Single Family Water Meter Program

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do water meters help conserve water?
Water meters provide information about water usage. When customers are made aware of their water use, they tend to reduce their overall water consumption and save money. To help you save water and money, all properties with a water meter qualify for free water conservation devices.

These devices consist of:
  • Low-flush showerhead
  • Low-flow faucet aerators (for both kitchens and bathrooms)
  • Pop-flush device (to reduce your toilet's water use).
Water meters also help identify leaks which are a common cause of excessive consumption. Eliminating leaks benefits everyone.

2. Why is conserving water important?Water Meter-showerhead
Conserving water saves money for all of us.
When water is conserved, the need for upgrades and new infrastructure can be reduced. It also means less water goes to treatment facilities, saving energy and money.

Conserving water leads to energy conservation
Using less water results in less energy being used to heat water and to pump potable water and wastewater.

Conserving water stimulates job creation
New economic activities are triggered for water-related manufacturing and service sectors, encouraging new business opportunities and job creation.

Conserving water is environmentally friendly
Reduced water use helps to preserve and protect the habitat of fish and wildlife. These natural attractions are essential to the economic health of BC's tourism and outdoor recreation industries.

3. Where will my water meter be installed?
Your water meter will be installed near the City's water shutoff valve located at your property line. Once the installation is complete, the area surrounding the meter box will be restored. It is important you keep the meter box clear of any obstacles.

4. Does it cost me anything to have a water meter installed?
There is no charge to the property owner or resident.

5. How often will I receive a bill under the metered rate?
You will receive water and sewer bills four times per year on a quarterly basis.

6. Why are metered water and sewer billed quarterly instead of annually?
Quarterly billing allows homeowners to more closely monitor their water consumption and improves their ability to detect leaks. An annual billing program would reduce the opportunity for leak detection, potentially resulting in residents accumulating substantial consumption and charges due to unattended leaks and water waste.

7. Can I revert back to the flat rate after the meter is installed?
No.

8. What is the first year guarantee?Water Meter - House Picture
The City of Richmond is offering the First Year Guarantee Program to help people adjust to the metered rate. If, after 12 months of billing under the metered rate, your bills exceed what you would have paid on the flat rate over that same period, you can apply to receive a credit for the difference. You must apply for this rebate within 15 months from the date of the install. There will be no credit in the second or subsequent years.

9. Will my plumbing system or hot water tank be affected by the water meter installation?
Your plumbing system will not be affected, as long as it is in a state of good repair. If you have concerns about your plumbing system, then you should contact a plumber to conduct an assessment prior to the water meter installation.

Water Meter - Water Meter Installation10. How long will my water service be disrupted?
The water will be disrupted for approximately 1 hour, barring any unforeseen complications.

11. Do I have to be home for the installation?
No.

12. What do I have to do prior to the installation?
Prior to the water meter installation, residents must ensure:

1. Your outside hose tap is operational and accessible.
2. Your water shutoff is clear of obstructions (ie parked cars, locked gates).
3. Your plumbing system is in a state of good repair.

13. Will the meter affect my water pressure?
No.

14. Are the water saving devices guaranteed to work?
The water saving devices have the potential to reduce indoor water use significantly but results will vary from home to home.