A Northamptonshire pensioner has spoken of his shock after he received a bill for £35,000 from Anglian Water.
Trevor Rennie, aged 62, was opening his post on Friday, which was his birthday, and found out the water company was increasing his monthly payment to £7,189.
Anglian Water estimated that Mr Rennie, who lives alone in a terraced bungalow in the village of Denton, had used 7,881 cubic metres of water in the past six months, equivilant to the amount of water in three Olympic-sized swimming pools.
After Mr Rennie, who normally pays £21 a month for his water, telephoned Anglian Water to query the large bill he did receive an apology and was told his meter was going to be changed as it appeared to be faulty.
Mr Rennie said: “I can’t understand how they let this bill get sent out to me. I have been to my doctor’s and he said my blood pressure has gone through the roof.
“If I was a bit older I could have had a heart attack. On the telephone the woman said ‘don’t worry about it’ but I said to her “I’m still on the floor”.
“At first I though it was an April Fool’s. If I had used that amount of water I would be feeding the whole of Northamptonshire.
“I think they must have thought I had Pitsford Reservoir in my garden,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said the £35,000 had been removed from Mr Rennie’s account and he was being provided with a new water meter “free of charge”.
Sarah Dobson, from Anglian Water said: “We’re very sorry Mr Rennie received a high bill due to a fault with his water meter.
“This bill has been removed from his account and we will be replacing his meter with a brand new smart meter free of charge.”