Daily Archives: April 21, 2011

Water bill look high? Blame the weather or the wireless meters

Some Wichita water customers may notice some irregular billing, according to a notice posted on the city’s web site.

One problem stems from this year’s snowy winter weather, which caused the city’s water meter readers to fall behind. (It takes longer to check the meters when they’re covered with snow and/or frozen shut.) In those cases, customers may notice their water billing cycle included more days than usual, often leading to higher bills. When that happens, the longer billing cycle often means the customer’s next bill (a shorter than usual cycle) will arrive shortly after they paid the last one — so the bill shows a previous balance that may have already been paid, said Joe Pajor, assistant director of public works and utilities.

Another problem involves the automatic meter readers that send electronic signals to city vans that drive by to collect water usage data. About half the city has automatic readers, and roughly 5 percent of them have malfunctioned, often billing customers for less water than they actually used. Then customers receive higher bills when the city corrects for water that wasn’t previously charged for. Read More »