Many people take getting monthly bills for granted, not knowing what goes into getting that accomplished every month. There are a lot of communities who bill either bi-monthly, or even quarterly. The City of Auburn Hills DPW takes pride in the fact that we bill out our water and sewer usage monthly. We feel that giving our customers 12 manageable bills instead of 4 very large ones helps keep people on their budget and track their expenses easier.
We start at the beginning of the month, importing the consumption reads from the meter software and usually end the month following up on meter repairs, replacements, and billing questions. There are also many more tasks and distractions in-between. Handling this process for over 6,000 meters by predominantly ONE person is quite the task. By the time the billing clerk goes through the process for the month, it is almost time to start the next month!
The City of Auburn Hills DPW has invested in a very advanced fixed network system to handle almost all the water meter reads for the City. What this system does is allows us to access all meter reads instantaneously on a DAILY basis! Lots of other communities utilize either a drive-by system or perform manual visits to each home to gather reads. This usually explains why these communities cannot bill monthly because of the time it takes to collect reads. Manual reads alone can take upwards of 2 weeks to gather!
The system and investment the DPW has made helps keep our customers up-to-date and current with monthly reads, bills, and the most accurate information possible.
Jason Deman, Manager, Public Utilities Division, Department of Public Works