An investigation into how Shipyard Brewing Co. was not billed for some of its sewer use over a 15-year time span has found no evidence of intentional wrongdoing on the city's part. The error was likely a miscommunication between the city and the Portland Water District, according to a press release from Portland officials.
Last year, Portland officials discovered Shipyard had not been billed for sewer discharge from a 6-inch water service line since 1996, an error that cost the city upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars, a Portland Press Herald report concluded. Attorney Bryan Dench spent a month researching how the error was made and found that the water service line was mistakenly labeled a "water, no sewer" line, so the brewery was not billed for water from that line that was discharged into the sewer system. Bench found the brewery was unaware of the billing mistake, and that human error and miscommunication between city and water district officials led to the error.
City Manager Mark Rees said the city "is taking aggressive action to ensure that there are checks and balances in place so that something like this won't happen again." Another 12 accounts were found that have not been charged for sewer as they should have been, and those accounts have been corrected.