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Tradie blasts council as water bill jumps from $300 to $15,000: 'Utter disgrace'

Anthony said there's no way he's used enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in 104 days.

A New South Wales tradie has been shocked to receive a water bill that's 50 times more expensive than normal. Anthony grabbed a letter from his mailbox recently and opened what he thought was going to be a run-of-the-mill invoice for his water usage.

But frustrations erupted when the mechanic saw he owed more than $15,000 to the Goulburn Mulwaree Council. He's alleged to have used an average of 35,028 litres of water per day for 104 days, which is more than an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

He told A Current Affair that's an incredible leap from the 130 litres he usually averages each day.

Insert of Anthony and him watering his garden
Anthony couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the $15,000 water bill. (Source: A Current Affair)

Have you had a similar bill shock experience? Email stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

But he's standing his ground and is refusing to pay it, insisting there must be a problem with the water meter as he usually only pays around $300 for water.

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"They can go and get themselves nicked," he said to the Channel 9 programme. "I'm not paying it...no way in the world."

The only water he uses is for showering, washing up and the toilet. The rest, which is used for gardening, washing his car and topping up the fish pond, comes from a water tank.

His father, Neil, accompanied Anthony to a council meeting to protest the bill and said they can't get any "reasonable common sense" from them.

He said the council told them that they've done loads of testing on water meters in the area and they've all been fine. Anthony and Neil would have to fork out $50 to get theirs tested to see if it's faulty or has a leak in it.

"There's something wrong somewhere. That amount of water, where is it?" Anthony said.

To be able to use more than 35,000 litres of water per day, you would have to have multiple taps running all throughout the day and night.

Neil said if there was a water leak of the size that the council is claiming then surely Anthony's place would be flooded.

"And I'm not going to let him pay it...I think it's an utter disgrace," he said.

The council sent Anthony a overdue bill notice on the eye-watering bill and asked him whether he wants to go on a payment plan.

The Goulburn Mulwaree Council said in a statement that it has a requirement to abide by its "policies and procedures into matters such as these".

"We acknowledge the residents concern around the amount of water that has been invoiced which is clearly outside of what would be for usual domestic consumption," the statement added.

Anthony has been asked to outline his water usage and present his case at a council meeting in May.

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