“I am really fed up:” Single mother of three says $8,000 water bill isn’t her responsibility

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(CNN) — No one likes getting bills in the mail, but a Houston woman says she was shocked to get a water bill for nearly $8,000. She claims it’s not her responsibility, but the city is saying she needs to pay up.

“So, you’re telling me that this is my responsibility? No ma’am. It’s not,” Omesha Mobley said.

Omesha Mobley is a single mother, who is in a battle with the city of Houston.

“I am really fed up,” Mobley said.

At the center of it: a nearly $8,000 water bill from a big water leak back in May.

“I come home and water was everywhere,” Mobley said.

Mobley immediately called the city, and she says it took workers several days to get it fixed.

“I asked them that question, ‘was this my responsibility or the city?’ And they said it was theirs,” Mobley said.

The single mother of three thought it was resolved — plain and simple. But now, Mobley can’t understand why she’s being asked to pay for what she believes is the city’s problem.

“For that amount of money, I might as well pay for the whole neighborhood,” Mobley said.

A Public Works spokesman says there were two leaks that day — one on the city’s side of the meter, and one on Mobley’s. In rare cases, city workers will go ahead and fix a leak on the customer’s side to prevent future water loss — but that’s something Mobley says she was never told.

“If they came out and fixed it, they laid the gravel, they put the grass down, they fixed the pipe, they’re responsible for it,” Mobley said.

“It was buckets full of water. I’m talking about the whole street was flooded,” Mobley’s neighbor, Diana Gonzalez said.

Neighbors on Ambrose Street, who also called for help that day, feel Mobley is getting a raw deal.

“That’s crazy. That is just something that the city needs to take care of. It’s their responsibility,” Gonzalez said.

Mobley says there’s no way she can afford to pay the bill.

“At the end of the day, you’re going to have me and my family without water,” Mobley said.

KHOU says the city has knocked $4,000 off the bill, but says Mobley is responsible for the rest.

Mobley is appealing the decision, and is hoping someone will hear her out at an upcoming hearing.


  • me

    This is the time when everyone should get something in writing from the city or state. If they tell u something and then refuse than something is wrong. Also if they worked at her property and house, shouldn’t it say no charge to owner, especially if she asked??? I’m sure she had to sign something to prove they did and were there???

  • John

    How many times did they mention that she was a single mother? I count 3. Like does that mean something. Is she immediately deemed a saint or something because she’s a single mother? Should we feel more sorry for her than the average person because she’s a single mother. Is it our fault she’s the single mother of 3 children? Maybe she should have kept her legs closed.

  • Reagan 84

    I don’t care if a woman CHOOSES to be a single mother as long as she (and the father/fathers) PAY for those kids and she don’t keep popping out kids at taxpayers expense. If the leak was the city’s fault,they should pay up. My friend’s basement was flooded due to a sewer problem and Trolley Tommy’s wonderful city of Killwaukee ref to pay for it,stating it wasn’t there fault.

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