Water frustrations boil over in Copperas Cove

Posted at 2:29 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 00:00:42-04

The City of Copperas Cove partnered with FATHOM to assist in their Utility Department back in Nov., but since then they have dealt with a flood of problems, many of which were brought to the city council meeting Tuesday.

Residents said the system has many errors including duplicate water bills for a month to no bills at all, something residents are very frustrated with.

"The 23rd of Aug. to the 22nd of Sept. they say I used 61 thousand gallons of water," Copperas Cove Resident, Thomas Nickson said. "The previous month to that was 16 thousand and before that, it was 14 so my average for the year is between 14 to 16 thousand gallons a month and then they come up with this 61 thousand and they just need to get it resolved."

And Nickson isn't the only one feeling that way about FATHOM.

"This system is not working. There is something wrong with the meters. We were only using 3 to 5 thousand gallons of water a year ago and now you're telling me we are using 15 thousand gallons of water," Copperas Cove Resident, Deborah Locklear said.

From 15 thousand gallons to August's reading of 50 thousand gallons, Locklear is one of many people who's had enough.

"There is no way I could use 56 thousand gallons, my neighbor using 50 thousand and 70,398. I mean these are ridiculous numbers," Copperas Cove Resident, Don Barningham said.

And it's those so-called ridiculous numbers that encouraged City Council Members to request for the President of FATHOM Water Systems, Jason Bethke to come to speak with residents on Tuesday.

"I look forward to meeting with you. I guess my hope is that we can have a very constructive conversation about how we can continue to make this better," Bethke said.

A conversation that dozens of people showed up to have, most of which seemed to have a similar message to send.

"You're doing a good job selling all of these, I think 150 communities your software, but it isn't right and I think he is ripping people off," Barningham said. 

"This is outlandish. I don't think it's right and it needs to be resolved," Nickson added.

While News Channel 25 wasn't able to be in the room with residents as they spoke to Mr. Bethke, those that spoke with us before the meeting say the conversation wasn't much help, however, they were told FATHOM will be getting back to them soon.

The city released this statement following the meeting:

“The City of Copperas Cove would like to thank our citizens and customers for their continued patience during the FATHOM transition. City staff continues to work closely with FATHOM representatives in a partnership to provide the best possible services for all of our customers.”

The City of Copperas Cove added that concerns should be directed to FATHOM's President, Jason Bethke at

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.