Wichita Water Utilities’ meter reading and billing are running behind schedule due to malfunctioning equipment, which includes handheld meter-reading devices and a data-collection vehicle.
Customers may receive a higher bill due to additional days in the delayed billing cycle. Bills will be prorated so that a customer is not penalized for a longer billing period. Customers with additional service days in the current billing cycle will likely see fewer days of service in their subsequent bill. Reading and billing, which have been behind since at least June, are expected back on schedule by mid-August.
The Utilities department has obtained back-up equipment until existing equipment is repaired, Chris Carrier, Interim Director of Water Utilities, said. Staff from the Public Works’ maintenance division is helping with meter readings, Carrier added.
Water Utilities is in the process of merging with the Public Works department as part of consolidation and cost-savings measures recommended under the 2011 Proposed Budget.
“The benefit of combining Public Works and Water Utilities allows us to utilize staff from both to solve the problem and ensure efficiencies,” Carrier said.