DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond announced Wednesday the county government is releasing 3,500 more water bills that have been withheld since October because of questions about their accuracy.

DeKalb mails more water bills after checking for accuracy

Thousands of DeKalb residents will soon receive their first water bills in months as county officials have been working to correct inaccuracies.

DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond announced Wednesday that the county is mailing 3,500 more water bills this week from the July and August billing period. In all, the county has now restarted billing for 16,500 of 37,000 customers whose billing was put on hold last October.

The county is starting the “New Day Project” where 102,000 new water meters will be purchased and installed across the county.

Before held bills are sent, they receive a thorough review, according to the county government. 

“We have made significant progress,” Thurmond said in a statement. “The development and utilization of an Independent Verification Process (IVP) has expedited our review of customer accounts, water consumption and billing data.”

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond addresses the audience about high water bills during a meeting at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Though some of the customers haven’t seen a water bill since last fall, the latest batch of bills going out covers only the most recent billing cycle. Thurmond has said his immediate goal is to restore all of the county’s 194,000 water customers to regular billing. Bills for prior billing periods remain under review.

RELATED: How to dispute high water bills in DeKalb

The county government outlined its verification process Wednesday:

Field technicians read a meter’s water consumption, verify the meter is functioning property and check that meter attributes match the account setup when there are concerns that billing inaccuracies originate with the meter itself.

Once field verification is complete, in-person meter readings are compared to those stored in the county’s computers. Billing calculations and printed bills are reviewed before they’re sent.

When necessary, inaccurate water meters are replaced and computer data are corrected. Bills over $500 are set aside for extra vetting.

All of the bills being sent are based on actual water consumption, and no bills are estimated, according to the county. 

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