Each year as part of the regular maintenance and upkeep of our water system infrastructure, the City of North Richland Hills replaces older water meters that are nearing the end of their useful life. This ongoing meter replacement program ensures water meter readings remain as accurate as possible. Just over 1,600 water meters have been identified for replacement in 2019. The replacement project will begin in late May and should be complete by the end of September. NRH Public Works has partnered with U.S. Bronco Inc. to complete this work.
Following are frequently asked questions about the annual water meter replacement project.
Why do water meters need to be replaced?
Like other mechanical equipment, water meters wear with usage and age and become less accurate and reliable. Over time, the gradual wear-and-tear of daily use can allow water to pass through the meter without measuring all of the flow. By replacing the oldest meters in our system, we can improve overall metering accuracy.
How are meters selected for replacement?
Meters are scheduled for replacement based on their age. All of the meters being replaced are more than 20 years old and have reached the end of their expected useful life.
How are customers notified that their meter is scheduled for replacement?
The Public Works Department mailed a postcard in May to customers whose meters are scheduled for replacement this year. The postcards were mailed to the address that is on file for water billing. In some cases, this may be a landlord or corporate business office, rather than the address where the meter is physically located.
Will my water service be interrupted during the installation?
Yes, water will be turned off temporarily while your meter is being replaced. A U.S. Bronco representative will knock on your door or ring the doorbell to notify you of this prior to turning off the water. In most cases, water will be off for less than 30 minutes while the meter is replaced.
Does someone need to be at home during the installation?
No. Water meters are located below ground in a meter box. These are usually located in the yard, near the curb and street. All work will take place outside your home and you do not need to be present when the meter is replaced.
Will they need to dig in my yard?
Typically no, however some meters may need to be excavated in order for the replacement to occur. On a small percentage of meters light excavation could be possible.
What time will this work take place?
The work will be performed weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Will this impact my water quality?
No, water quality will not be affected; however it is possible for a small amount of air to enter the water line when the meter is replaced. If this happens you will notice a cloudy appearance to your water. Running the water for a few minutes should flush all of the air out of the water line.
Will I be charged for the new meter?
No, there is no charge to customers for the new water meter.
Will I pay more for water as a result of this change?
Your water rate will not change. However, the accuracy of the new meter is factory tested and guaranteed. Therefore if your old meter had become less accurate over time, your bill may increase as a result of the change.
What type of meters are being installed?
The new meters are Badger E-Series ultrasonic meters. These meters have been installed by the City of North Richland Hills since 2014. The older meters being replaced are Badger Recordall Disc meters. Badger water meters are guaranteed by the manufacturer to meet strict American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards for accuracy when they are installed.
Is this a smart meter?
No. Smart meters are internet capable devices that allow customers to review their consumption in real-time. The City of North Richland Hills metering system is not internet connected and does not provide this capability.
With the new meters city staff can obtain daily usage reports for up to 90 days, however we have to send a staff member to the field retrieve that data.
Will there be a change in how or when my water meter is read?
No. Meters will continue to be read once each month, as was done with your old water meter.
Why are some meters in my neighborhood being replaced this year and others are not?
The number of meters replaced each year is dependent on the amount of funding budgeted for the meter replacement project. Meters are selected for replacement based on their age. The oldest 1,600 or so meters in the system are being replaced this year and they are located in neighborhoods and commercial areas across the city. It is possible other meters in your neighborhood were replaced in a prior year, or will be on the schedule for replacement next year.
Any questions about the annual meter replacement project may be directed to the NRH Public Works Utility Division at 817-427-6440 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any questions about your monthly water bill may be directed to the NRH Water Office at 817-427-6200 or by email at email@example.com.