Water Meter Inspections Could Cost Millions

CBS Atlanta asked interim Water Commissioner Dexter White the tough questions on Thursday about the city's plan to spend millions of dollars to inspect every water meter in Atlanta.

Atlanta's Department of Watershed Management said that it could cost the city $7 million to audit every meter in the city.

"Is that $7 million already in the budget?" asked CBS Atlanta reporter Adam Murphy.

"It's already in the budget. It comes from my enterprise fund. It's budgeted every year for the replacement and repair of small meters, which are generally residential meters," said White.

It's still uncertain how much the independent audit will cost, but White said it should be less than $7 million. Some customers told CBS Atlanta that the audit is a waste of money.

"Why can't we do it inside the department? Why can't they fix their own problem or have another group above them fix the problem for them if they¡¯re incompetent?" asked customer Al Martinez.

The city decided an independent audit of its 127,000 water meters was necessary after they received more than 30,000 customer complaints during the past year.

"We think the citizens deserve to have some level of trust in whether they're getting the right bill, whether their meter is being read correctly, that they have an antenna placed correctly on their meter lid that everything related to billing and meter reading is accurate," said White.(http://www.allwatermeter.com/)

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