City water department to fix wave of erroneous bills

The billing error impacted about 18,000 customers, mostly in the city's Point Breeze neighborhood. (6ABC)

The billing error impacted about 18,000 customers, mostly in the city's Point Breeze neighborhood. (6ABC)

Some residents in the city have received astronomically high water bills due to a backend error.

Customers in 19 ZIP codes may have received bills with a balance well into the thousands. The Inquirer reported one woman received a bill for nearly $15,000.

The water department said the increase is due to an error with data files that affected about 16,800 of the roughly 480,000 accounts they serve.

The water department and the Water Revenue Bureau first discovered the problem on August 4. The customers affected will have any billing errors reversed.

“We understand this has caused considerable distress and confusion for the impacted customers,” said Deputy Revenue Commissioner for Water Susan Crosby. “It is important customers know that we are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, and we have taken steps to ensure the incorrect bills will not impact those using automatic payment options. This will be resolved, and it will not impact what customers actually owe.”

The city said the issue has nothing to do with upgraded meters.

The following ZIP codes have been affected:

  • 19104
    19111
    19116
    19120
    19122
    19123
    19129
    19132
    19133
    19138
    19140
    19141
    19142
    19144
    19145
    19146
    19148
    19149
    19154

Broke in PhillyWHYY is one of over 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push towards economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.

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