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Posted on: March 2, 2021

City implementing utility billing changes to address freeze-related water leaks

The City of Galveston has developed a fair and equitable plan to address utility billing for customers that sustained pipe damage resulting in water leaks during the freeze. This policy adjusts customers’ bills to avoid costs from consumption excesses due to water line leaks.

 Many city water customers experienced water line breaks due to freezing temperatures last week. The city performed meter reads as it does every month over the weekend of February 20-21, and the results show the effects of the freezing temperatures on water usage. The City received more than 2,000 requests from water customers to perform meter cutoffs and approximately 16,000 accounts had a consumption that exceeded January’s amount.  

To address the high number of accounts with excess usage, the city will bill customers the lesser amount of their February and January bills. Customers whose February consumption was equal to or less than January will receive a bill based on the actual February consumption. If February usage exceeds January, then the January amount will be billed. For example, if a customer's January bill totaled $105, but the February consumption totaled $190, the customer would be billed $105. This will account for excessive consumption caused by water leaks.  

“Our IT, Utility Billing and Finance departments have analyzed utility billing accounts and established a fair policy to ensure residents do not receive astronomical bills due to water line leaks," City Manager Brian Maxwell said. 

If a customer, upon receiving their March and April bills, determines that an additional adjustment may be warranted based on their records for a leak that occurred after February’s read, the customer should contact Utility Billing at 409-797-3550 or www.galvestontx.gov/paymywaterbill 

 

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