Bill Capo / Action Reporter

NEW ORLEANS -- Marguerite Doyle-Johnston says she asked the Sewerage & Water Board to install a meter at her home in July, so she was shocked when a bill for $2500 arrived at the end of October.

'I almost fainted,' she said. 'It was ridiculous. I was wondering was anybody at Sewerage & Water Board, was the light on in their heads for this bill?'

This is why Doyle-Johnston was stunned, because her house is still under construction, with the plumbing only partially installed where the bathrooms and kitchen will be in the future.

'There's no sink, no faucets, no sewage drain, oh, no dish washer either. And here is my bathroom. As you can see there's no faucets, no sink. Here's the toilet. No water, no sewage,' she said. 'This is ridiculous.'

Yet the bill indicates that in two months she used 30,000 gallons of water. There is an outside faucet, and the ones for the washer and dryer are in place inside, but Doyle-Johnston can't figure out how someone could steal that much water, and there's no sign of leaks that should be very visible under the raised structure.

'I've talked to my plumber, and I have a letter where he came back out to inspect my property to see if we had any leaks.'

Now the Sewerage & Water Board has removed the meter, and Doyle-Johnston says she was told she must pay $175 to have it reinstalled and tested.

'I'm, you really want to know? I can't use that word on camera, because I'm just that mad.'

Now if the Sewerage & Water Board can figure out how 30,000 gallons of water went through these pipes, well, I'd certainly like to know, so would Doyle-Johnston.

But in the meantime, I've asked them to do a complete, thorough investigation, and to give her the refund she deserves.

'I want them to take this bill back, especially too, they have on here, sewer volume. I don't have a toilet, not one toilet, $950.41. I don't have a toilet.'

A Sewerage & Water Board spokesman says the agency is investigating, and I'll let you know what they tell Doyle-Johnston.

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