Councilman: Not all water meters get read, LP&L on path to corre

Councilman: Not all water meters get read, LP&L on path to correction


Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope said, "We've got work to do." City council members are drowning in complaints from residents about their water bills. 
Councilman Jeff Griffith said there is human error, and the issue needs to be addressed.

"We all know that meters don't get read," he said. "And I'm sorry that this has happened." 

 Griffith stands by those comments.

"Don't get me wrong, I think LP&L does a really good job, but it is difficult that I have seen some of these issues," he said. "And we think there has to be human error involved in some of these that just didn't get read."

One Lubbock resident, who spoke at Thursday's council meeting, said she has received three consecutive bills of over a $1,000 for the past three months.
She's made every effort to cut back on her water usage, including hiring a private contractor to find a leak.

"We cut off our irrigation system," she said. "We swapped out all of our toilets to low flush. We cut our pool maintenance, yes we have a pool. The next bill was maybe $50 lower, and the one after that was right back up."

She said it doesn't add up, and Councilwoman Karen Gibson agrees.

"I agree with you, there is an issue somewhere," she said. "There is a challenge. These bills, I keep getting them. We are all getting emails of these bills that have doubled, tripled, and the majority of them are water."

Councilman Griffith said the majority of his constituents are concerned about their water bill,  and not so much electricity.   LP&L employees are the ones that read the meters.

"I think LP&L is on a path to correct this," he said. "Anytime you have a rash of issues like this, I think LP&L is listening, and I think they will perform better."

Mayor Pope said there have been times the city hasn't done well, but believes it is improving.

"What I think we are interested in, is making sure our citizens realize that humans do read our meters still," he said. "And that we read well over a 100,000 meters a month. Even though, we fell like our error rate is less than one half percent that is still several hundred meters. So, we are going to make mistakes. We are not perfect."

The next move from council is to have two townhall meetings for citizens to raise any concerns they have about their bill. The goal is to have those meetings in the next few weeks, time and location to be announced. 

FOX34 received statement from LP&L spokesperson Matt Rose who said: "We're looking forward to these events. They'll be a great opportunity for all of the city utilities to listen to our customers, answer their questions and try to help."

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