MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some Mid-Southerners have been not receiving their water bill, and the problem appears to be tied to smart meters.
"It's a problem with a lack of meter readers," MLGW President Jerry Collins said.
He said meter readers are getting other jobs because smart meters, which erase the need for meter readers, are replacing them. Fewer meter readers means there are not enough people to read the traditional meters.
That has created a problem, because more bills are being estimated as opposed to being read.
"We have about 100 houses in the Lakeland area that have not received a bill in a little over a month," Collins said. "We have about 1,500 county wide that haven't received a bill in over a month because the system had kicked their bills out, checking for accuracy."
The hot summer and fall temperatures have made current estimated bills higher than they should be, which causes the system to kick them out. Because of this, many customers' bills have been late.
MLGW hopes to have all smart meters installed by 2018. Any customers that don't want the smart meters can opt out.
"Once you have a smart meter, then you won't have any estimated bills again," Collins said.
Collins said if a customer receives a bill that covers more than a month period, MLGW will work with that customer if they are unable to pay it all at once.