Meter Mistake

Meter Mistake

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls resident took his water bill issue to the Wichita Falls City Council meeting today - he's disputing a $400 dollar bill.

City officials say Joshua Jones told them that he was being overcharged for his water bill. Jones says there's no way he used as much water as the City is saying - which is 7 to 8 units a month. The Jones family had been receiving estimated water meter readings of 3 to 4 units for 14 months. Once an actual reading was made in May the bill went from about $80 dollars to $400 dollars in catch-up charges.

Deputy City Manager Jim Dockery says they have to estimate readings occasionally when meter readers can't read a meter. He says they typically catch the problem sooner.

"Unfortunately it was estimated at 3 or 4 units for an extended period of time."

Dockery says they went to the Jones residence with a service worker to confirm how much water was going through the meter and tested it. It was high compared to what they had estimated and that increase showed up on Jones' bill.

He says the Jones family was caught up in an unfortunate oversight and that they visited them to explain the circumstances and try to work out a way to pay back those charges over an extended period of time - but Jones wants the bill adjusted.

Dockery says new meters should alleviate these types of problems.

"We hope that this will become a non-issue when we change out all of our 35 thousand meters in the system with automated radio devices."

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