Calvert Co. water billing audit paused for homeowners after hefty charges

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners made a motion on Tuesday to pause water billing from an audit, after homeowners got some hefty water bills for thousands of dollars.

“I received our bill after Christmas for $16,800,” said Peta Sinclair, in an interview with WTOP’s news partner NBC Washington.

She and her neighbors found out the bills were part of the audit that started as the pandemic was beginning in April 2020, when many were working from home. Homeowners were being charged a connection fee based on water usage.

The audit found some homes and businesses “were determined to using capacity in excess of 120% of their current allocation.”

County Administrator Mark Willis apologized for the way the billing was handled, and wants to give customers more information on reducing usage.

“I offer my sincere apologies to our water and sewer customers for poorly-executed customer service leading up to the delivery of the audit findings,” he said.

Regular billing will continue while the audit billing pause is happening.

“We’re going to do our very best to work with you all for whatever period of time it takes to figure out why your usage is up, make sure you understand where you are,” said Earl Hance, President of Board of County Commissioners.

Stetson Miller

Stetson Miller is an anchor and reporter for WTOP. He has worked in TV newsrooms for the last several years in New York, Baltimore, Washington and Charleston, SC.

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