• PWSA billing issues overwhelming Millvale residents

    Updated:

    The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority said billing issues were resolved in 2016, but a Target 11 investigation has revealed more billing problems.

    Many residents of Millvale went without bills for months, and officials with the PWSA said they corrected the issue -but that may not be true.

    "The last bill I got was December, 2015," said Loralie Palucka, who lives in Millvale.


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    Palucka said she didn't get a bill at her home for more than a year. When she finally did get one, it was for more than $1,800. And she was told that if she wanted to avoid having her water shut off, she had just two months to pay it.

    "Somebody didn't do their job, and you're going to take it out on your residents," said Palucka. "It's absurd. It's ridiculous."

    "I don't know how they sleep at night. It's not quality water, and it's not quality service," said Denise Henderson, who lives in Millvale.

    Henderson didn't get a bill for five months, but at the time it didn't occur to her that something was wrong.

    "I wasn't thinking anything of it, thinking I overpaid them and that's why I'm not getting a bill," said Henderson.

    When Henderson finally received a bill in the mail, it was for more than $1,100. She couldn't afford the payment plan, and PWSA shut off her water.

    "It was a 10-ay shut off period. And I said, 'I'm going to pay it on the third day" and they came here on the third and shut it off before I had a chance to do it," said Henderson.

    A spokesperson for the PWSA said the Millvale billing issues were corrected in 2016, and said all residents have been receiving monthly bills since July, 2016. He said both Palucka and Henderson were sent monthly bills, but failed to pay, and that's what led to shutoff notices.

    "I've been calling them for over two years to stop issuing the shutoff notices, because I think that's part of the problem. People cannot come up with this money, and you can't expect them to pay for your mistakes," said Theresa Kail Smith, a Pittsburgh city councilwoman.

    Kail Smith has pushed for a moratorium on shutoffs until the PWSA's billing issues are straightened out. PWSA has the proposal under consideration, as well as the possibility of outsourcing billing to a private company.



     

     

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