Some Haltom City residents are joining forces on social media to protest high water bills that they started receiving after the city outsourced its billing and meter reading in January.
They formed a closed Facebook group, Haltom City Water Bill, with more than 200 members.
In January, Haltom City transferred the water customer service, including billing and meter reading, to Fathom Water Management, a company with offices in Austin and Phoenix.
Assistant city manager Rex Phelps said Haltom City was losing money because the city purchases water from Fort Worth, which had raised rates. The city also had old meters that weren’t capturing all of the water consumption, he said.
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“The problem was already bad and was rapidly getting worse,” Phelps wrote in an email. “The city was paying the supplier more than it was collecting due to the old inaccurate meters. If the city had not acted exponential water rates or some other subsidizing source would have been levied to compensate for the water loss.”
Jason Bethke, the president and chief growth officer for Fathom Water Management, said that the meters are accurate and that customers are getting billed for the water they are using.
“Everyone is paying their fair share. Rates won’t go up as fast since they are not subsidized by old, inaccurate equipment,” Bethke said.