HAZELWOOD, Mo. — A Hazelwood man asked 5 On Your Side to look into his water bill after he says he was charged by MSD months after turning off the utility.
When Richard Paruch purchased this property 30 years ago, he never imagined what it would turn into.
“At this point, it’s a vacant rental,” said Richard Paruch. “It needs some work.”
Supply chain issues caused by the pandemic put his renovation on pause, so Paruch turned off the water in July, but he’s still getting a bill.
“There is no water usage in the house,” said Paruch. “It does continue to show over water usage even though there is no water physically on in the house. At this point, it’s frustrating and it’s starting to add up.”
While MSD does have a base fee Paruch says his bills have gone beyond that.
“It’s now showing over $268,” said Paruch.
In an effort to get answers about why Paruch is still being asked to pay up 5 On Your Side asked MSD spokesman Sean Hadley to investigate the situation.
“We found out that the customer hasn’t officially turned off his water service,” said Sean Hadley. “My understanding is he actually just cut it off himself, which means he’s still generating water, which means he’s still generating a sewer bill.”
However, Paruch was still being charged for using more than 3,750 gallons per month despite his bill showing zero usage.
“We looked at his usage and he’s getting billed a very small amount,” said Hadley. “We’re going to make an adjustment on that until he turns off his water officially.”
That adjustment put more than $130 back in Paruch’s pocket, but he’s still going to have to pay to fix the problem.
“For me, the ideal outcome is that they accurately bill me — and I’ll pay the bill,” said Paruch.
Hadley says this type of situation is fairly common around St. Louis.
If you have any questions about your MSD bill, or to terminate service, you can call the 24-hour customer service line at (314)768-6260.
At KSDK we’re focused on you, if there’s an issue you would like Holden to look into you can contact him via email at email@example.com or text us at (314)425-5355