County Councilmember Roger Berliner said he has heard from dozens of residents with higher-than-usual water bills from WSSC, some so high the bills could not be explained by an extra month in the latest billing cycle.
WSSC has put out two press releases in the last week warning customers that bills might be higher than expected because the winter weather meant delays in meter reading. The latest water bill could include as much as an extra month of water use.
“That means some customers could see a bill increase of as much as 30% compared to the bill they received for about the same period last winter,” the press release read. “WSSC opted to delay meter reading and not estimate bills in an effort to provide customers with a bill that most accurately reflects their usage.”
Berliner, who heads the Council’s Transportation, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, wrote WSSC General Manager Jerry Johnson on Tuesday saying he heard from residents with bills that were double and even eight times the amount of their typical bill.
“The press release sent out today states that WSSC added an additional month on to the billing cycle due to several snow related events which made it difficult to read all the meters within the normal timeframe. While I understand that this may be true, the amount due on many residents’ bills far exceeds what one might expect for an additional thirty days of service,” Berliner wrote.
He asked for an immediate investigation by WSSC and a “satisfactory explanation.”
WSSC has asked those who have questions about their higher-than-usual water bills to call its customer relations department, after carefully looking at their bills.
Many have called. On Tuesday, WSSC tweeted out a number of reasons why water bills this cycle might be so high, including toilet leaks, the above average time people spent in their homes during snow events and the longer billing cycle.
WSSC also said it will work with customers on payment arrangements.