"They said I used 139,000 gallons of water in three days," said retired reacher Karen Ross who lives alone in northwest Houston.
If West Harris County Mud District 14 is correct about tha,t Ross used enough water to fill 10 1/2 swimming pools.
The average American uses about 100 gallons of water a day. That means Ross used the daily supply of water for 1,390.
"How does a person with any common sense believe that," said Ross's neighbor Linda Lambert.
"I taught for 35 years and retired in 2015," Ross said. Ross lives on a budget and says her average water bill is about $30.
In May, it was $229.90. Then in June it was $761.90.
"I freaked out," Ross said.
West Harris County MUD 14 noticed her usage was way up, so they sent out a field inspector. Ross was out of town at the time.
"I'm actually the neighbor that let in the water guy," Lambert said. "We found the leak in her washing machine and it was a trickle and there wasn't even an inch of water in her washing machine at the time."
Ross says she bought a new washing machine for $500.
"I just wanted to prove to them that I was willing to solve the problem," Ross said.
She told the men who installed it about her predicament.
"They told me that much water going through my machine cause it didn't have a cut off it would have flooded my house," said Ross.
After she proved to the municipal utility district she bought a new washing machine, they only took $81 off her huge bill.
"To do this to a retired person or anyone, it's highway robbery and I feel like I'm being robbed," Ross said.