Lehigh Valley

Man slapped with $43,000 water bill

Rodney & Cricket Arbogast of South Whitehall Twp. received

Man slapped with $43,000 water bill

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - Imagine if your water bill jumped 7,000 percent.

It happened to one Lehigh County couple who called 69 News to help them sort it out.

Rodney Arbogast says it was one heck of a water bill.

"$43,000," said Arbogast, and that was just for three months of service.

Cricket Arbogast said she thought she was hearing things when her husband told her.

"Did you build a pool or a lake or something? No. We just couldn't believe it," said Cricket.

The bill arrived in January from Berkheimer, the company that prepares water bills for South Whitehall Township.

The Arbogasts say ever since, the couple has been trying to sort it out.

Just last week they got a late notice: the bill jumped to more than $45,000 with late fees and interest.

"Berkheimer said they didn't think they could do it. They said South Whitehall could do it. South Whitehall said Berkheimer had to do it," said Cricket.

Arbogast said during the back and forth someone suggested that he go down into his basement and check for a water spot.

He says there was no water spot and by his calculations, he would have to fill his basement 674 times in order to accommodate the 8.5 million gallons of water he allegedly used.

That also translates to roughly 136 million glasses of water and 2.1 million toilet flushes.

The Arbogasts said there is no way they used that much water, and when 69 News called South Whitehall Township, they agreed.

A township spokesman said a computer glitch added a few extra zeros to the Arbogast's bill and that it took three months to fix because there is an internal process that must be followed.

A corrected bill is now on its way to the Arbogasts.

"It's going to be between $60 and $70 before we write the check," said Cricket.

It turned out the corrected bill was even more refreshing: just $58.

This Week's Circulars

Lehigh Valley News

Latest From The Newsroom