Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A Columbia woman is getting results, after her water bill totaled more than $3,500. She's been trying to solve the problem alone, and when that didn't work, her son sent an e-mail to News 19.
Mary Gresham said in mid-February, the South Carolina Department of Transportation was cutting the grass and that's when she noticed her water pressure low and water gushing from the water line. Gresham filed a damage claim with the SCDOT, but the claim was denied. According to the Claims Office, someone notified the city about the leak a day before the employees cut the grass at that same location.
Gresham then contacted the city of Columbia to try and get answers. She said the city cut her water bill by 50%, leaving her to pay $1,700. News 19 reached out to the Department of Utilities and Engineering. In an e-mail, the department said, "We understand she believes a third party to be responsible and she may be filing a claim with that third party...we take very seriously the need to be fair and equitable to all of our rate payers."
Fast forward 24 hours: "It's just like a load dropped off of me, like the pressure just went away," said Gresham.
After News 19 contacted Mayor Steve Benjamin, he looked more into Gresham's situation and wiped out her entire water bill.
"He went over and told me that everything has been wiped, that I didn't need to have that hanging over my head," said Gresham.
Mayor Benjamin acknowledged that Gresham was not responsible for use of that water. "I don't think it should have taken that long, but I just found out less than 24 hours ago. I think we solved it pretty quickly," he said.
If you have noticed any drastic changes with your water bill, you can contact the city of Columbia at 803-545-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.