Following a software update, the Department of Public Works accidentally sent bills of more than $50,000 to 566 customers.

The department announced today that it is reaching out to the residents who received the erroneous bills, all of whom “had breached payment plans.”

Once DPW caught the error on Feb. 7, they stopped billing, and won’t resume until the problem is fixed.

DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow issued the following statement: “This is not acceptable, and I am insisting we strengthen our billing safeguards. I have directed staff to send letters to all those customers affected by this error, and to make direct contact in every case possible.

“Further, customers affected by this error should know that we will make the necessary corrections and not allow this to negatively impact their account. I apologize to these customers for the erroneous bills and want everyone to know I take the credibility of our metering and billing system very seriously. Our customers deserve nothing less.”

For those of you with water bills under 50 grand, those are still accurate as far as DPW is concerned. Sorry, Baltimore.

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore...