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Monday, October 30, 2017
Columbus Water Works' Meter Reading and Billing Processes
Our customers rely on accurate billing information from the Columbus Water Works (CWW) in order to identify water leaks, manage their budgets and to have peace of mind, knowing their water utility is working in their best interest.  CWW is dedicated to our customers and the needs of our community.  Over the past few years, we have been improving our infrastructure, billing and customer service processes, and technology.  As each improvement is made, it is understandable for the community to have questions and uncertainty with these processes - especially related to water bills. 

In order to clarify some misinformation, we have compiled the following information on our billing and meter reading processes.  If you still have questions, please call a customer service representative at 706-649-3400.

Water Meters are read every month.  In the past, CWW read the residential water meters every two months and divided it in half, billing each half monthly.  In 2014, CWW began reading all water meters every month, allowing our customers to have more accurate and timely water consumption information.  This change was made possible with improved technology allowing us to read each of the 68,000 (+/-) meters in Muscogee County, without having to add additional staff.

We currently divide the community into seven sections for the purpose of meter reading and billing.  The division of these sections allow us to ensure that all meters are read on the same schedule, keeping the time between meter reads as even as possible for all of our customers.

Holidays and inclement weather may slightly change the number of days between read dates. CWW believes it is important to ensure the safety of our employees at all times, as well as, allowing employees to celebrate with their families on holidays.  After celebrating holidays or being closed due to weather conditions, our staff works diligently to read and bill each meter in a timely manner but this does cause some fluctuation between meter reading dates.

CWW utilizes both manual read and radio read meters. CWW is currently in the process of converting all of our water meters to radio read meters.  The radio read meters allow us to record the amount of water used without having to physically lift the meter box and record the meter reading. Radio read meters increase the accuracy of the water meter read, as well as, allow CWW to be more efficient.  Currently over two-thirds of the water meters in the CWW system are radio read meters.  We anticipate all water meters will be radio read meters by the end of 2019.

If your water meter is a manual read meter, our staff will locate the water meter, lift the lid and manually record the read information.  There are times when a manual read meter cannot be located.  In these situations, a locate crew is dispatched to find the meter before a bill for that address can be generated.  In these situations, the number of days between bills may fluctuate.  If you believe that your meter is not locatable, please contact a customer service representative at 706-649-3400. 

Garbage fees are billed by CWW on behalf of the Columbus Consolidated Government (CCG).  The CCG does not bill directly for garbage pickup.  Instead, CWW has agreed to include garbage and tree collection fees on our water bills. These costs are determined by the CCG.  CWW receives a report from CCG identifying which residents have utilized the tree collection services and bills accordingly.  All funds collected from these associated costs are provided to CCG.

If you have any questions regarding garbage collection, recycling bins, or tree pick-up and the associated costs, please call Citizen Services at 706-653-4000.  Our staff will not be able to provide assistance with these questions.

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