A leaky toilet has left a Colorado man with a $1,200 water bill.

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Les Cole said his toilet broke while he was gone for two months this spring to research a book. It ran continuously for weeks, guzzling 227,616 gallons, The Colorado Springs Gazette said Thursday.

Cole, who is 82 and lives on a fixed income, has asked Colorado Springs Utilities to reconsider its refusal to waive charges. Utilities officials say Cole should have had someone check on his home while he was gone.

"If you're going to be gone for that long, my recommendation is to have a friend or a neighbor or family member check your home," Utilities spokesman Steve Berry told the newspaper.

The utility has referred Cole to social service agencies for financial help but refused to adjust the bill.