You turn the faucet on, and nothing comes out.

You go to the Dorchester County Water & Sewer Department's Web site, find a phone number and dial it.

A cell phone rings in Texas.

Where? Texas?

Yes, and not only does the phone not belong to water and sewer people, it belongs to a man who for years has played the role of a slightly dipsy but concerned utilities employee.

"I'll be right over," the man on the phone assures you. Only he's never coming over. The man on the phone is Rodney Sharp, a Pearland, Texas, ambulance company employee who is pulling your leg, not fixing your pipes.

One of those who were misled by the utility's phone listing was this reporter, to whom Sharp recounted some of the more interesting calls he took from Dorchester County.

Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward said Friday he was unaware that water and sewer calls were going to Texas, but he vowed to make changes.

"I'll definitely follow up and get it corrected on the Web site," Ward said. He had no comment regarding the Texan who has been fielding calls for the utility.

Sharp said he's been getting Dorchester water and sewer calls for years. Callers at all hours want new service, want repairs and even want to make payments. "They try to give me their credit card numbers, but I never took them," he insisted.

"A man called me for the third time in the middle of the night, drunk and cursing," Sharp said. "He said, 'You said you'd be here at 2 o'clock to hook up my water.' I'd told him I'd be there in two more hours. Every time he called he was drunker and cursed more."

Calls come from other states too. "I got a call from New York and some people who were moving there (Dorchester County)," he said.

Sharp said he's never called the real water and sewer providers to try to get the Web site corrected.

Ward said the Web site,, apparently creates confusion by listing the utility's phone number as "832/563-0075." What the slash means, Ward said, is that you must dial 832 if you live in the Summerville area and 563 if you live in the St. George area.

You are not supposed to dial 832 and 563, but if you do, plus the rest of the number, you get Texas, he said.

Sharp said being a utilities imposter is his way of striking back at people who call. Sometimes he passes the phone around to friends, and they play along by pretending to be in Dorchester County.

He figures he's angered a few hundred people over the years.

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