FREEPORT — The city has had to make billing adjustments for about 15 Water Department customers since the city began converting to a new water meter system last year, Mayor Russ Barley said Wednesday.

One customer recently told the Daily News that Freeport's new Sensus iPerl water meter system is "clearly failing" and has led to him and other customers being overcharged thousands of dollars.

While Barley admits that the new system has had its problems, he wants all customers to know that the city investigates any billing irregularities and makes the necessary adjustments.

“One guy got a $5,000 bill,” Barley said. “We knew that wasn’t correct. We put it back to what he normally paid every month. We just don’t charge him whatever his bill says and let it go. We look at whether the meter was read wrong or if he needs a new meter. We’re not trying to rip people off.”

The mayor said the city has about 5,000 water meters in Freeport and Choctaw Beach.

“At one point, we had three different types of meters,” Barley said. “We’re trying to get to one type of meter and one billing company.”

He said all of the meters in Choctaw Beach were replaced last year and that the city has started replacing the meters in Freeport.

“We’re installing 800 new meters right now,” Barley said.

He encourages any customer who has a water bill problem to call him at 850-835-2822, ext. 214, so the city can investigate the issue.