Allen, like many North Texas communities, has residents that are concerned about their billed water usage quantities this summer. In response to resident inquiries about high water bills, the City of Allen Community Services Department has been assisting customers by providing consumption history and related information to address concerns.
As a result of lifting every other week water use restrictions on May 1, water use significantly increased during the summer months. In comparison, water use during the last two consecutive summers was much lower due to the severe usage restrictions in place. This summer, customers have been able to water four times as often as what was allowed in 2014 or 2013.
Customers did not notice an increase on June bills since May water consumption remained low due to the rainy weather. July utility bills for June water usage began to increase as the dry part of the summer began. Water bills for July and August are similar to water consumption levels seen in 2012 and 2011, years with less water usage restrictions.
Regarding concerns about meter readings and meter failures, the Community Services Department has reread over 400 water meters based on high usage compared to the last 12-month average of consumption. All 400 meter readings were confirmed as correct. The City’s meter replacement program assures that no one has an old water meter. However, old meters will most likely run slow and underreport water consumption.
Many customers have also paid the $20 fee to have the City “flow test” their meters and none have registered high to date. If a flow test verifies that a meter is running high, the customer is reimbursed the $20 and the billing is adjusted based on past usage.
We hope this detailed explanation and related efforts help to alleviate concern regarding recent water bills. The Community Services Department will continue to address customer inquiries as needed. Customers can reach the Utility Billing Division by calling 214.509.4560.