STAFFORD TOWNSHIP - Nearly a dozen homeowners in Stafford Township are angry over water bills they received for thousands of dollars.

Hilda Mori says her niece’s summer home in Beach Haven West received a water bill for more than $5,000 after a burst pipe caused 600,000 gallons of water to pour out.

“We don’t know how long the water ran,” says Mori.

Mori’s niece lives in New York full time. A neighbor found the leak and contacted her.

Stafford Township supplies its homeowners with water. The last round of bills show dozens of Stafford homeowners, mostly in Beach Haven West, with tabs of about $1,000 or more.  

Township Administrator Jim Moran says that most of these high meter reads come from second home properties that are not properly winterized.

"Many of the homeowners in Beach Haven West are absentee,” he says.

An ordinance in Stafford could be a saving grace for Mori’s niece and others like her. It offers one time forgiveness per property when there's a break or leak.

Homeowners need to provide copies of repair bills, a determination letter from their homeowner's insurance company and a letter explaining the circumstances.