Glitch causes thousands to not get water bills

Author: Jennifer Bauer, Reporter, jbauer@kprc.com
Published On: Sep 05 2012 05:20:49 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 05 2012 05:23:33 PM CDT
BELLAIRE, Texas -

Nearly 7,000 Bellaire residents haven't received their water bills and many are starting to wonder why.

"Haven't gotten my water bill yet. It's a mystery," Bellaire resident Ryan Farrar said.

City Manager Bernie Satterwhite said the problem is a computer glitch.

"It took a lot longer to fix than we thought," Satterwhite said. "We couldn't send out water bills in July and we haven't been able to since. We're hoping to by next week."

Some residents are worried they're about to get a bill that's larger than normal, but Satterwhite assures customers the city will work with them and waive any late fees until things are back to normal. He's hoping that will happen by November.

"I don't blame them," he said. "I know we haven't done a great job of communicating. We thought we were going to be back up by now and have this one fixed."

Satterwhite explains that customers should receive their next bill by next week and it will be for a typical 30-day cycle. The following bill will arrive at the end of September and it will include charges for 48 days worth of water use. The next bill should come in October, and it will only be for 17 days.

After that, the city said it will be back on track.

"We will work with customers and accommodate their needs," Satterwhite said. "Getting a large bill can be difficult for some people. We will work with them because we know this is not their fault."