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Council Bluffs Water Works

Water Meter Policy

Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:47 PM

Water Meter Policy

Rules and Regulations of Water Works Board of Trustees

City of Council Bluffs, Iowa
Governing Service to Customer

Approved August 16, 2005

Section VII

Water Meters

  • 7.1. General.
    1. All water acquired from the Water Works must be metered except:
    1. water authorized by the Board of Trustees for the use at governmental services;
    2. water authorized for building purposes when paid for in accordance with the then prevailing rates for contractors;
    3. water used for special purposes when a permit has been issued, the customer properly bonded, and the water is paid for at the then prevailing rates; and
    4. water in special cases when approved by the General Manager or the Board of Trustees.
  • 7.2. Location.
    1. Domestic or Single-Family Residential.
      1. Except as set forth below, each individual residence must have its own meter. Sub-service from a metered line is not permitted. Metered water lines may not be extended to serve another residence or place of business.
      2. The water meter shall be located in the basement or mechanical/utility room if one is available. The water meter shall be placed where the water service line comes through the basement wall or basement floor. Where no basement is provided, the meter shall be placed where the service line comes through the wall or floor of the mechanical/utility room. All water meters installed within buildings shall be in a horizontal position, a minimum of 30 inches, but no more than 42 inches, from where the water service first penetrates the floor or wall of the structure. The base of single water meters shall be set at a height not less than 30 inches, and not more than 42 inches, above the floor surface. Meters shall be indoors and protected from freezing and any other damage. A floor drain shall be located in the room containing the meter and, whenever possible, should be within five (5) feet of the meter. Meters may not be located above the first or ground floor level under any circumstances. The individual water meter servicing a dwelling unit shall be the only water meter located within the interior space of that dwelling. No water meters may be installed in a crawl space under a residence. A meter pit may be installed outside the residence if the meter cannot be installed in the basement or mechanical/utility room.
      3. A rear house served by a water line through the front house as of September 20, 1983, may continue in this manner as long as both are on the same lot and under the same ownership regardless of any major repairs to the service line to the front house. The main water service shall not be branched. If the rear house is sold, replaced, or the property is divided, a new direct service with separate meter shall be installed in accordance with these rules.
    2. Apartments, Duplexes, and Condominiums.
      1. Each building must have at least one (1) individual meter that does not take water from another metered line. Additional meters may be installed following proper application to, and approval by, the Water Works. The meters must be installed with remote readouts and near the service entrance to the building. The meters may not be sub-meters. Central metering of more than one building in an apartment complex is not permitted.
      2. The preferred meter location in a duplex is in the joint basement or mechanical room. If this is not possible, each individual meter must be in the private occupancy area (utility room, for example) of that dwelling unit. The preferred meter location in multi-family dwellings on one level is in a joint mechanical/utility or meter room. However, with prior written approval, individual meters may be located in the utility room of each dwelling unit.
      3. In multi-family dwellings on more than one level, meters shall be congregated in one or more mechanical/utility or meter rooms in the basement or first floor of the building. Location of individual meters in each individual utility room or apartment is prohibited. In an apartment complex where a mechanical room is not provided, a water meter room shall be provided at the point where the service line comes through the wall or floor. A floor drain must also be provided in this area.
    3. Shopping Centers or Commercial Buildings.
      1. Separate meters are required for individual buildings not under the same roof.
      2. Additional meters may be installed for tenants or for other purposes in the same building provided the meters are all located near the service entrance and are not sub-meters.
      3. Individual meters for each tenant may be installed provided there is an individual service from a main or authorized service to each unit.
    4. Industrial.
      1. Plants or industrial complexes may be centrally metered providing the buildings are all required for a central operation and are not separated by a public thoroughfare.
    5. Institutions.
      1. Universities, public housing complexes, and other institutions with a number of buildings may be centrally metered if they are not separated by a public thoroughfare and are owned and operated by a governmental body or charitable institution. Central metering of such complexes must be requested in writing and approved by the General Manager.
    6. Mobile Home Parks.
      1. Mobile home parks whose water distribution system is not owned by the Water Works shall be centrally metered at the location where the water distribution system attaches to the Water Works’ main.
    7. Commercial Irrigation Meters.
      1. Commercial irrigation meters, when permitted, shall be located between the shutoff valve/stop box and the master meter (upstream from the master meter).
    8. Exceptions.
      1. Special installations of water meters inconsistent with these rules and regulations may be approved only by the General Manager or the Board of Trustees.
  • 7.3. Ownership.
    1. The Water Works shall own and maintain all water meters metering water consumption by Water Works’ customers. The customer shall own and maintain all attachments to the water meter, including without limitation, valves, meter linesetters, gaskets, washers, and fittings.
  • 7.4. Accessibility.
    1. Subject to the consent of the customer, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, Water Works employees shall have the right of access to customer’s property at all reasonable hours for any purpose related to the furnishing of service and protection of water quality. The failure of the customer to consent to such access may, at the election of the Water Works, result in the discontinuation of water service to the customer until service can be completed and/or water quality is assured. Employees are prohibited from entering upon the customer’s premises to engage in repair or alteration of customer piping and fixtures.
    2. All water meters shall be in an accessible location. There shall be no obstruction or storage of other materials preventing access to the meter. Except for meters installed before September 1, 2005, and replacements thereof, no meter shall be placed above or behind a furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, or other such arrangement limiting access to the meter. No shelf may be placed less than two feet above any meter. For meters smaller than one inch, a minimum of two feet of working clearance around the meter is necessary for routine meter maintenance. For meters one inch or larger, a minimum of three feet of working clearance around the meter is necessary for maintenance.
    3. Access to any water meter for reading, maintenance, repair, replacement, or testing is essential to ensure accuracy and reliability of the metering device so that bills and charges are properly determined. Each customer, at the request of the Water Works, shall arrange for Water Works’ access to the metering device(s) at the customer’s location within two (2) weeks from the date of Water Works’ first request. Water service may be discontinued until access has been granted.
    4. Meters of 1 ½ inches and larger shall be set level and in a horizontal position on a solid floor or on a solid base not more than 42 inches high. There shall be at least three feet clearance above and horizontally around the meter. Meters shall not be suspended nor supported by the piping. There shall be an adequate floor drain or access to the outside of the building close enough to the test tee to be reached with 50 feet of hose to dispose of water from meter testing.
    5. No devices of any kind such as regulators or check valves shall be installed between the meter shut-off valves other than the meter and test tee.
  • 7.5. Meter Pits.
    1. Upon the prior written approval of the Water Works, a customer may have the meter installed outside the building in a meter pit or vault constructed according to specifications approved by and on file at the Water Works. The meter pit shall be located on the customer’s property as close to the property line as possible. The customer shall at all times own and be responsible for all construction and maintenance cost of the pit or vault.
    2. Water meters on service lines exceeding one hundred fifty (150) feet in length shall be installed in a meter pit subject to the above conditions.
    3. Water meters on service lines crossing property which is not owned by customer receiving the metered water shall be installed in a meter pit subject to the above conditions and located adjacent to the public right-of-way within which the service line is located. It shall be the customer’s responsibility to acquire any easement required for the meter pit and/or service line to be located on land not owned by the customer.
  • 7.6. Installation and Removal.
    1. All meters shall be set and reset by a Water Works employee.
  • 7.7. Meter Accessories.
    1. Water meters shall be equipped with meter linesetter and a shut-off valve on each side of the meter linesetter, easily accessible, and at such a point that all the water may be drained out of the pipes.
  • 7.8. Meter Repairs and Cost.
    1. The Water Works shall service and maintain Water Works owned water meters without charge and shall replace a defective or malfunctioning water meter without charge. However, if damage to the meter is the result of carelessness and/or negligence on the part of the customer, or has been caused by the customer’s plumbing system or internal operations, the customer shall be liable for the expense of repair or replacement of the meter.
  • 7.9. Damage to Water Meters.
    1. The customer shall be charged for damage to a meter due to freezing. The meter shall be repaired and/or replaced once during any twelve (12) month period at the then set rate. Subsequent damage to a repaired meter or its replacement during the same fiscal year shall be repaired and/or replaced at 1.5 times the then set rate.
    2. Water meters damaged by customer attempts to thaw, alter, or change the meter readings in any way, shall be replaced by the Water Works and the customer shall be charged for the cost of a new meter plus a service charge for removal of the damaged meter and installation of the new meter.
    3. The customer shall be charged for damage to the remote read-out and cable when caused by the customer’s carelessness, negligence, animals, or attempt to alter the remote read-out. If a metal sheath cable has to be installed for cable protection, it shall be at the customer’s expense.
  • 7.10. Meter Testing.
    1. The Water Works will, for a service charge, shop-test a one inch (1") or smaller water meter, preferably in the presence of the customer, at the request of the customer. If said meter, upon testing, registers greater than two percent (2%) over true quantity, the service charge shall be returned, together with the amount overcharged during the prior three (3) months, or such portion of the three (3) month period as the customer has been responsible for the water bills, and another meter shall be substituted for the inaccurate meter at no charge to the customer. The same rules shall apply to meters larger than one-inch (1") except that the meter shall be field tested.
  • 7.11. Hydrant Meters.
    1. Hydrant meter assemblies are issued to entities in need of water from a fire hydrant for construction water and other uses. Upon written application and approval by the Water Works, a hydrant meter permit will be issued to operate a hydrant meter assembly. A permit fee, a deposit to be established by the Board and a certificate of liability insurance is required before a hydrant meter assembly will be set at an approved fire hydrant by Water Works personnel. The applicant will be charged for any damaged or lost equipment, which charge shall be deducted from the above deposit. Only three-inch (3") or five-eights-inch (5/8") hydrant meters assemblies will be available and allowed from April 15 through October 15.
    2. Hydrant meter permits shall be subject to conditions and requirements established by the Board from time to time. The removal/resetting fees and water rates shall be determined by the Board. The applicant will be billed monthly for any water used. The deposit will be returned to the applicant once the account is closed, less any amounts due for water, service, and such other charges that may have accrued against applicant.