|(a) Meter requirements.
(1) Use of meter. All charges for water service shall
be based on meter measurements, except where otherwise authorized
in the utility's approved tariff.
(2) Installation by utility. Unless otherwise authorized
by the commission, each utility shall provide, install, own and maintain
all meters necessary for the measurement of water provided to its
(3) Standard type. No utility shall furnish, set up,
or put in use any meter which is not reliable and of a standard type
which meets industry standards; provided, however, special meters
not necessarily conforming to such standard types may be used for
investigation or experimental purposes.
(4) One meter is required for each residential, commercial,
or industrial service connection. An apartment building, condominium,
manufactured housing community, or mobile home park may be considered
by the utility to be a single commercial facility for the purpose
of these sections. The commission may grant an exception to the individual
meter requirement if the plumbing of an existing multiple use or multiple
occupant building would prohibit the installation of individual meters
at a reasonable cost or would result in unreasonable disruption of
the customary use of the property.
(b) Meter readings.
(1) Meter unit indication. In general, each meter shall
indicate clearly the gallons of water or other units of service for
which charge is made to the customer.
(2) Reading of meters.
(A) Service meters shall be read at monthly intervals,
and as nearly as possible on the corresponding day of each month,
but may be read at other than monthly intervals if authorized in the
utility's approved tariff.
(B) The utility shall charge for volume usage at the
lowest block charge on its approved tariff when the meter reading
date varies by more than two days from the normal meter reading date.
(c) Access to meters and utility cutoff valves.
(1) At the customer's request, utility employees must
present information identifying themselves as employees of the utility
in order to establish the right of access.
(2) Utility employees shall be allowed access for the
purpose of reading, testing, installing, maintaining and removing
meters and using utility cutoff valves. Conditions that may hinder
access include, but are not limited to, fences with locked gates,
vehicles or objects placed on top of meters or meter boxes, and unrestrained
(3) When access is hindered on an ongoing basis, utilities
may, but are not required to, make alternative arrangements for obtaining
meter readings as described in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection.
Alternative arrangements for obtaining meter readings shall be made
in writing with a copy provided to the customer and a copy filed in
the utility's records on that customer.
(4) If access to a meter is hindered and the customer
agrees to read his own meter and provide readings to the utility,
the utility may bill according to the customer's readings; provided
the meter is read by the utility at regular intervals (not exceeding
six months) and billing adjustments are made for any overcharges or
(5) If access to a meter is hindered and the customer
does not agree to read their own meter, the utility may bill according
to estimated consumption; provided the meter is read by the utility
at regular intervals (not exceeding three months) and billing adjustments
are made for any overcharges or undercharges.
(6) If access to a meter is hindered and the customer
will not arrange for access at regular intervals, the utility may
relocate the meter to a more accessible location and may charge the
customer for the actual cost of relocating the meter. Before relocating
the meter, the utility shall provide the customer with written notice
of its intent to do so. The notice required under this subparagraph
shall include information on the estimated cost of relocating the
meter, an explanation of the condition hindering access and what the
customer can do to correct that condition, and information on how
to contact the utility. The notice shall give the customer a reasonable
length of time to arrange for utility access so the customer may avoid
incurring the relocation cost. A copy of the notice given to the customer
shall be filed with the utility's records on the customer's account.
(7) If access to a meter, cutoff valve or sewer connection
is hindered by the customer and the customer's service is subject
to disconnection under §24.167 of this title (relating to Discontinuance
of Service), the utility may disconnect service at the main and may
charge the customer for the actual cost of disconnection and any subsequent
reconnection. The utility shall document the condition preventing
access by providing photographic evidence or a sworn affidavit. Before
disconnecting service at the main, the utility shall provide the customer
with written notice of its intent to do so. The notice required under
this subparagraph shall include information on the estimated cost
of disconnecting service at the main and reconnecting service and
shall give the customer at least 72 hours to correct the condition
preventing access and to pay any delinquent charges due the utility
before disconnection at the main. The customer may also be required
to pay the tariffed reconnect fee for nonpayment in addition to delinquent
charges even if service is not physically disconnected. A copy of
the notice given to the customer shall be filed with the utility's
records on the customer's account.
(d) Meter tests on request of customer.
(1) Upon the request of a customer, each utility shall
make, without charge a test of the accuracy of the customer's meter.
If the customer asks to observe the test, the test shall be conducted
in the customer's presence or in the presence of the customer's authorized
representative. The test shall be made during the utility's normal
working hours at a time convenient to the customer. Whenever possible,
the test shall be made on the customer's premises, but may, at the
utility's discretion, be made at the utility's testing facility.
(2) Following the completion of any requested test,
the utility shall promptly advise the customer of the date of the
test, the result of the test, who made the test and the date the meter
was removed if applicable.
(3) If the meter has been tested by the utility or
a testing facility at the customer's request, and within a period
of two years the customer requests a new test, the utility shall make
the test, but if the meter is found to be within the accuracy standards
established by the American Water Works Association, the utility may
charge the customer a fee which reflects the cost to test the meter,
but this charge shall in no event be more than $25 for a residential
(e) Meter testing.
(1) The accuracy of a water meter shall be tested by
comparing the actual amount of water passing through it with the amount
indicated on the dial. The test shall be conducted in accordance with
the standards for testing cold water meters as prescribed by the American
Water Works Association or other procedures approved by the commission.
(2) The utility shall provide the necessary standard
facilities, instruments, and other equipment for testing its meters
in compliance with these sections. Any utility may be exempted from
this requirement by the commission provided that satisfactory arrangements
are made for testing its meters by another utility or testing facility
equipped to test meters in compliance with these sections.
(3) Measuring devices for testing meters may consist
of a calibrated tank or container for volumetric measurement or a
tank mounted upon scales for weight measurement. If a volumetric standard
is used, it shall be accompanied by a certificate of accuracy from
any standard laboratory as may be approved by the commission. The
commission can also authorize the use of a volumetric container for
testing meters without a laboratory certification when it is in the
best interest of the customer and utility to reduce the cost of testing.
If a weight standard is used, the scales shall be tested and calibrated
periodically by an approved laboratory and a record maintained of
the results of the test.
(4) Standards used for meter testing shall be of a
capacity sufficient to insure accurate determination of meter accuracy
and shall be subject to the approval of the commission.
(5) A standard meter may be provided and used by a
utility for the purpose of testing meters in place. This standard
meter shall be tested and calibrated at least once per year unless
a longer period is approved by the commission to insure its accuracy
within the limits required by these sections. A record of such tests
shall be kept by the utility for at least three years following the
(f) Meter test prior to installation. No meter shall
be placed in service unless its accuracy has been established. If
any meter shall have been removed from service, it must be properly
tested and adjusted before being placed in service again. No meter
shall be placed in service if its accuracy falls outside the limits
as specified by the American Water Works Association.
(g) Bill adjustment due to meter error. If any meter
is found to be outside of the accuracy standards established by the
American Water Works Association, proper correction shall be made
of previous readings for the period of six months immediately preceding
the removal of such meter from service for the test, or from the time
the meter was in service since last tested, but not exceeding six
months, as the meter shall have been shown to be in error by such
test, and adjusted bills shall be rendered. No refund is required
from the utility except to the customer last served by the meter prior
to the testing. If a meter is found not to register for any period,
unless bypassed or tampered with, the utility shall make a charge
for units used, but not metered, for a period not to exceed three
months, based on amounts used under similar conditions during the
period preceding or subsequent thereto, or during corresponding periods
in previous years.
(h) Meter tampering. For purposes of these sections,
meter tampering, bypass, or diversion shall be defined as tampering
with a water or sewer utility company's meter or equipment causing
damage or unnecessary expense to the utility, bypassing the same,
or other instances of diversion, such as physically disorienting the
meter, objects attached to the meter to divert service or to bypass,
insertion of objects into the meter, other electrical and mechanical
means of tampering with, bypassing, or diverting utility service,
removal or alteration of utility-owned equipment or locks, connection
or reconnection of service without utility authorization, or connection
into the service line of adjacent customers or of the utility. The
burden of proof of meter tampering, bypass, or diversion is on the
utility. Photographic evidence must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit
by the utility when any action regarding meter tampering as provided
for in these sections is initiated. A court finding of meter tampering
may be used instead of photographic or other evidence, if applicable.