Northeast Tarrant

Audit finds no problem with Haltom City’s water meters

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

A recent audit showed that Haltom City’s new smart water meters are giving accurate readings and the billing system is working properly.

Don Rankin, from UtiliWorks Consulting, the company hired to conduct the audit after some residents complained that their water bills were too high, told City Council members on Monday that the water system is in much better shape now because of meter replacement.

Assistant city manager Rex Phelps said the city was losing $1 million and 50 million gallons of water a year because the 30-year-old analog meters were leaking and not accurately registering the amount of water use, Phelps said.

Haltom City outsourced its meter reading and billing to Fathom Water Management in 2018. The city replaced the 14,000 outdated meters by the summer. Since the smart meters were installed Haltom City has brought in $1.4 million, Phelps said.

“It has been a good thing for the city. If we become more efficient, maybe we can slow down increases in water rates,” he said.

Less than 15 percent of customers saw changes in their bill, Phelps said.

“When they got a meter that was accurate, it was a shock to them,” he said. “They didn’t know they were underpaying. We empathize. It was not because of some unfair, assessed rate hike.”

Two families are restoring the historic Haltom Theater where there are plans for live concerts, movies, and professional wrestling.

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