At the end of March, City Paper reported on
an increase in complaints against the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. The complaints centered around sky-rocketing water bills, and as a result, one PWSA ratepayer filed a lawsuit against the authority on May 18.
"There’s a problem with the system. There’s a significant problem, and it needs to be resolved," says John Corcoran, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Millvale resident Susan Newman, who is seeking $5.2 million in damages.
The complaint claims water bills for some customers have increased by as much as 600 percent. Corcoran says the lawsuit will benefit anybody who is a PWSA rate payer.
"I’d been contacted by the plaintiff and other people in the area who have been receiving increased bills," says Corcoran.
PWSA has acknowledged that approximately 14 percent of customers have experienced problems as a result of new advanced meter reading infrastructure. But, acknowledging the problems hasn't kept them from shutting off some residents' water.
"PWSA is pretty much aware that what they’re doing is wrong, they’re aware of the issues," says Corcoran. "If someone tells you they’re shutting your water off, that’s pretty harsh."
PWSA declined to comment.
"PWSA does not comment on pending litigation," says PWSA spokesperson Melissa Rubin.
The Community Campaign to Reform PWSA is holding a public forum from 7-9 p.m. on Thu., July 23 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Green Tree. The event will serve as an opportunity for other PWSA customers to get involved in the lawsuit.