(NBC News) - Detroit's money problems are well known, that's why it is particularly hard to understand why the city is allowing millions of gallons of water to flow freely from damaged pipes in abandon and vacant buildings.
Keven Dietz of Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV looked into the costly problem in hopes of finding answers.
What he found instead was that the problem stems from copper pipe thefts, causing serious leaks.
At one home, a neighbor reported a leak for more than a year without getting action.
These are not little leaks. At one home, Dietz and his crew determined that about 7,000 gallons were leaking from pipes a day.
Dietz called the water department about that home multiple times and it took six weeks for the city to come by and turn off the water.
So who's paying for the ineptness? Consumers, who have seen their water bills go up the past 10 years in a row.