As many as 2,500 San Diego water customers haven’t received a bill for months, according to the Public Utilities Department.
The announcement came a day after NBC 7 Responds contacted San Diego’s Communications Department on behalf of several customers in Allied Gardens who had not received water bills since February.
“We've uncovered and discovered that there are a number of ratepayers and customers that over the last three to six months have not received bills," said Johnnie Perkins, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the city’s Public Works Department.
Perkins said the water department discovered the missing bills during the city's recent effort to re-read all water meters citywide.
It was then that the city said crews found 10,000 broken meters and replaced them with wireless smart meters. But water bills were not generated for as many as 2,500 of those newly replaced meters.
Allied Gardens homeowner Jennifer Landers told NBC 7 Responds her water bills stopped arriving after her water meter was replaced back in February.
Landers said she called the Public Utilities Department to ask about the missing water bills. She said she was told her water would not be shut off while the city tried to figure out “what’s going on.”
That was months ago.
Landers, afraid that she would end up owing a large sum at the end of the year, said she decided to pay an estimated amount every two months just to be sure.
“Quite frankly, that is just unacceptable,” Perkins said, addressing the problem as a whole. “We want to make sure going forward that these types of errors and omissions do not occur for the customer ever again.”
According to the city, customers who did not receive bills will be offered a “payment plan.” The city assured none of these customers will have their water shut off.
In a recent audit report on water customer billing, the city auditor found delays in the processing of water service work orders due to the implementation of the new IAM San Diego software.
That software is now at the center of this problem of customers not receiving water bills.
“Meters [were] not being properly inputted into the new IAM system, creating a gap between the meters and PUD’s billing system”, according to a Thursday news release from the City of San Diego.
“While the meters were collecting customer usage data, that information was not generating a bill for those customers,” read the news release.
The $50 million IAM San Diego software is a program that integrates more than 30 city department applications into one system.
According to the city audit, the “rollout” of the IAM San Diego software was not “well coordinated.”
Customers who haven’t received a water bill should call (619)515 3599 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org