BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The city activates its new water billing system. The new monthly bills will arrive starting next week, but some customers are already up in arms about their most recent bills.
Maria Ymayo has a bone to pick with the Baltimore City Department of Public Works.
“I was away for three weeks in June, so yeah, I have 114 daily gallons,” she said.
Those 114 daily gallons were supposedly used when the house was empty, and Ymayo’s family was out of the country.
City water complaints date back years–like antiquated meters, a dilapidated infrastructure and an unreliable billing system.
The city plans to fix all that starting this month, with new monthly bills coinciding with a new meter system. That is supposed to make billing more accurate and your bill easier to read and pay.
“We’re breaking out a lot more information so that people have a lot more insight into what they owe and why,” said Jeff Raymond, Baltimore City Department of Public Works.
But that’s small comfort to residents who have seen their bills spike for no apparent reason.
One explanation: “People who paid in July, like I did, have found themselves paying again with a September bill. Some people who paid in June, for example, didn’t pay in August, so they paid an extra month,” said Raymond.
But Maria Ymayo says there was no satisfactory answer in her case, and she’s afraid of what’s to come.
“Oh yes, I am. Because basically, I think there’s a big fault in the system,” Ymayo said.
The DPW acknowledges there may be some glitches at first.
“Once we work through this, this is going to be a terrific system,” said Raymond.
The first new bills will be arriving through November. Rates will be going up by about 10 percent for the next three years.
The approximate cost of the city’s water system overhaul is $160 million.