UNINCORPORATED ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — In just one month, Judy Loper’s life has taken a drastic turn.
“It's extremely cold. I bought two radiant heaters from Walmart and they have been heating. I have shut down two bedrooms and I use the bathroom, the kitchen and the living room,” Loper said.
It's all so she can stay warm. Loper's water was shut off, meaning she hasn’t been able to use her boiler.
“I joined the Thornton Recreation Center up here on Holly and that's where I go to shower,” Loper said.
She says this story begins 11 years ago when they had a leak in the pipe to their home. Loper says the only person who knew about the leak was the man who manages the community’s well with the North Washington Water User’s Association.
“He read the meter and knew there was a leak and never told us,” Loper said.
She says her husband fixed the line within 24 hours, but by then, the price was astronomical.
“The bill was at about $8,000,” Loper said.
They appealed the decision, and Loper says they would occasionally receive an invoice for the $8,000. Then, last month, her water was unexpectedly cut off and the water association demanded the payment in full.
Loper says her attempts to negotiate the price or payments haven’t been answered.
“I need an advocate. I need help,” Loper said.
Loper is also having to let go of her horses since she can no longer care for them.
“I'm devastated,” she said.
Denver7 reached out to the water association for answers. It responded to the request late Thursday saying the board voted unanimously to disconnect service and file a lien on their property after it had sent Loper and her husband multiple disconnect notices after giving them "many years to pay their outstanding water bill."
"They have refused to pay the outstanding bill and not one cent has been paid toward it," the water association sent in a statement. "NWWUA is a nonprofit association and not in the business of giving away water. It is not fair to the rest of the membership that pay their monthly water bills to have someone refuse to pay their bill and still receive water service."
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