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German man runs up enormous water bill by letting taps run

Police say a 31-year-old man has left taps on for a year, risking major damage to the apartment building he lives in. The man has been taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

A man in the northern German city of Salzgitter has sent around 7 million liters (1.85 million gallons) of water down the drain over the period of a year by leaving all his taps and toilet to run, police said on Friday.

They told the news agency DPA that the management of the man's apartment building had called them in after he allegedly plugged the drains in recent days, allowing the water to leak through the building. In addition, the man had run up a bill of €10,800 ($12,808) with the water company, the management said.

The man, 31, reportedly fought with police when they arrived on Thursday, slightly injuring three officers, and was subdued with pepper spray. Police say he is being assessed in a psychiatric hospital.

Damage was reported to have been caused to the apartment below, but police had no information on further harm to the rest of the building

Average annual water consumption in Germany is some 44,000 liters (11,600 gallons) per person.

Read more:  Are we running out of fresh water?

Watch video 26:00

Made in Germany: Wasting Resources

tj/sms (dpa, AP)

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