One of the solutions for DeKalb's water billing problems is to complete the installation of more accurate digital water meters that wirelessly transmit usage information. So far, about 20,000 of these smart meters have been put in place, and it will take four or five years for the rest to be installed.
The smart meters are expected to reduce mistakes because they’ll record water usage hourly and remove the human element of reading older mechanical meters.
Once communities are switched over to the new meters, customers will start receiving bills monthly instead of bimonthly, which will enable residents and the government to find errors more quickly. In addition, the county’s water billing system is continually being updated to reduce miscalculations.
DeKalb government customer service representatives continue to receive about 32,000 calls per month. Requests to delay billing payments, make payments and set up new service are the most frequent reasons for calls. Average call wait times have decreased from more than 13 minutes two years ago to about two minutes so far this year.