The Armidale Playhouse water bill has consistently been about $25 for so long that when the last bill for more than $320 was received, well, it naturally raised more than a few surprised eyebrows among committee members.
Jean Freer is on the committee and said the Playhouse water bill was usually very small.
"Because it's not being used to any great degree at all, our water bill is extremely small," she said.
"It was a huge leap. And although we do not have any proof, it made us conjecture that water had been taken without our knowledge.
"There was no water seeping, no taps running. The secretary did go down and have a look [for green patches indicating leakage] and there were none."
Jean said the only conclusion was that someone had used the water from the outside taps.
"So, we have taken the move to put locks on those taps," she said.
"I think this is something that people have to look at. It's a sad thing that we have to - we have no idea who's taken it, or if it's definitely been taken. We only have the bill suddenly going up to such a large amount.
"But people are desperate for water, they're gardens are dying, people from out of town must be doing it hard and this is perhaps forcing people to do things that they would not normally do."
Jean thought people should take precautions with their outside taps .
"If they are easily accessible, perhaps they should look at placing a lock on them," she said.