Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) chair Chris Rice resigned Thursday morning.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office confirmed Rice had submitted his resignation to the BWWB.

Rice was appointed by Woodfin in 2021 and elected chair in January 2022.

Rice’s resignation is the latest of a series of controversies surrounding the BWWB this year. 

Media reports said thousands of customers didn't receive bills for months, only to receive much larger or multiple bills, all at once.

The bills were also not based on accurate meter readings but estimations based on previous months. Birmingham Water Works blamed a lack of meter readers and insufficient staffing for the issue.

Woodfin has been outspoken against the BWWB’s handling of the issues over the last few weeks.

Woodfin tweeted on August 25 that complaints about the BWWB were rampant.

On August 31, Woodfin went live on Facebook to demand that the BWWB step out of the way and allow the general manager to fix the billing issues.

On Wednesday, two Water Works employees said they warned management of potential billing problems for months, according to a report from Birmingham TV's WBRC.

The employees chose to remain anonymous, but one claimed the BWWB fired her after accusing her of falsifying documents, which she denied. Instead, she said she was intentionally given unclear instructions from the managers whose orders she was following.

The report also claimed to have obtained copies of emails from another former Water Works employee to managers, including general manager Michael Johnson. The report said that the emails allege the Water Works employees were asked to change dates to ensure that billing is 24 to 37 days despite knowing that all the meters were not being read.

1819 News reached out to Birmingham Water Works for comment. Rick Jackson, the public relations manager for the Water Works, said the Water Works had no comment at this time.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected] or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.