St. John residents fed up with persistent water bill problems

St. John residents fed up with persistent water bill problems
Updated: Apr. 25, 2017 at 10:08 PM CDT
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ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Utility customers in St. John Parish are furious about a system they say is constantly giving them billing errors.

The problem stems from so-called "smart meters" that use wifi to read water usage. One organization said what's happening in St. John Parish is starting to create trouble elsewhere.

"What we see over and over again is that smart water meters tend to just charge more for the same amount of usage," said Josh Hart with "People were accustomed to paying with the traditional and more reliable analog meters."

The person who takes calls about the system said he gets more than 100 complaints a day.

Parish President Natalie Robottom said a fix would cost $6 million and would need to be an issuance of bonds or some other form of revenue.

Parish Council members voted at Tuesday's meeting to fund a study to determine best practices on how to deal with the problem.

State Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere represents the parish. He said he is aware of the meters but this is a problem that St. John will have to solve alone because a municipal utility system oversees the water issues for St. John and it's not in his jurisdiction.

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