Birmingham Water Works announces delays on meter readings as COVID cases lead to staffing strain

Some customers will receive an estimated bill with the next mailing.
(WCAX)
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:21 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:48 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the Omicron COVID variant spreads, Birmingham Water Works is currently experiencing a temporary reduction in staff due to some employees quarantining.

That staffing strain includes the meter reading department at BWW. Because of these staffing challenges and reading delays, Birmingham Water Works leaders said some customers will receive an estimated bill with the next mailing. This estimation is based off previous water consumption.

From BWW: As our meter readers begin to catch up on readings within the next few weeks, customers who receive an estimated bill will then receive a corrected bill to make up for the overage or underage charges from that previous estimation. If estimated bills are calculated to the correct usage for that billing cycle, these customers will see no impact on the next bill.

As a reminder, the Birmingham Water Works Board approved an Operating & Maintenance (O&M) Budget of $115.3 million and a Capital Budget of $77 million for fiscal year 2022 in November of 2021. Approval of the budgets results in a 3.9% rate increase effective January 1, 2022 for Birmingham Water Works residential customers, in accordance with its currently adopted Rate Stabilization and Equalization (RSE) model.

Customers calling our Customer Service Call Center can expect longer wait times as the virus has impacted staffing in this area as well. We will work with each customer individually to assist with their needs, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we all work to navigate through this unusual time.

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