ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Numerous complaints from Abilene residents have continued to arise after they’ve received high water bills from the city.

The south Abilene couple, who received an $800 water bill and claimed they used 91,000 gallons in one month, had an analog meter installed this week to compare their readings to those of the ‘smart meter’ that was installed by the city a few years ago.

Many residents have been questioning the accuracy of the smart meters. Water Utilities Director Rodney Taylor stood behind the meters and said, “These meters are extremely accurate.”

Caleb Beasley is the plumber who installed the couple’s analog meter. He told KTAB/KRBC that
after checking the inside of their home, he did not find any leaks, and no toilets were running, so how they were charged for such a high usage is unknown.

Abilene resident Makalah Hash knew something was wrong when her bills spiked up to $600. She placed a call to the city, and they sent an employee to check it out.

“With him just looking at the meter, he came and knocked on my door, and in his own words, he said, ‘So your meter is trash. I’ll be here Monday morning to replace it,'” Hash recalled.

When asked about the issue with that faulty meter, Taylor said, “I am familiar with that unique situation, and I believe that we do have an effort in place right now to make an adjustment where we did find an error, not that the meter was not capable of reading right, but it was not properly set up when it was initially installed by the contractor.”

As for those who have questions about their water usage spiking in the middle of the night, Taylor told KTAB/KRBC that it could be a number of things that residents don’t know they’re using, like sprinkler systems set on a timer.

Taylor urges citizens to check their customer portal more closely on the water utilities website to get a better understanding of when they’re using the most water, then if there are still concerns after that, to check with the city on any discrepancies.