"We recommend that W&WW perform actual meter readings and bill customers based on those actual meter readings..."
February 25, 2012 10:29 AM Subscribe
Linda Stewart has a mission.
After discovering discrepancies in the water billing for two of her Baltimore properties
, Linda Stewart, also known as "WaterBillWoman"
, began to look more closely at billing across the whole city
According to the Baltimore Sun: "This week, the city released an audit that showed that 92 percent of water customers reviewed were overbilled — and most of the homes studied in the audit have received no credits for the excessive charges. Baltimore's Department of Public Works plans to issue more than $4.2 million in water bill refunds...For Stewart, the revelations served as a vindication."
Says Stewart: "I started looking into it, and I saw that everybody's getting incorrect water bills, and the city is just letting them pay. I haven't stopped because I see people losing their homes over incorrect water bills."
and full audit
[pdf] are available from the City Comptroller's website.
From the summary: "Numerous customers had received consecutive quarterly bills that were based on estimated usage rather than actual water meter readings. Many of those customers had received consecutive quarterly estimated billings for as much as 4½ years.
According to a report that we obtained from MOIT as of November 10, 2010, there were 18,266 metered water accounts, out of approximately 411,000 active accounts, with at least four consecutive estimated quarterly billings (8,480 with four consecutive estimated quarterly billings; 2,991 with eight consecutive estimated quarterly billings; 4,117 with twelve consecutive estimated quarterly billings; and 2,678 with eighteen consecutive estimated quarterly billings). We recommend that W&WW perform actual meter readings and bill customers based on those actual meter readings in accordance with Article 24, § 1-2(b) of the Baltimore City Code