51,000 Water Dep't Customers May Have Been Overcharged
KITV June 12, 2013: ....when the bill hit $740 dollars for one month, Dicks thought it was time he took action.
"I thought it was outrageous at $400 and $500 for every two months and it’s just gone up from there,” said Dicks.
So every day for 50 days straight, Karl Dicks read his meter.
By his accounting, daily usage was only 492 gallons when he says the Board of Water Supply's estimated usage was pegged at 2,500....
The Board of Water Supply admitted it was having problems with its automated meter reading program and earlier this year replaced 51 thousand batteries across the island.
Those batteries were failing, which led an unusually high number of "estimated" bills and so they had to be replaced...
"Find your meter. Read your meter Keep track and figure your daily usage," said Dicks.
Take your water bill, compare it and see if it’s anywhere even close," said Dicks.
read ... Waipio customer questions accuracy of estimated water bills
Water board should be investigated
Star-Adv June 16, 2013: A lawsuit was filed about five years ago because a major component of the "AMR" (automatic meter reading) system — the plastic reader attached atop the meter — was failing. The board's response was a pennies-on-the-dollar settlement that got the vendor off the hook at the expense of valuable revenues that could and should have been used to upgrade the system. Needed revenues were lost then, and continue to be lost now.
We then found out that the batteries powering the remote transmission of data were failing earlier than expected — and the board wants $1.5 million annually just to change them. For $1.5 million, the board could rehire the 20 meter readers it laid off and customers would get monthly "real reads," actual meter box inspections and batteries changed....
The AMR system cost $30 million, and was supposed to save money. Instead, board managers received pats on the back in the form of bonuses and the abhorrent practice of rehiring individuals after retirement (double-dipping) as further "rewards."
We have a right to know how much of an ongoing blunder the meter system continues to be. Only a fraction of the 150,000 meters over the last 10 years have been inspected. Batteries have gone dead. What else, and for how long? ....
read ... Carroll Cox
AUDIO June 16, 2013: Carroll Cox Show Let's ask for an independent audit of BWS now before its too late.