Pittsburgh homeowners with water billing problems turn to Channel 11 for help

PITTSBURGH — A Lawrenceville couple has spent months trying to resolve a billing issue with their water company. Numerous accounts were somehow connected to their home address.

Casey Estep and her husband Michael Burdick bought a home in Lawrenceville in September. They live in Pittsburgh for part of the year. The couple paid a water bill that arrived in September and signed up for paperless billing.

In December, they called Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to report billing issues with their account. They continued to call and email, but two months later, the problem still had not been resolved. So they reached out to Channel 11 for help.

“I literally don’t know what else to do,” Casey Estep said Wednesday morning. “Every time I called, I provided the exact same information, and I got told the exact same thing which is we don’t know what’s happening, we need to talk to billing, we need to do a meter verification.”

Estep said her and her husband’s names are linked to three different account numbers. As of this afternoon, one had a zero balance, one had a balance of $340 and one had a balance of $1,147.

“As far as I know, these are the three accounts that we’re linked to. I’m hoping that there aren’t any others but I don’t know that,” Estep said.

She said that twice she had scheduled a time with the company to come to her home to do a meter verification, and the company did not show up either time. She has received nonpayment notices and just a few days ago, a 10-day water shut-off notice. That was even more perplexing to her and her husband because the water at their home is already shut off currently while they are out of town.

“As a consumer, it makes me feel like I don’t have a voice, that I can’t get through to anyone. They’re not taking it seriously,” Estep said.

Her frustrations were finally addressed Wednesday afternoon.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority tells Channel 11 it dug into the problem Wednesday and figured out what happened and how multiple accounts were tied to the couple’s address. PWSA said it has resolved the issue. Senior Manager of Public Affairs Rebecca Zito released the following statement:

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has investigated the issues associated with Ms. Estep’s account. The necessary adjustments have been made and we have contacted her with a resolution. Going forward, Ms. Estep will not have this experience with her account. We appreciate her patience and understand the frustration this has caused. We are making internal improvements to prevent similar issues from happening in the future.”

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