Northeast Tarrant

After residents complain, this Texas city is making sure its smart meters are accurate

Some Haltom City residents are upset with the higher water bills they have received after the city outsourced its billing and meter reading.
Some Haltom City residents are upset with the higher water bills they have received after the city outsourced its billing and meter reading. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

The city is monitoring its smart water meters after receiving numerous complaints about high water bills.

In January, Haltom City switched its billing and meter reading to Fathom Water Management after discovering that thousands of gallons of water was lost annually because of old, inaccurate meters.

But the new meters were met with a backlash from residents who posted on social media about water bills well over $100 and meters recording water use when people were asleep or not at home.

Sidonna Foust, director of customer service for Haltom City, said the city council called for the audit to reassure residents about the accuracy of the meters.

The city spent $86,080.50 to hire UtiliWorks Consulting, with headquarters in Baton Rouge, LA to audit 40 meters and to also audit Fathom Water Management’s billing system. The audit should be completed in February, she said.

“The council wanted a third-party company to do the audit without any involvement from the city,” Foust said.

City crews have tested water meters, and haven’t found any inaccuracies, she said.

When asked about customers’ complaints about the high bills and about the meters recording water use when people said they were not home or were sleeping, Foust said the new meters are read every 15 minutes and are designed to record every drop of water used. The information is updated every four hours. The meters also record leaks or if there is a continuous water flow, she said.

Find out about the unique history of one of the coolest fire stations around, No. 3 in Haltom City at Loop 820 and Haltom Road. The circular station was built by firefighters, but now the space has "outlived its life" because of the city's growth.





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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.

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