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Unusually high water bills shock Baltimore residents

City says a system is in place to catch problems
Posted: 4:36 PM, Dec 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-21 06:31:39-05
City says a system is in place to catch problems

A handful of people in Baltimore opened their water bills this month and were shocked by the thousands of dollars the city said they owed. 

The city says the number was a glitch. 

Some residents saw bills upwards of $80,000. 

Jeffrey Raymond, a spokesman with the city's Department of Public Works, says there is a fail safe daily audit system in place that should catch any potential problems, but about a month ago, that system shut down temporarily. 

According to Raymond, it only impacted 1 percent of the more than 200,000 accounts on file. 

"This is not a huge significant number of problems that we're talking about. This is a result of an administrative glitch that happened for a couple of days and we've since identified it and corrected it," Raymond said. 

The problem the handful of customers were seeing weren't the slightly higher bill than what people are used to according to Raymond. 

"Sometimes what happens is putting in new meters, or reinstalling meters and maintenance, the old read is at one level, the new read will sometimes come in at a lower level and so it looks to the computer as though it's gone around and come back a full circle all the way around and obviously that would indicate huge consumption," he said. 

Raymond continued on to say the new system and repairs to the city's infrastructure are the cause of the rate hike to most customers. 

Raymond says the issues shouldn't happen again, but if you have a question about your bill email dpw.billing@baltimorecity.gov with your address, account number and your particular question.

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