- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District will ask thousands of customers to pay extra on their sewer bill for services that were not shown on their monthly statements before.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1GSLjmj ) reports nearly 1,900 residential customers and 3,700 commercial customers will see higher charges on their current bill. The average undercharge for an affected household is $450.

The average undercharge for commercial ratepayer is $2,300, but that includes some larger customers.

But about 4,600 residential customers have been paying too much. The district will knock an average of $120 off upcoming bills. The district also says that about 4,800 commercial customers will receive an average a $250 credited to their bill.

The district says the miscalculation began in May 2013. Spokesman Lance LeComb says the district buys meter data from a water utility called Missouri American to calculate many customer rates, but the new system’s data wasn’t properly computing with the district’s billing programs.

Despite overbilling, the district says that it still will be reimbursed for net $7.9 million in uncharged services.

“Ultimately MSD is responsible for getting the data right and making sure we have correct account information and send out correct bills,” he said. “Missouri American Water was very supportive of our efforts and provided additional staff” to fix the problem.

Missouri American spokeswoman Ann Dettmer said the billing issue appears to have been resolved.

According to LeComb, bill adjustments are common for the sewer district, but this time more people were affected. He says that about 1,000 customer accounts a month are adjusted.

The sewer district says that it will work with customers on payment plans. LeComb says that the district will take into account the length of the bill discrepancy, and that customers are often given that much time to pay their balance.

“We are offering very generous terms,” he said. “Whatever we need to do given individual circumstances.”

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com


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