NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -After months of residents complaining about abnormally high water bills, a consulting team hired by the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board presented its findings to Mayor Latoya Cantrell and the agency’s board of directors.
"We did an analysis of a sample of bills and we looked at not just the bills for a one-month period, but looked back at them historically,” said Nicole Griffin, of UtiliWorks.
UtiliWorks, found that the billing software installed a couple of years ago by the Cogsdale Corporation, is correctly billing customers.
The review also concluded that meter reading activities are ‘highly’ accurate and that approximately 20-percent of meters are unable to be read in a given month for various reasons, including scratched lenses, and the inability to locate or access them.
"I'm pleased that we're making progress, the billing is getting better, but we've also got to deal with the situation of people having the resources to be able to pay what they owe,” said City Councilman Jay H. Banks, who sits on the S&WB’s board of directors.
The S&WB said as of February 18 there were 24,397 delinquent accounts and 6,397 disputed accounts.
Utiliworks recommends that the S&WB repair, or replace unreadable meters, reduce the number of skipped meter readings, and change the billing estimation process, so that it is more accurate.