Marc and Judith Hamilton, whose quarterly water bill for their 900-square-foot home is typically about $200, was billed for use of 630,000 gallons of water between December and March, and a plumber informed them their leaky toilet could not be responsible for the water volume increase, the Dayton Daily News reported Wednesday.
The bill returned to normal after the spike in April, the Hamiltons saying they did not fix or change anything.
A typical Dayton household uses 7,480 gallons of water per person per three-month period, the newspaper said. The Hamiltons live in the home with their three children.
"No one knows where the water went, but they [the city] told me that's what the meter said," said Marc Hamilton, 42, a disabled veteran who needs running water for home health treatments.
The couple is now enrolled in a program to pay down the bill, which Judith Hamilton says is causing a financial hardship for the family.
"The kids get no Christmas. Our money goes to the city of Dayton," she said.