The Savards initially thought the City of Toronto had added a zero to their water bill by “mistake,” and then was told that they really had to pay more than $3100.
Still, there was no visible water leak in the house.
The family finally discovered the pot with the roses: a toilet in the basement let flow water continually, because of a defective valve.
Why did not the City send us a letter to warn us that there was a problem? Why wait to send us a bill so high that we can not pay it?
Christine Savard, resident
The Savards usually received a water bill of about $450 every four months, before the City asked them for $3,130 last November. Not having paid this amount at the time, they must now have nearly $4000.
1000 Torontonians affected each year
City Billing Manager Anthony Fabrizi says the city sent a letter to the family last October to warn them that their water use was unusually high.
The Savards reply that they have never received a letter.
Fabrizi says that about a thousand Torontonians face similar leaks he calls “silent”, which can triple or even increase their water bill.
The City has an emergency assistance program, but the Savard flight is not important enough for them to qualify.
Too bad for the family, this is the second time she has a problem of its kind. In 2014, the Savards had to pay an invoice of more than $ 3900, because of an undetected leak related to old toilets.
” It is unfair. It’s ridiculous to do that to innocent people, “says Christine Savard.