KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A multi-million dollar upgrade to Kirkwood’s water system means that some residents may see a larger water bill, an estimated 30 percent more.
The increase is not due to the water rate going up. Rather, some Kirkwood residents have been getting a good deal for years.
The new water system includes updated meters for everybody. Bill Bensing, Kirkwood’s Director of Public Services said some of the meters are from the 1960s and have posed quite a problem.
“When the meters get old, they spin slower. When they are newer, they spin faster and give a more accurate accounting,” said Bensing.
When the city conducted a test, they found that old meters under reported water usage, sometimes by 15 percent or more. Since the new meters are more accurate, the water usage will not be under reported—thus, costing more.
The new meters are smart meters that automatically report usage to the water department. Residents will no longer see workers walking through neighborhoods to take readings. Bensing said the labor cost savings will actually help the city keep its water rate stable. Those workers will be reassigned.
“If you find that your bill goes up significantly, you should count your lucky stars you’ve had all those years … under paying,” said one resident.