The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Dollars Dribbling Away:
Baltimore’s Water System

Mar 5, 2012

Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works is issuing more than four million dollars in refunds to 38,000 Baltimore water customers who were overcharged. Another 17,000 customers were also owed refunds in Baltimore County.

Do city water officials not know about overcharging? Or about customers who get no bills? Or about estimated meter readings instead of real ones? Of course they know.

A Baltimore woman has spent the past five years publicizing all kinds of water overcharges, like $9,757 for a water bill in a park that has no working fountains!

Is this the reason the mayor of Baltimore has announced the city will replace the system’s water meters and the billing system? No, it is thanks to another woman who received two bills for $800 of water usage in three months, instead of the likely minimum of $134.

That woman happens to be the city comptroller, which explains why the city began the water audits!