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Baltimore City, County residents' water bill will be higher than normal following shutdown caused by ransomware attack

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Posted at 11:59 AM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 12:43:43-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City and County residents are expected to notice an increase in their first water bill following the billing system shutdown caused by the recent ransomware attack.

The Baltimore City Department of the Public Works say a postcard will be mailed out to customers notifying them that their water bills will be fully working in the coming weeks and their first bill will be higher than normal.

“We are working diligently to restore the water billing system. DPW is carefully testing and evaluating the water billing system to make sure it is accurate before putting it back into operation,” said Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E.

DPW officials report the bill increase covers the months no water bills were issued (May, June, and July). During that period, the city's computer network was shutdown and unable to produce water bills due to the ransomware attack reported on May 6. They say due to the outage, they were unable to process data and produce water bills.

DPW also says water meters in Baltimore City and Baltimore County were not impacted by the cyberattack. The meters continuously, and accurately, registered water consumption during the past three months.

Baltimore City water customers who need additional time to pay off the increased water bills are urged to sign up for the the Water Bill Payment Program. The program will allow customers to make a down payment and pay off the balance over a 6-month or 12-month period. For more information on payment plan options, click here.