East Flatbush man faces 6-figure water bill due to apparent leak

An East Flatbush man was forced out of the home he bought at 19 years old due to an enormous water bill.

News 12 Staff

Mar 27, 2019, 11:32 PM

Updated 1,849 days ago

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East Flatbush man faces 6-figure water bill due to apparent leak
An East Flatbush man was forced out of the home he bought at 19 years old due to an enormous water bill.
Joseph Sparrow, 28, says his water bill skyrocketed from $200 a month to $15,000 in 2013.
"They said it's an undetected leak, which I was telling them there was no leak whatsoever in the house," says Sparrow.
The city suggested Sparrow hire a contractor to dig up the property and find the issue, but he believes that's on the city to perform.
Sparrow hired an accountant to help with tax issues, who showed him the total amount he owed over five years.
"$550,000 for water bills for this single-residence house, it's not possible," says John A. Zandi of Detaxify. "I mean where's the water? If you look on the street, you don't even see, you would maybe have to have a swimming pool."
The water stopped working, but Sparrow says he was still being billed. A plumber came in to shut off the water. He then moved into his brother's home.
"I haven't lived here for four years because of the water situation," says Sparrow.
Sparrow says he tried appealing several times, but they denied. Even if the situation is resolved, he says he still wants to sell the home and put this chapter of his life behind him.


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