A water meter is required for any account that receives water service.
District water meters are usually located in an enclosure in a utility easement adjacent to your property, typically by the street in front of your home. Meter readings are taken once a month, most often during the first three to five business days of each month, depending on staff resources and weather.
Water meters may be accessed only by authorized District personnel. Unauthorized access to a meter can damage equipment and break seals, which can cause freezing of the meter during winter months. If you believe there is a problem with your meter, contact the District Business Office at (505) 466-1085.
Types of Water Meters
The district currently uses three types of water meters at homes:
Radio Read: Most EASWD customers are served by radio-read meters, which signal their readings automatically to receivers in EAWSD trucks as the technicians drive by each home. There is no manual intervention in the recording process.
Manually Read: Just over a third of EAWSD customers have these original types of water meters, and they are manually read by technicians. If you have this type of meter, you may notice an EAWSD truck with a driver who parks nearby and gets out to access the meter and take the reading. If you are uncertain if a person at your property is a District meter reader, ask them for identification. Manually read meters are being phased out and replaced with the newest type of meters, the Beacon meter (see below). Approximately 200 replacements are budgeted for each year, and full replacement is scheduled by the end of 2021 – sooner if extra funding is received.
BEACON Read: Over a quarter of all customers are already served by the latest meters known as BEACON Automatic Meter Reading devices, which use radio signals to communicate with cell towers. These meters require no manual reading and are replacing manually read meters. BEACON meters use a technology that provides updated usage information on a daily basis, which customers can access through a password-protected online account. Customers with newly installed BEACON meters are encouraged to set-up their EyeOnWater account as soon as the meter is installed. The online account allows you to be notified by email or text if a leak, (continuous water flow over a 24-hour period) is detected. Click the EyeOnWater link for more information on how to set-up your account and activate leak alerts. Below are additional links to view tutorials.
Set-up EyeOnWater Leak Alerts: http://youtu.be/LIM8a0YeGF4
EyeOnWater Overview: http://youtu.be/NCksx0Pc7j8
EyeOnWater Water Chart: http://youtu.be/HXcfvnKFxPU
Damage and Inaccurate Readings
If your meter has been damaged or is inaccessible for some reason, an estimate based on past consumption will be made and the problem will be remedied as quickly as possible. In any case, the next available meter reading will provide you with the actual usage during the estimated consumption period, and your account will be adjusted to reflect actual water usage.
If you believe your meter is not functioning properly, please contact us and we will send a technician to investigate high or low usage. Please be advised that the following charges will apply for any Special Services requested, per the current EAWSD Rate Schedule.
Why is the District replacing water meters?
Like any other mechanical device, water meters wear out over time and must be replaced. As the District replaces old meters, it is installing newer meters with radio communications, a technology which has become an industry standard. With these meters, the District can reduce the time and expense required to manually read meters every month. The newest meters allow customers to monitor and manage their water use on a daily basis through a password protected website. Customers can program their meter web account to send them a notification alert by email and/or text if the system detects a leak (continuous water flow over a 24-hour period) in their plumbing.
How soon will I get a BEACON meter?
The District replaces at least 200 meters per year, depending on funding availability. Generally, the oldest meters in the system are scheduled for replacement each year, and meters are replaced by street or neighborhood to improve the efficiency of the operation. Customers are notified by mail when their meter is scheduled for replacement.
What changes can I expect to see when I move to the BEACON meter?
Generally, you’ll see more accurate readings and can monitor the use of your water on a daily basis. This way, if you don’t want to exceed a certain level or amount, you’ll need to pay per month, which will offer you greater control and flexibility.
Some customers with new BEACON meters have reported readings that they believe are higher than their old meters produced. This has to do with greater accuracy and a device that is more sensitive than older technology. Any increases are linked directly to your water usage. If you have questions about a reading, contact the EAWSD business office at (505) 466-1085.
Are radio-read water meters safe?
The short answer is yes. Periodically, customers have contacted the District with questions regarding the general safety of radio-read meters and those used by EAWSD. What we let them know is, the radio frequencies are far below harmful levels, and well below general daily transmissions in technology such as TVs, wireless and cell phones, as well as radios.
For a more comprehensive answer, and to learn more about how the device works, its energy output, transmission frequency, and the role that distance plays in exposure, click here.
Other special service requests will be charged on time and materials basis; estimates available from EAWSD. Neither EAWSD nor its contractors will conduct any work on the customer’s side of the water meter.
Important: Do not open the lid of a water meter enclosure. You can cause damage to the meter. Fines may be levied for unauthorized access.