A water meter monitored by Atlanta Watershed Management.
ATLANTA -- An audit reveals the city of Atlanta has as many as 10,000 faulty water meters, but a man who led the protest over high water bills says meters aren't the issue.
The audit, that cost the city $2 million, revealed billing related issues with 6 percent of the city's 158,129 water meters. It some cases, the faulty meters led to under billing of customers, but the city estimates about 5,000 customers were overbilled.
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Joy Davis saw her water bill jump from a charge of $50 in May to a June bill of $17,000.
Davis says the city told her she might have a leak, but so far a plumber hasn't found one. The city also told her there was nothing wrong with the water meter that sits on a neighbor's property.
Joy said she isn't so sure.
"When the guy came to look all he did was pull the cover up and look in the whole and said, okay, it's running," said Davis.
Atlanta Watershed Management says ever meter has been inspected, and they plan to have every issue fixed by the end of the year.
"Customers should have confidence going forward that their bills are accurate," said Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Duriya Farooqui.
Bill Lucas rallied neighbors in protest after receiving a high water bill. He has since moved from Atlanta to Cobb County, but he insists the city isn't focused on the biggest problem.
Lucas believes there are still issues with the city's electronic meter reading and the software that puts the data all on a bill.
"The meters aren't the problem," said Lucas. "They're focusing on something tangible and easy. This is not the end. It's not going to stop here."
The city insists there are no software issues.
"We have new procedures that include cross checking of the information," said JoAnn MaCrina, Commissioner of Atlanta Watershed Management. "We double check, do random samples, to assure to check that data and make sure we're not putting in faulty data."
The city is working with customers that received excessive bills due to faulty bills. The city does not plan to recoup money from customers that were undercharged.