ATLANTA -- Just a few years back, thousands of Atlanta homeowners were plagued with new electronic water meters that didn't work or gave false readings that took bills over the top and into the thousands of dollars.
The 11Alive Help Desk stayed on it, day after day, through town meetings, press conferences and community gatherings. But instead of getting better, the situation just kept getting worse.
Finally, with pressure from homeowners and the media, the Watershed Commissioner and a number of his deputies have left the department.
A new team, headed by Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina came in and promised big changes.
All sounded good until Blayne Beacham, an Atlanta homeowner, living in a small house with no pool and no sprinkler system, got a water bill for more than $9,000.
She says she got nowhere trying to resolve it and says she is not alone.
"They are not doing their job. They are not really doing anything to help me. I feel like they are reading from a script," Beacham said.
"I've probably gotten, if you include Twitter and my blog, Facebook and Instagram, I've probably gotten 60 or 70 comments from people showing support or saying they have similar problems," she added.
Commissioner Macrina says things are changing:
"We have a different approach than what the past Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners had. We are much more geared and focused on customer service," she said.
"We will get to the bottom of this. I am committed to resolving these issues," she added.
"We have had quite a drop in complaints and now we are doing better but we are not waiting for these issues to come to us. We are looking at the database and looking at similar issues such as this so we can resolve them before they come to someone like you," Macrina added.
Commissioner Macrina says Ms. Beacham's $9,000 water bill is not the tip of the iceberg and is being put on hold until the issues are resolved.
That, she says should be next month.