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Unusually high water bills prompt test of water meters

Crews will begin testing water meters in Mecklenburg County later this month to determine if they're accurately reading the amount of water households use. When Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities workers read water meters, they're not inspecting them up close. Instead, they drive down a street while a receiver picks up signals the meters send out. The city has asked an independent group to test meters to make sure the electronic transmitters are working. The audit was prompted by hundreds of complaints of spiking water bills. The utility investigated several of those in Cornelius and found most were a result of plumbing leaks or people just using more water. But a citizen's task force in Cornelius says malfunctioning transmitters are partly to blame for the unusually high water bills. The city wants to see if that may be the case. Crews will be testing 9,000 water meters throughout the county. That's about 3.5 percent of meters in the system. The audit will wrap up in July.