Rapid City resident receives a $10,000 water bill

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - "This can't be real."

That was Rapid City resident Gayle Cutshall’s first reaction to finding out her water bill read $10,000.

"It was very startling,” she said. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack. "

During the summer, an average water bill for her house is around $150, and that money is automatically deducted from her account. But, she just happened to check her statement on the 10th, to find out she had only 9 days to pay.

But luckily for her, it wasn't real. The city accidentally billed the wrong amount.

Their bill read that they used over 2400 units of water, which is about the same as 1.8 million gallons, or enough to fill 46 swimming pools. And while the Cutshalls find it funny now because they caught it, it's would have been a different story had they not.

"You never get that money back, or it would take months and months to get that money back," she said.

They thought maybe the problem was the new water meter just installed, or a glitch in the new billing system that the city started using earlier this year. Turns out, it's both.

"That seems to be the common theme to some of the glitches we are encountering,” said Darrell Shoemaker, Communications Coordinator for the city. “And we are working with the software company to see what we can do about it so we are not experiencing these glitches."

The city services 26,000 people, and on any given week, sends out 6,400 bills. Out of that, they usually get one or two complaints. But for the city, even one is too many.

"It's important if you are that one person getting that bill,” said Shoemaker. “So don't just throw it on the kitchen table. You know, take a look at it, and give us a call if there is an issue."

The Cutshalls may have gotten a huge scare, but they are looking at it with a sense of humor.

"Then I realized this can't possibly be true, so now it's just kind of funny," said Cutshall.

The city changed the amount and sent the Cutshalls a new statement.