Detroit woman says she's been getting double-billed for water

- Beverly Foster-Maxey has lived in her west side home for 8 years. 

Back in November, she started receiving two water bills from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.  The total amount racked up on that  second bill was just over $300.

Beverly contacted the water department, hoping to get the matter resolved, but after months of not getting answers she contacted her city councilman's office and then she decided to call FOX 2.

"I figured that if I got the TV broadcasting this, that could help it get it resolved," says Beverly

So FOX 2 started looking into the matter.  It turns out, last fall the water department changed the way it bills its customers.

Beverly has a side lot.

Bryan Peckinpaugh of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says the additional cost is a result of a policy change.

"As of October of last year, we started billing vacant properties for storm water runoff which was the drainage charge so she started receiving that bill."

But it only applies to impervious surfaces, like driveways.

"Her side lot we found out is not impervious," says Peckinpaugh. "It's grass and she has no sidewalk, driveway or roof structure so that doesn't cause runoff to go to the combined sewer system."

So the water department is removing those charges and late fees from the second bill.

"We charge only for services we provide," says Peckinpaugh.  "There's no service being provided on that vacant lot because the rainwater soaks right in, so we don't need to charge."

A positive resolution for Beverly who says: "I was praying and I thank you so much."


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