Water Meter Replacement Program
We are replacing old water meters with new ones as they age, and replacing the batteries that power our Automated Meter Reading system.
Water meters mechanically measure the water as it enters your property and the water moves through the device. You can find the meter where the water service connects to a building, usually in the basement on the wall closest to the street, but it could be on the first floor. An automated meter reading device, or AMR, is connected to the meter. The AMR is a radio transmitter powered by a battery. As the meter reading van passes by the building on the street, a data-collecting device records the meter reading transmitted by radio signal from the AMR. The receiver transfers the signal to a central database for billing, troubleshooting and analyzing. Water bills are based on actual readings and not estimates. AMR helps detect water leaks and reduces water waste. As an environmental bonus, the van is powered with biodiesel fuel.
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin requires utilities to make sure meters are working properly and producing accurate readings for billing. We are currently replacing meters for residential and small business customers as their working life and battery power run out.
The replacement affects single family homes and dwellings of four and fewer units, and small businesses in Milwaukee, Greenfield, Hales Corners, St. Francis, and West Milwaukee. These communities are retail customers of the utility and for whom we provide water, system maintenance, and billing.
The Milwaukee Water Works owns the meters and electronic reading devices but we must ask property owners to allow us to enter each property to replace the meter. We will notify you with a letter asking you to call us at (414) 286-8000, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. to make an appointment for meter replacement. A meter service technician will visit your property to remove the water utility’s old meter and replace it and the AMR device and battery.
If we are not able to schedule an appointment to replace the meter at your property, we will mail a water disconnection notice asking you to call and make an appointment. If, after 10 days, we still have not heard from you, we will disconnect water service to the property. Buildings without water service will be ordered closed by the City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services.
Our technicians may call on a property without an appointment as they make replacements in a particular area. Also, if your bill indicates you have had multiple estimated meter readings, you will be asked in a letter or phone call to make an appointment to have the meter and electronic device replaced. The meter readings were estimated because the meter is not working properly or might have been disconnected.
Meters are installed by Milwaukee Water Works employees. Our employees will arrive in a City of Milwaukee-identified vehicle and carry Milwaukee Water Works identification. Our meter technicians wear a blue shirt or jacket with the Milwaukee Water Works logo clearly visible on the front. If you have any doubt about the identity of a person asking to enter your property, please ask the technician to show you their identification. If they refuse, do not allow the person into your property.
The installation will take 20-30 minutes as the meter technician temporarily turns off the water, installs the new meter and electronic reading device, and turns the water back on.
Our automated meter reading devices provide these benefits:
- AMR eliminates, with rare exceptions, the need to estimate a bill.
- Reliable readings gained with AMR help customers identify plumbing leaks that result in higher-than-normal bills.
- AMR eliminates the need for a water meter reader to visit the home, once the meter and battery have been replaced.
- There is no charge for the meter and battery replacement. It is included in the cost of service.