Inaccurate meter readings, old meters to blame for spike in Atoka water bills

ATOKA, Okla. – Citizens in one Oklahoma community were stunned when they opened their water bills to discover a drastic jump in the amount they owed.

“I got to the mailbox, open it up, start walking back to the house and I look at my bill. It’s $240 and I immediately get mad,” said Terri Smith, who normally pays about $50 a month for water.

As it turns out, Smith wasn’t the only one left in sticker shock.

One Atoka resident, whose bill is normally about $60, was in awe when she received a bill for $5,000.

During Monday night’s city council meeting, Atoka City Manager Donnie Allen said the spike was caused by inaccurate meter readings.

“Some of them are [the] meters and some of them are just read inaccurately,” Allen told KXII.

Atoka currently uses manual meters that have to be dug up and read, but city leaders voted to buy digital meters after this mix-up.

“We will come out and reread your meter. And if it’s wrong, we’re gonna take care of it,” he said.

Officials say they will also be hiring a new meter reader.

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