Posted March 6, 2021

A number of residents have been alarmed because the recent water bills distributed by Chatham County Utilities are much higher than  expected.  Close inspection of the bill will show that it covers usage during a period from September through February.

You may recall that late last October the county suffered a serious breach of their computers. A hacker locked down county systems in a ransomware attack, designed to extort money from the county.  As a result, utility bills were not distributed after that until early March.

The bill you received covers your water meter readings during that period.  Because the bills are based on the number of gallons used, you may find that it is actually lower than it would have been if there were no interruption.  Normally, monthly usage will be rounded up to the next 1,000 gallons. By paying for four months usage at once, you may find that the rounding process leads to smaller bills.  For example, using 600 gallons a month for four separate months, you would be changed for 4,000 gallons. With a single bill you would be charged for 3,000 gallons, i.e., 4 times 600 rounded up.  (If the math is too much, don't worry about it. You have probably benefitted.)

Further confusion may have been caused by your receiving a revised bill a day or two after the first, for a different amount.  It is labeled "THIS IS YOUR REVISED BILL".