Kyle eyes potential water services audit

Kyle may be looking to conduct an audit on its water billing and utility services in the near future.

During the Sept. 19 city council meeting, Kyle Council Member Damon Fogley initiated discussion on a potential issue with the city’s water services.

Council Member Daphne Tenorio also shared these concerns, citing that one of her constituent’s water meters had shown an increased usage of 6,000 gallons, which led to a total of 20,000 gallons for a single month.

Tenorio said the city should aim to be more “customer friendly” towards residents who experience problems with their water services. Tenorio said the city did not offer much help to residents with these issues.

“There could be something wrong with those meters,” Tenorio said. “We need to be more customer friendly.”

Perwez Moheet, Kyle director of finance, defended the city’s water and utility services, citing that the average water use for a meter was 8,186 gallons, with some residents using up to 20,000 gallons, while others used as low as 2,000 gallons. 

Moheet discussed the city’s methods on meter checking, where Kyle has used the same methods to monitor water meters since 2004.

Moheet said 60 meters are sent to a third party every year for testing, which is standard in the water industry.

“In our case, we have set a parameter of customer consumption,” Moheet said. “If in the last two or three months the usage is 2 percent to three percent lower or higher the meter will be checked.”

According to Moheet, there are over 9,000 water meters in the city, all of which monitor water usage electronically.

Water technicians are only sent to check meters for specific issues, most of which are caused by outside sources such as ant hills, rattlesnakes and wastewater, which can disrupt readings.

The billing rate system, coupled with the longest billing period also being the hottest part of the year, is probably the cause of many people’s spike in water usage during the summer months, Moheet suggested. 

However, Moheet also said that if the city were to conduct an audit on its water billing services, then it should wait until the new billing system, which was approved by council Tuesday, was in place.

Moheet expressed doubt that there was an issue with the system in general.

“If the billing system or meter has some problem, then it  wouldn’t only show up during high usage months,” Moheet said. “ That kind of anomaly should show up up every month.”

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