Why is my water meter being replaced?

Over time, meters become less accurate and can provide inaccurate readings. By replacing meters, our city will be able to bill more accurately and efficiently for water usage. In addition, the new system will include an automatic meter reading technology that will prevent any recording errors, minimize the need for the city to go on the private property of residents, and potentially allow water line leaks to be identified earlier by analysis of data collected.

Does this mean my bill will be increasing?

In cases where rates remain consistent, the new meters will simply record consumption more accurately. In some cases, your bill may increase, but only if the current meter is underreporting usage. Presently, the majority of residents are paying for the water they are actually using, while a few residents are only paying for a portion of actual usage. This condition is not fair to all residents. The City does not intend to make bills retroactive where under-billing has been noted. The new system will ensure fairness and equality for all the residents and businesses from this point forward.

When will this work be performed?

The work will begin in August of this year. The entire project will take approximately 4-5 months to complete. In most cases the transition will be completely transparent and will not affect the residents. The work will be performed during normal working hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

How will this affect my service?

A contractor will come to your residence and replace your water meter. There will be interruption of service for approximately 30 minutes during the change, but after that it will be the same great service (and even better) that you’ve come to expect.

How long will it take?

In most cases, it’s a simple procedure that will require about 30 minutes.

How do I know who is authorized to do the work?

We have contracted with Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) to conduct this service. They will be driving UTILITY METERING SOLUTIONS trucks, wearing bright yellow shirts identified by “UTILITY METERING SOLUTIONS Meter Replacement Team” and carrying City of West Monroe Contract Labor identification.

Do they need to come inside my house?

No. Our City Water meters are located outside.

Do I have to be present for the installation if the meter is outside my home?

No, if your outside meter is accessible, it will not be necessary for anyone to be home. In this case, the majority of the work will take place near the street in the water meter box.

However, if your water meter is not accessible, for example within a locked area, then please call UMS at (800) 504-2568 to schedule the installation appointment.

I’m on vacation or not available that day. Whom do I call?

For outside meters which are accessible, it will not be necessary for anyone to be home as the majority of the work will take place near the street in the water meter box.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the West Monroe Public Works Department office at (318) 325-0496.

Why was I not able to turn on my water after the meter was installed?

In rare instances, the main cut-off valve to your home may be left off. This will occur when the Utility Metering Solutions installation team is not able to pressurize your home following the installation. The normal cause of this condition is when an inside spigot is opened during the installation and subsequently left open. The water is not turned back on to ensure a sink or bath tub does not overflow with the resident not home to turn the water off. In these cases, your water will be left off and a door hanger will be left on your door providing you a point of contact to call to have your water turned back on immediately.

Is there any special care or maintenance that I need to do to my new meter?

No, your new meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner. As before, the City will take care of all maintenance. However, please know that this new meter has transmitting technology on it that allows your meter to be read remotely.

Will wireless technology affect my health or privacy?

The new meters will not negatively affect health or privacy. In fact, overall health will be improved and privacy enhanced by replacing vehicles and manual visits to your home with environmentally clean cellular communication. The wireless portions of the system will be operated according to Federal Communications Commission rules, and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. The transmitters use one-quarter of the power of a cellphone transmission. In fact, exposure to radio waves from smart meters is absolutely tiny compared to cellphones transmissions. The amount of exposure to radio waves decreases with the square of the distance from the radio source and the total transmission time is only 15 seconds per day.

I still have questions, where can I get additional information?

The City is working to answer everyone’s questions as thoroughly as possible. Residents may contact the West Monroe’s Public Works Department office at 325-0496.

Click here to view FAQ's regarding the new water meters