Water Meters & Meter Conversion
Water is precious commodity in our high-desert region, dependent on unpredictable snowpack for our supply. In December of 2001, the TMWA Board of Directors adopted a policy to accelerate the water meter retrofit program to address this issue. (Download the policy.)
TMWA customers who move into a home previously billed on a flat water rate will be converted to a metered rate.
This policy will be initiated when a customer calls with a change of address, or begins new service. Currently, all commercial businesses are metered. More than 95% of TMWA's customers are also metered, including all homes built after June 1988; however, about 15% of our customers are still being billed on the flat-rate, even though the majority have a meter installed. The average 3/4 inch flat rate customer uses 265,000 gallons of water per year. In comparison, the average metered customer uses only 137,000 gallons per year.
The majority of flat-rate customers already have a non-billing meter installed in their home. For those customers, a comparison is given every month on their water bill -- showing how much the bill would have been had it been billed at the metered rate. You can also view samples of our flat rate and metered bills.
TMWA serves more than 93,000 homes and businesses in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County, making it the largest water purveyor in the area. The vast majority of customers served by other local water purveyors are already billed on a metered rate.
Most metered customers find that on an annual basis, they end up paying the same or less for their water use. Metered customers usually pay less in the winter months, when outside watering is minimal and more in the summer months, depending on lot size, type of landscape and method of irrigation.
If you are interested in making the change to metered service but would like to compare rates before you do so, view our water rates page. Please remember that once you request to switch to the metered rate, you cannot go back to the flat-rate.
After years of study, on December 13, 2007, the TMWA Board of Directors voted to convert all customers who have a meter installed to the metered rate. The initial implementation date was January 2010. However, further analysis of the conversion timing lead to a Board decision on May 21, 2009, to implement the conversion of flat-rate customers to metered billing no sooner than June 2010. We will keep you informed of new details here.