We're getting more information on the high water bills in Canton we brought you Tuesday night. Some residents have been complaining about getting water bills as high as $600-dollars. Canton water superintendent is blaming the inflated bills on bad meters.
Canton Water Superintendent Gregory Pollitt said for the past three years they've been replacing outdated water meters that are no longer working. He said about half of the 6,000 customers still need to replace their meters.
Pollitt said the department sends out three notices to customers with bad readings, an indication their meter needs replacing. He said the third notice has a higher estimated cost. He said it's an attempt to get the customer to take steps to replace the meter.
"On average we're probably sending out 150, 160 letters a month. But we're only getting about 60 folks or so responding to those letters where we can set up an appointment and get equipment changed," he said
He said customers are not required to pay the higher estimated fee. But he said residents are responsible for paying the $100 dollars for replacing the old meters. One resident says the water department is violating the Public Utilities Act by sending estimated costs. Pollitt disagreed.
"We've talked to our city attorneys about things. We're good there, at least that's what I've been told. My suggestion is give us another method to contact people," Pollitt said.
He said the next step would be to turn off water service for those residents. But he added the department does not want to do that. Pollitt said customers don't have to pay the higher water bills. But he said residents are responsible for paying the $100 replacement fee for the new water meter. He said on average the department is sending out about 160 notices monthly to customers with bad meters. But he said only about 60 people are responding.