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35 years ago we paid to have city water. We are one mile from the nearest junction water main. So at that time it cost $65,000. We put in a 6-inch main and my normal bills for two months haven't exceed $100. In July I received a bill for $850 and called and asked them to investigate where the water was going as I maintained the same usage as before and I have been alone here for five years since my divorce. In September my water climbed to $4100 and they said they didn't have the means to help me find the problem of wasted water. Subsequently I hired plumbers who found the problem immediately. The meter is in a man hole pit and when the water company read the meter they drove past and used an electronic gun to read it. The plumber shut off my water and opened the man hole and found that it had never been opened and was full of clean, clear water. Just below the meter was a broken pipe. Now, that is 3/10 of a mile from my house, right by the road, just on my side of the meter. I've paid $3,000 of this bill and still have left to pay over $2000. This is not water I used and during the times I begged them to help me investigate, only once an employee came out and turned a lever on a valve near my well (used for lawn watering). Subsequent to that the plumbers worked two days at $150/hr. to fix the broken pipe. I still haven't gotten that bill. They promised to give me a full report on what they found and also their opinion in the matter. Today, the water company called to tell me that, after 35 years, they discovered that my water line requires a "minimum" $900 every two months for using it. I am not paying another penny until I get some answers and they forgive the $900 and the rest of the current bill. Do I have a chance with using a litigator in small claims court against the utility? I want my money back or at least forgiveness for the remaining bill. And, why should I have to pay a minimum $900 fee if after all these years I haven't been required to? Also, I begged them to help me find the problem and they told me they couldn't read that meter more than once a month. Please HELP me!