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Water Meter Replacement


The City of Westminster Public Works and Utilities Department is investing $14 million to replace over 30,000 residential and small commercial water meters beginning in fall 2019. This project will take 12 to 15 months to complete. The new meters will replace aging infrastructure, reduce maintenance costs and improve customer service by giving customers more timely information about their water usage. This meter replacement project is one of many projects the city is investing in to provide safe, reliable water and wastewater service for current and future generations.

Meter replacement contractor

Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) is under contact with the city to replace all small water meters throughout the entire city starting in fall of 2019 and completing the contract by fall of 2020. UMS installers have completed a comprehensive criminal background check, will carry identification and will be wearing UMS branded clothing. 

Meter replacement process

Residents will receive a postcard a few weeks before UMS will begin working in their neighborhood. They will visit every residential property to replace the water meter housed in a meter pit covered by a lid in the front yard. Since the meter is outside, installers do not need to enter homes and residents do not need to be present when they replace the meter. If a resident is home and using water, the installer will coordinate with the resident to shut water service off for 30 to 45 minutes while they replace the meter or come back at a later time. Residents will receive a notice on their door when the meter replacement is complete at their property. 

Please clear your meter pit

Meter Pit Example ImageMeter pits are covered by a lid and are typically located two to six feet from the back of the sidewalk or curb. Residents are asked to provide clear and unobstructed access to the water meter pits on their property. Review the City of Westminster's water meter pit clearance and easement ordinance. 

All meter pits need to be clear of any obstructions to within three feet horizontally and five feet vertically of any shrubs, plants, and trees, as well as six inches of any landscaping material taller than four inches. Any sod growing over meter pits should be maintained as to not obstruct access to the meter pits. Any object(s) that would prohibit meter shop staff or affiliate contractors from gaining access to the meter pits must be removed.  It is critical that this area is properly maintained for this program’s success and regular and emergency access.

Please be aware that if city staff or affiliate contractor are unable to perform their duties, they will be forced to make the proper corrections in order to complete them.  Invoicing for this activity may be included in your water bill as stated in the city ordinance. 

Resident notification

Residents will be first notified of this project in August with a letter reminding them to clear their meter pit. Residents will then receive a postcard a few weeks before UMS installers begin working in their neighborhood. If a resident is home and using water, the installer will coordinate with the resident to shut water service off for 30 to 45 minutes while they replace the meter or come back at a later time. Residents will receive a notice on their door when the meter replacement is complete at their property.  Additional project updates will be posted on this website and on the city's social media

Project benefits

Residents will have more detailed information about their water consumption and will be able to sign up to receive automatic leak notifications in the future. By replacing outdated meters, the city will also reduce labor and equipment costs associated with meter reading and maintenance and will be able to track water usage more accurately.  Over time, meters become less accurate and can provide inaccurate readings, typically under registering consumption. 

Project timeline

The meter replacement project will begin in fall 2019 with meter antenna and software upgrades. Residential meter replacements will begin in January 2020. It will take installers about one year to complete the project and replace residential meters across the city. Installers will work neighborhood by neighborhood. Residents will receive a postcard a few weeks before the installers begin working in their neighborhood. Residents will gain the ability to receive automatic leak notifications after the project is complete in 2021.

The work will begin in fall 2019. The entire project will take approximately 12-15 months to complete. The work will be performed during normal working hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You will receive a postcard prior to work beginning in your neighborhood.

You will receive a postcard a few weeks before the city-approved contractor, Utility Metering Solutions (UMS), begins working in your neighborhood. When they arrive, the water meter will be checked to verify that water is presently not in use.

If no water is being used, the meter will be replaced. If water is being used, the contractor will knock on your door and ask if they can interrupt your service for 30-45 minutes to replace the meter. If that isn’t convenient for you, they will arrange a time to come back.

Over time, meters become less accurate and can provide inaccurate readings, typically under registering consumption. Meters also require more maintenance and manual meter reads as they age.

By replacing meters, the City of Westminster will reduce labor and equipment costs associated with meter reading and maintenance and will be able to track water usage more accurately. In the future, you will have access to more detailed information about your water consumption and can even sign up to be automatically notified if you have a leak.

No appointment is necessary. Work is to be performedoutside the home. Occasionally we will come across meters that may be locatedwithin fenced yards, behind gates, and possibly buried or inaccessible. We willwork with the customer for access.
Not necessarily. In some cases, your bill may increase, but only if the current meter is underreporting usage. The city will not bill retroactive where under-billing has been noted. The new system will ensure fairness and equality for all customers from this point forward.
In most cases, it’s a simple procedure that will require about 30 - 60 minutes total. Water service will be interrupted for approximately 15-20 minutes of that time.

The city has contracted with UMS to complete the meter upgrade. All UMS installers will have an ID badge indicating their name and their employment with UMS, and will be wearing bright yellow T-shirts/jackets/vests with “UTILITY METERING SOLUTIONS” or “UMS” on the back.

Installers will travel in vehicles that have a large “UMS” magnet on the side. All UMS installers have successfully completed a comprehensive criminal background check.

No. Since the meter is outside your home, you do not need to be present.

In rare instances, the shut-off valve within your meter pit may be left off. This will occur when the UMS installation team is not able to pressurize your home following the installation. This condition applies to outside water meters only.

The normal cause of this condition is when an inside water accessory like a faucet 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 while the customer is not home.

In these cases, your water will be left off and a door hanger will be left with contact information to have your water turned back on immediately.

No, your new water meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner. As before, the city owns the meter and will take care of all maintenance.

The city already uses an older wireless technology to read its meters with no negative affect on health or privacy. Similar to the old meters, these meters will use radio signals operated according to Federal Communications Commission rules, and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area.

The meter transmitters use one-quarter of the power of a cell phone transmission. In fact, exposure to radio waves from smart meters is absolutely tiny compared to cell phone transmissions and other electronics within a typical home. Total transmission time is typically less than five seconds per day.

For additional information, please visit https://sensus.com/rf/.

The city is working with UMS to answer questions as thoroughly as possible.

Frequently asked questions and answers will be posted at www.cityofwestminster.us/meterreplacement.

Customers may also contact the city’s meter change-out hotline at 303-706-3499.