Residents in Plaquemines Parish seeing inconsistencies in water bills
Residents in Plaquemines Parish say they are being charged for water they are not using.
Resident Peter Jennings says there is a problem with his last month’s water bill.
“Estimated gallons showed 30,000 gallons which my previous bills before that had been averaging between 10,000 and 12,000 gallons a month,” Jennings said.
The water department told him to check the meter.
“It is frustrating to have to go out and do someone else’s job for them to get something done right,” Jennings said.
He found that they made a mistake.
“According to the numbers that was on my water bill and what I read off the meter, they were roughly about 10,000 gallons off,” Jennings said. “This is something the entire parish has dealt with and unfairly so.”
Plaquemines Parish Council members Beau Black and Benny Rousselle say it’s been an ongoing problem.
“I’ve had a constituent who actually turned off his water meter for an entire month and still got a bill of $342,” Rousselle said.
“At least what I feel is that the meters aren’t being read, they’re being estimated,” Black said.
They say for months the meter reading department who initially said they were short-staffed.
“I’ve asked the question why are they being estimated, is it a personnel issue? That was one of their excuses that they gave,” Black said.
However, after lifting a hiring freeze to hire more readers little has changed.
“So, that shouldn’t be an excuse anymore,” Rouselle said. “We’ve got to fix this problem, whether it’s the meters, the readers, or the administration it has to be fixed.”
Both Rouselle and Black say they will work until a solution is found. Something Jennings hopes happen soon.
“It’s disheartening to think that I’m one of 8,000 households this could happen too,” Jennings said.
There is a possible fix. For past year, 100 electronic readers have been tested which don’t require meter readers going from house to house. At the end of the month, officials will see how it worked and if it proves beneficial it could be something they may use.
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