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Why your new monthly water bill is so darn high

Cincinnati Water Works change confuses customers
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 18:59:14-05

Cincinnati Water Works has just switched to monthly bills for 2018.

Any second grader should know that means a monthly bill it should be a third of your old 3-month water bill.  Right?

Not necessarily, as one Montgomery family just learned.

Stunned by size of new bill

Ed Adlard and his wife don't use much water. So he was stunned when he opened his newest bill from Cincinnati Water Works.

"When it was $140, almost double what I expected, it was a shock," he said.

His last quarterly bill was $224.

So with the switchover to new monthly bills, he certainly didn't expect his to be more than $100.

"I had been informed by Cincinnati Water Works to expect the monthly bill to be about a third of your quarterly bill, which made perfect sense, so I was expecting something in the range of $75," Adlard said.

Why your bill is so big

So we checked, and it turns out your first monthly bill is actually almost a two month bill. If you look at your bill closely, you'll see that it's a "catch-up" bill.
But the mailing doesn't really explain what "catch-up" means.

The reality is that Water Works is catching up since mid November, when the last bills were sent.

Spokesman Gary Weist says it prevents people from getting hit with a large bill they can't afford. "Essentially all of your bills are monthly, especially your utility bill so it will absolutely help them budget for their water bill."

Adlard agrees the new smaller monthly bills will be an improvement.

But he faults the department for not being more clear about that shocking first bill.

"I think it's a big communications problem that could have been helped a lot if there was a little more communications upfront," he said.

He is hoping his February bill is lower.

As always, don't waste your money.


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