Imagine opening your quarterly water bill to find that this time around, that’s what you owe. Nearly $5,000. Not the $260.53 that the city of Frederick billed you for the January-April cycle. But $4,820.72 that was racked up between April 22 and July 24.

Yet that’s what Denise Sansonese recently experienced. It was a difference of $4,560.19 — or 4½ years’ worth of water bills at her previous rate. In 2019’s first quarter, her bill stated that she consumed about 167 100-gallon units; in the second quarter, that number skyrocketed to 3,595. She has only one roommate, and her son, Blake, attends Towson University. With that in mind, not only was the dollar figure paralyzing; it was unbelievable.