Toby Jennings of Lithonia holds her current water bill of $2009.49 while DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond updates residents about the depth of the county's remaining water billing problems during his third public update on June 29. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Audit calls for broad changes to fix high DeKalb water bills

An outside review of DeKalb County’s problem with excessively high water bills comes to the conclusion that the government needs to make changes on multiple fronts, from upgrading technology to improving oversight.

The 127-page, $275,000 audit provides many recommendations for fixing the county’s long-running problem with inaccurate water bills. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the draft audit, prepared by financial services firm KPMG, on Wednesday through Georgia’s Open Records Act.

Homeowners received incorrect bills for thousands of dollars.

The audit says the county should overhaul its management structure, eliminate reliance on paper, replace old water meters, upgrade computer billing systems and better train employees.

“Creating meaningful change among the county’s water metering and billing process (will) require time and focus by the county,” according to the audit. “Establishing a governance framework and developing detailed action plan for implementing each recommendation will provide a strong foundation.”

The government was already planning to implement some of the audit’s recommendations, such as replacing aging water meters and computer billing systems.

DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond’s administration will review the audit’s recommendations and provide a response in the coming weeks.

Exclusive to subscribers: Read the full story on the DeKalb water billing audit on myAJC.com.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Mark Niesse keeps you updated on the latest happenings in DeKalb County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in DeKalb politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X