NATICK (CBS) – A Natick homeowner was shocked when he opened his most recent water bill that totaled more than $15,000. “I opened up my water bill on Monday morning at six in the morning and I almost had a heart attack,” said William Kourtis.

He could not believe his eyes. His last water and sewer bill statement he received in the mail read $15,018.73. “I was shocked,” he said.

William Kourtis (WBZ-TV)

Kourtis said the three-story mixed-use property he owns on West Central Street in Natick was being rented out on the second floor, but the top floor bathroom was not being used. An unexpected leak in the toilet went unnoticed for weeks into the sewer system racking up a monstrous bill.

“Very devastated,” Kourtis said. “I mean who can afford it at this time with the economy.”

His quarterly bill is typically around $500. He says neither he nor his tenant were aware of the issue and because of COVID-19, Kourtis said was keeping his distance from the building.

Property owned by William Kourtis in Natick (WBZ-TV)

“I have a weak immune system I have no spleen, so I didn’t want to chance anything,” he said.

He did file for an abatement, which reduced his bill $1500.

Kourtis has owned the property for 20 years and never had this problem before. He hopes the town will sympathize with his situation and not make him pay the full amount.

“It’s an unfortunate situation when these things happen through no fault of any one person,” said Natick Select Board Chairman Jonathan Freedman. “The Board is trying very hard to find a solution that’s equitable both to Mr. Kourtis as well as all the other rate payers in the town.”

“I would like it if they looked at my previous two year history and average it out,” Kourtis said.

The board is expected to meet on October 14 to make a decision.

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