ROBINSON, Texas (KWTX) In response to complaints from Robinson residents about high water bills, the city says it has systems in place to ensure that meter readings are accurate.
A KWTX crew shadowed a meter reader Thursday to learn about the billing process.
The first thing readers do is spray the meter to clear off debris and magnify the numbers.
The readings and a picture are then inputted into an electronic system.
If the reading seems high the system will instantly alert the reader that something is wrong. If the digits are spinning, the reader knows something is wrong. The billing department will even send crews back into the field if something doesn’t look right.
“(The billing department will say) go back and check,” Tim Wright, Robinson meter reader said.
“That's too high. Something is wrong. Then we do re-reads. Then we will really talk to the (homeowner). If they aren't home, we will leave something on their door. Then we will tell city hall and they will call and get ahold of them."
The multiple checks allows the city to quickly fix any mistakes said City Councilman Jimmy Rogers.
“We want to make sure that citizens have all of the faith and confidence in the city’s services,” Rogers said.
“We (want) citizens to be being billed accurately. That they receive a quality service. It's that simple for me. I view my job as a voice of the citizens. I want to get out, here what they are saying. Also to validate the process that we take as a city.”
Rogers said a lot of the times, higher bills point to other issues such as a leaking pipe or dripping faucets.
City Manager Craig Lemin acknowledges that neighbors lost trust in the water department several years ago when some neighbors were incorrectly being overbilled. He said now more eyes and checks are in place to make sure that never happens again.
He wants to remind residents that summertime bills are higher than any other time of year.
This is due to several factors: families water their yard, fill their pools and even bathe more.
Residents with questions about their bills should Call City Hall at (254)662-1415.