LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Water Division, located in City Hall, received substantial damage during Hurricane Laura, destroying the city’s meter reading equipment.
“Those meters have been reordered and have since arrived,” said Katie Harrington with the City of Lake Charles. “Those meters are in the process of being read after being estimated following Hurricane Laura.”
Even with new equipment, meter readings are continuing to be estimated due to limited staff.
“Its an average,” Harrington said. “So they look at the usage from a time period from the previous year, and that is the amount you are going to see on your bill.”
Once the new meters are installed and take actual measurements, customers whose meter readings appear to have been overestimated, will receive an account credit.
“The estimates may have been overestimated over the last couple of months,” Harrington said. “Those adjustments will be made, and customers will see that on an upcoming bill as a credit.”
Damaged, leaking pipes can inflate meter readings, resulting in larger than normal payments.
“If there was a leak on the property, caused either by Hurricane Laura or the ice storm recently, that is where the bills will seem higher than what they are supposed to seem,” Harrington said.
Customers with questions regarding a bill are urged to contact the Lake Charles Water Division.
“Maybe there was a leak or something on that line that caused a higher amount to be billed,” Harrington said. “There is adjustments that can be made. Now, keep in mind customers can request those leak adjustments twice within a calendar year.”
Lake Charles residents in need of financial assistance with their water bill payments can contact Catholic Charities.