Water Meter Replacment

Water Meter Replacement

Elkhart Public Works

2017 Water Meter Replacement Program

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is the City implementing a residential water meter change-out program?

A. The majority of our community’s current meters are past their optimal age. Replacing them will improve their accuracy as well as our technological capabilities.


Q. What is the life expectancy of a residential water meter?

A. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) advocates the optimal age to replace water meters is 15 years. The AWWA was established in 1881 and is an international non-profit, scientific and educational organization whose primary objective is to improve water quality and supply. The AWWA Government Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., keeps utilities and the public informed about federal regulatory developments and directions. 


Q. How many residential meters are in our system?

A. Citywide, there are 18,427 residential meters in our system.


Q. How many of Elkhart’s residential meters are 15 years or older?

A. 64 percent of the 18,427 residential meters are 15 years or older.


Q. What benefits will the new meters provide to the utility?

A. As meters increase in age, parts wear and accuracy diminishes. The new meters will provide a more accurate measurement of consumption. They will also enable future remote reads directly to the Utility Billing Office in real time.


Q. What benefits will the new meters provide to the customer?

A. Consumption will be displayed in gallon units which customers can better relate to.


Q. How long is this change-out expected to take?

The program will be completed in multiple phases. This is anticipated to take three to four years, thus allowing the water utility to spread the cost over a longer period.


Q. When is the first phase expected to begin?

A. The project was awarded to NECO at the September 5 Board of Works meeting. The City is expected to issue the Notice To Proceed by mid October and the he Contractor has 45 days from the issuance to begin scheduling and installing meters in the first phase.


Q. How long will each phase take to complete?

A. The first phase (Cycle 2) is expected to be completed 180 days from NTP. The time frame for each phase will vary slightly because the number of residential meters in each cycle varies (geographical boundaries are generalized).

Cycle 1 = 3,659 residential meters north of St Joe River, west of Johnson

Cycle 2 = 3,208 residential meters north of St Joe River, east of Johnson

Cycle 3 = 6,408 residential meters south of St Joe River, west of Prairie / CR 9

Cycle 4 = 5,152 residential meters south of St. Joe River, east of Prairie / CR 9


Q. Who will pay for this change-out?

A. All water meters and labor to install them will be paid entirely by the city of Elkhart Water Utility.


Q. Will this cost residential customers anything?

A. There will be no direct cost to the water customer.


Q. Who will perform this meter change-out?

A. Neptune Equipment Company (NECO) has been awarded the contract to complete the first phase of this project. You may visit their website here.

Q. How can I schedule an appointment for my meter to be replaced?

A. NECO will send you a letter requesting that you contact them to schedule an appointment either by phone at 800-624-6975 or by web here.


Q. Why are we changing from meters that read in CCF to gallons?

A. There are two reasons to change from CCF to gallon meters. First, consumption which is portrayed in gallons, is easier to visualize. Second, Elkhart is among only 4 percent of Indiana water utilities that use CCF meters. With the demand for CCF meters being so low, replacement parts and meters are not manufactured kept in stock, which has led to prior delays in receiving orders.  Gallon meters and parts are stock items and the chance of back-order and delays is greatly reduced. 


Q. How will this affect the water rates?

A. Water rates will not change but consumption will be now illustrated in gallon units which customers can better relate to.


Q. What affect will this have on the average residential water / sewer bill?

A. AWWA (referenced in Question 2 above) sets standards for our nation’s water systems, acknowledges that water meters loose accuracy over time.  AWWA Journal, Volume 91, issue 7, reported on a detailed study conducted by the Alameda County Water District (ACWD) in Fremont California, which evaluated the efficiency of water meters comparable to the style of meters common to Elkhart.   Based on the percent accuracy found in that study and Elkhart water and wastewater rates, a 5-year-old meter might observe a 13 cent per month increase in the water portion of their bill and a 51 cent per month increase in the wastewater portion of their bill.   A meter that is 15 years old might observe a 36 cent per month increase on the water portion of their bill and a $1.47 per month increase on the wastewater portion of their bill.