Elderly woman receives $27,000 water bill

**Embargo: Atlanta, GA** 91-year-old Ruth Starks is in need of some help. She had incurred a $27,000 water bill.

FULTON COUNTY, Ga — On Bernice Street in Atlanta, 91-year-old Ruth Starks is in need of some help.

“I don’t need any more pressure on me. I can’t take it,” said Starks.

Starks said she had a stroke about 5 years ago and that’s when her family started helping to pay her bills. “I thought they were paying everything,” said Starks.

So you can only imagine what she thought when she learned she had incurred a $27,000 water bill.

“Well I’m scared that they will cut my water off,” said Starks.

There is a constant drip in her bathroom, but no other obvious signs of a major water leak.

“Why they didn’t they send me some kind of notice and let me know my water bill wasn’t being paid,” said Starks.

Starks said she hasn’t received a water bill in years and when she reached out to the department for help recently… crickets.

“I’m not trying to beat the government or anything like that. I just want my bills paid,” said Starks.

So CBS46 reached out to the water department and they are actively investigating the matter.

“I don’t have a bad record paying my bill. I did the best I could with what I could all my life,” said Starks.

Atlanta’s Water Department also sent the following statement:

The Department of Watershed Management is committed to ensuring safe and clean drinking water to all Atlanta ratepayers. We are aware of Ms. Ruth Stark’s escalated consumption of water, which is due to a leak on the private property of her home. DWM is actively working with the Stark family to resolve the issue.

Ms. Stark is a good candidate for our Care and Conserve Program and we encourage all customers who may be in need of plumbing repair assistance to contact their area Care and Conserve nonprofit administrator and complete the application process for assistance.