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  • This Cleveland, Ohio consumer complaint and discussion site is operated by Joel Libava, an angry Cleveland Water Division customer, a resident of University Heights, and a franchise consultant. This site is probably not approved by any Water Division employee. Joel is not at all related to Ralph Nader, any of his rabid followers, or to any Water Division employees. And, Joel doesn't give up.

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the City of Corsicana Tx has had problem with the type of meter- I think it is a multijet meter. Evidently after a few years of useage it starts picking up pressure changes from neighbors and shows those pressure changes as usage to the citizen when no water actually goes through the meter. Our city leaders know there is a problem, but is trying to down play it. Evidently this is happening or has happened in other cities around Dallas. They are all just hoping to get new meters placed over the next several years and not let the public really know the true problem, that the city leaders purchased the wrong type of meter when they changed out due to Johnson Control recommendations. It is a mess. Some "credible" citizens got adjustments, but most were just told to go hire a plumber, hoping those people would just pay the bill and then the city would replace with the new meter that only registers water when it actually goes through the meter


The water rate in my village is $3.50 per 1000 gallon consumed. however,
if you use less than 1000 gallon you are charged .35 cent per gallon.

Our water bill does not have the water rates on them,so how can they charge you what they feel like for less than a 1000 gallon. Who can I call.


I live in Twinsburg, and my bills went from $50-$80 to $280-$393 without any kind of explanation. and with the arrogance of the water dept.it leave it leaves you with feeling that they are saying "we can rip you off and you can't do a thing about it" I just wander how many other people are going through this that are not saying anything about it, because who is really out there to help. the city of Twinsburg says its not us, city of Cleveland says call the (theifs) I mean the water dept. the circle of robbery goes on.Even PUCO wont touch it.If there is ANY movement on this or a class action suit on this please let me know.Also my last bill I was sent 1 on 1 day and 1 a couple days later one said my current charges were $393.08 the other said my current charges are $193.60 but they rearranged all numbers including past due and usage and total amount due, But it adds up to about the same (way to much) Bill

Edmund Turner

My bill was usually about $70.00 to $80.00 but suddenly a got a bill for roughly $700.00 dollars. I live in Ethans Green in Twinsburg. The story is that they had some defective district meters causing them to under bill thier subscribers and now they are trying to force everyone to pay them retroactively. That was 2-3yrs ago. I gave up calling and arguing with them about my bill and just decided to continue paying my normal bill and ignore thier threatening letters. Recently, however, they left a handwritten note on my door, threatening to shut me off on 1-11-11. Legaly it is our duty to pay the bills that we are given. It is illegal for them to go back in time and decide they want to charge me more. In fact, this is EXTORTION!!! I don't know if I'm paying this bill or not but I'm definitely interested in joining any kind of lawsuit that may be going on.

Columbus Chamber of Commerce

I'm sorry to hear your misfortunes.


I'm having the same problem with them! I have submitted an adjustment 3 times now and they still haven't done anything to fix it! What can I do?

Twice Gouged ... by the water company & the sewer company

OOps sorry for the typo .. that's 379,984 gallons .. over 43 gallons an hour,non-stop.

Twice Gouged ... by the water company & the sewer company

According to the water company, one elderly person has used 50.8 MCF (3979,984 gallons) of water last year. After waiting for well over 30 minutes (was to be a 26 minute wait) I get a gentleman that simply doesn't get it that it's not possible. "That's what the meters said, we've changed them now .. they're set at 0, she now has no balance." Ummm.. yeah .. but what about the overcharges on the last three bills?. I finally asked to be connected to a supervisor, he did .. to an non-existing extension.
Yes, I'll be checking into joining the class action suit.

Joel Libava


This is like clockwork. The beginning of each new quarter brings angry customers of the Cleveland Water Department to this site, because the bills are still messed up.

Are we having any success helping these fins folks get their systems together?



I have a slightly different problem with our "wonderful" division of water. I bought a bank owned home in South Euclid 9 months ago. At the time of the sale, the closing company paid the outstanding water and sewer bills, and I called to have the service put in my name.

9 months later, the service is STILL not in my name and I keep receiving past due notices addressed to the previous owner who lost the house in foreclosure. I've waited countless hours on the phone to talk to the division of water and was told not to pay anything until I receive a bill in my name. I presented them with a check from the closing company - a CASHED check - showing that the bill from the previous owner was already paid. And yet, I keep receiving past due notices 3 times a month, get threatened with disconnection, and get told that the service won't be transferred into my name until everything is paid. And this despite that everything was paid 9 months ago...

Scott Pardee

We need to have a march on the water department. How dare they subject us to their incompetence any longer. We need to get lots of publicity and get this going. They are incapable of fixing themselves and need intervention. I've never seen such stupidity in my life and it has to change now. That's enough.


I have been battling the water and sewer bills for many years on my rental properties. Estimated bills for 2 and 3 years and the tenanats not paying the bills for over a year. I called customer service to find out "how can the bill be estimated for so long without an actual meter read" reply "we cant read the meters all the time" "I asked should the water have been shut off since the bill has not been payed in over a year" Their reply and I quote "We just have not gotten aroungd to it". What a joke. I am interested in joining a class action lawsuit also. There billing practice is fraudulent and gross neglagent. I would save thousand of dollars if they would read the meter and shut off the water when the bill is not payed, they are extorting money by not shutting it off because they know they will get paid by adding the balance to your tax bill.


has any of you tried sending a complaint to the bbb?

Joel Libava

When non-profits like The Gathering Place (Where my late father found some relief} gets overcharged by The Cleveland Division Of Water, I get really mad!

Call every TV station, and get the PD on it again!


Sue Shane at The Gathering Place

We are a non-profit in Beachwood, and we just got our adjusted bill for $28,365 in the form of a delinquent notice! C'mon! How can their failure to enter our readings result in a grotesque bill that we are then threatened with? Can we join the Class Action Suit??


I am also sending a copy of my complaint with the spreadsheet to Ohio District Attorney, my State Representative, the reporter(s) that covered this story in the PD as well as one or two news stations....
I have a feeling that most of these spikes that show up for these others because of an estimate to actual read are just like mine - they are being charged a second time for the full amount even though they've already been paying on estimated usage.
Be it corruption or ignorance - it doesn't matter. Cuyahoga County residents are being over charged and given the run around and I'm willing to fight this battle!

Joel Libava

You just did what you needed to do. Now make sure everyone you know sees this, and comments if they are having problems. Also, comment on Cleveland.com Just find the articles written by P.D. reporters. There are tons of them.



I was stunned to find out the PUCO does not handle complaints on the Water Dept! We live in Strongsville (who charges us residents 32.75% of our sewer bill plus a $10 adm fee!) I found this site while researching who to send copies of my official complaint to. Our problem started in Nov 08. ALL our bills were showing 'Previous Meter Read' AND 'Current Meter Read' of 57.2cf starting May 07. We were being charged for estimated usage, but the readings NEVER changed. We requested an actual reading Nov 08 and it came back at 70.4cf. The adjustment bill charged us for the full 12.4cf even though we had been billed and were paying for the estimated usage which totaled 69.9cf. They under billed us only by 0.8cf, NOT the 12.4cf! Several phone calls later, we have no resolution. We had to go downtown to pay in person to avoid shut-off (we were not paying the full amount because we knew it was wrong) and got a very nice, polite and understanding Customer Service Rep (they do exist) who filed a complaint and requested a copy of our billing/payment history be sent to us. As of our current August bill, they are again over charging us for usage that we've already been billed and have paid, and they are stating we owe the Water Dept over $300.00 and the Sewer Dept $160.00 when in fact - we only owe $6.72 to Water, and because of the Water Departments mismanagement of accounting (they applied a single payment of $321 to sewer only) the Sewer Company OWES us $89.76!
I am sending in my complaint to the Water Department, the Cleveland Mayor's Office, and Strongsville City Hall. Any suggestions of who else should see this?

Joel Libava

Angry In N. Olmsted,

sounds like you are a person who "pays as agreed." You said;

"Like many others, I pay all of my bills on-line, including all the utitilies --- EXCEPT water (because their website is way behind the times)'

These folks seem to be behind the times in a lot of respects. Stay on them, email-call, comment on the Plain Dealer stories about the Water co. over at Cleveland.com

There are like 7 of them!


Angry in North Olmsted

Yesterday, a Cleveland Division of Water (CDW) technician arrived at my home. After he read the outside and inside meters, he had this really concerned look on his face. He then informed me that the meter outside was reading differently than the meter on the inside. Of course, neither reading even remotely reflected the "estimate" on my current bill, and my quick calculation based on his comments and the amount of time we've been living in the house, leads me to believe the adjusted bill will be over $9000.

Like many others, I pay all of my bills on-line, including all the utitilies --- EXCEPT water (because their website is way behind the times). As such, I can go on to any of the sites, and request a historical record anytime - something I will need to do in order to ascertain when they've actually "read" versus "estimated" the bill. Given some of the comments, I don't feel comfortable they will be able to provide this information.

I haven't yet called Customer Service, but I can't believe that they can just assign a value of what I owe without proof that we've actually consumed the water.

I think a reasonable approach is as follows:
-- monitor ACTUAL usage over time, and develop an ACTUAL baseline for usage
-- determine the "read" versus "actual" bills and adjust for $$ already paid
-- use a fair and reasonable rate for the difference, not just today's rate

This approach will ensure that the CDW is not gouged in the process (even it's their fault). It is also fair to the Consumer, since the adjusted bill is based on ACTUAL usage.

Anyway, I would be interested in joining the Class Action Lawsuit.

Joel Libava

Way to go...

I am glad you finally got your erroneous water bill fixed!


James Moran

I just got my revised bill it was $1663 now down to $275



Hi! I just discover that my parents are being charged for over $5000 worth of water and sewage on a building that's been vacant (but leaking according to the Water District). Can anyone help me find help to rectify this?


got my sewer yesterday 102 dollars, now lets see what happens after they install my new meter on Aug 8th.

Joel Libava

Good for you!

My revised bill came, and the sewer bill was delivered the next day.



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