AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo residents are reaching out for the city's help after noticing an increase in their water bills.
Amarillo's Utility Billing department has received those complaints, and said they are working on identifying the problem.
As early as May, Utility Billing recognized an increased usage reported on water bills and began re-reading meters for verification.
During the most recent billing period residents have complained about their bills being double or triple their normal payment.
"Our water bill from July 20 to August 25 said we used 83,000 gallons of water," said Jonna Marsh. "In those 36 days it comes out to almost 100 gallons an hour, there's just no way we used all that water."
Marsh shut off her water to see if the meter was recording a potential leak. She found no evidence of a leak and is seeking the city's help for an explanation.
"We appreciate people calling and voicing their concerns because we want to research the situations individually," said Laura Storrs, City Finance Director. "In some cases we have been send additional people out to verify readings."
"We are continuing to review and analyze these accounts to ensure proper billing," said. Interim City Manager Terry Childers.
An "ACT" on a water bill indicates the meter was read, but an "EST" indicates the reading was estimated.
If a customer receives a bill with an "EST" they are encouraged to contact the City at 806 -378-4272 or email to determine the cause of the estimate and the steps needed to secure a good reading on the meter.
Of the more than 10,000 accounts in District 8, less than 1 percent were estimated in July and August. District 8 neighborhoods include Hillside Terrace, The Colonies, The Greenways, Westover and Westover Village.
The city says all meters except those inaccessible are being read by a full staff of meter readers.
There are various reasons why a water meter may not be read, including being buried with dirt or pavement, a vehicle being parked over the meter, high weeds obstructing the meter, the meter box being filled with water, or condensation in the meter itself.
The City also has a video to assist customers in checking their water meter regularly to help monitor water use, calculate monthly bills, and help check for leaks.