never noticed any streams or puddles around her house.

So where did all that water go?

“I still can't understand 150,000 gallons of water and no sign of it anywhere," said Cornelius. “A stream of water on the sidewalk – at least – anything wet outside – I don’t have any of that."

The concerned customer said she brought in a plumber, two landscapers, and a pool man to investigate and nobody could find a major leak or problem.

An Epcor representative came out as well.

A spokesperson for Epcor said it appeared as if a faulty irrigation valve may be to blame.

But Cornelius isn't convinced, yet she’s still on the hook to pay the bill.

“I don’t want to, but I don’t have many choices," said Cornelius. "Epcor is our only water provider here so I’m stuck, along with many other Anthem residents.”  

A spokesperson for Epcor said that water meters are inspected on a regular basis, and they saw nothing wrong with the meter here.

They said the smallest of irrigation leaks can waste tens of thousands of gallons of water, without the homeowner seeing it.

Epcor has agreed to knock $500 off of Cornelius' bill.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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