MOODY, AL (WBRC) - A small church in St. Clair County is dealing with a huge Birmingham Water Works bill. The pastor says there's no way its accurate.
"When I opened up the bill and looked at it that's enough to make a preacher cuss and I probably would have been close to it if I hadn't controlled myself," Pastor Billy Patterson said.
Patterson, is longtime pastor of the Moody Parkway Church of God, got quite the shock after opening his $1,200 water bill for May. Patterson says the bill is usually between $25-$30 every month. Birmingham Water Works says the church used hundreds of thousands of gallons.
"That much water would have floated this church," Patterson said.
Patterson says if there is a leak, he would have found out about it before now. This church has less than 20 members and meets every Sunday for about two and a half hours.
"The commodes are not in use I'd say a half dozen times during that period. And we have a water fountain we drink out of…outside of that that's all the water we use," Patterson said.
Patterson showed us his water meter, the dial isn't moving.
Last year, we got a lot of calls from frustrated water works customers about unusually high bills. That's after the utility switched to a new billing system. The water works did admit the new system had issues at the time. Pastor Patterson says his bill isn't right and tells us he's not paying it.
"I'd like to see this bill corrected and get back on my normal usage and see things straightened out down there at the Birmingham Water Works because it needs correcting somewhere," Patterson said.
Patterson did call Birmingham Water Works about his bill. Afterwards, he got a letter in the mail saying someone did come out and check and did find that the church used the amount of water. Patterson doesn't believe it. We took his concerns to the water works Thursday. They can't comment on individual bills but says customers having issues need to call customer service.
Patterson says he will take the water works to court if need be to fix his bill. We'll keep you updated.