Meter Replacement Program
The City of Waite Park will be replacing water meters within the City as part of its multi-year Water Meter Replacement Program. When you receive a letter, please call Margie Wolf, our Utility Billing Clerk, at 320-229-3683 to schedule an appointment to replace your water meter. Water meter replacement usually takes less than one hour.
Meters which have been in service for 20 years or more will be replaced. As water meters age, they can slow down and lose accuracy, sometimes stopping completely, resulting in incorrect billing. The new meters have an expected 20-year lifespan which will ensure fair and accurate readings and billings.
All new water meters installed in Waite Park will also have a wireless device (MXU) installed that transmits the meter readings electronically. The MXU will be mounted inside your utility room near your water meter. This technology has greatly improved the efficiency of the meter reading process, since it allows the Utility Operators to read the meters by simply driving by your property, versus having to walk house-to-house to obtain the readings.
The water meter replacement program will be on-going. If your current water meter has been in service for more than 20 years, you will receive a letter from the city requesting that you call to schedule an appointment for your meter to be replaced.
During this appointment, two Waite Park Utility Operators will visit your home to replace the water meter, free of charge. Each appointment takes less than one hour to complete, during which the water will be shut off for about 15 minutes. Generally, appointment times will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. and at 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. Tuesday appointments will only be at 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. Someone 18 years of age or older must be home during the appointment.
Before you call to schedule your appointment, you must do the following:
- Ensure the area around the water meter is clear, to allow working space for the installers. The meter must be accessible and not located behind water heaters, water softeners, washer/dryer, boxes or other obstacles. If the meter is not readily available, you will need to hire a plumber to make the meter accessible.
- Ensure the water shut off valve located on the incoming water service and before your water meter, is in working condition. Verify when the valve is shut off, that the water is completely off. If the valve does not operate properly, it is the homeowner's responsibility to have the valve replaced or repaired by a plumber before the meter replacement is scheduled to occur.
A ball valve in the OFF position is shown below. To turn OFF a gate valve, turn the knob clockwise.
The City of Waite Park sincerely appreciates your help in making this project a success. For questions about the Water Meter Replacement Program, please contact Margie Wolf, Utility Billing Clerk, at (320)229-3683 or read the related Frequently Asked Questions listed below.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why is my water meter being replaced?
A: The water meters have reached the end of their useful lives. As water meters age, they can slow down and lose accuracy, resulting in incorrect billing. The new meters, which have an expected 20-year lifespan, will ensure accurate readings and billing.
Q: What is the cost to have my water meter replaced?
A: The water meters are being replaced at no charge to the customer.
Q: How long will it take to replace the water meter?
A: Normal meter installation time is usually less than one hour, during which the water will be shut off for about 15 minutes. In unique situations, it may take slightly longer to replace the water meter.
Q: What is my responsibility as a homeowner?
A: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the water pipes and valves within their homes. Old valves may need to be replaced in order for the new meter to be installed. The below image shows a typical meter setup, with a gate valve (green handles) both before and after the water meter. Homeowners need to test the valve located before the meter (in the below picture, it would be the valve on the right) by shutting it off and testing to see if the home still has water. This valves must work in order for the water meter to be replaced. Sometimes, as the valves age, they fail and will not close. A licensed plumber will need to replace any non-operating valves. Waite Park Utility Operators are not plumbers and cannot replace the valves.
Q: What is required for replacement of the water meter?
A: City Utility Operators will need space around the meter and access to the shut-off valves. You must move any boxes or items stored in front of, or around, the meter. If the meter is located behind an appliance or water heater or softener, you will need to hire a plumber to relocate either the appliance or the meter, so that it is accessible. The shut-off valve located before the meter must be in good working order prior to scheduling your meter replacement.
Q: Do I need to be home for the meter replacement?
A: Yes. Water meters are located inside, typically in a basement or utility area. Someone 18 years or older must be home during the appointment.
Q: Am I required to participate?
A: Yes. Participation in this program is mandatory. Water meters are necessary for the fair and accurate billing of utility services. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and will aid in the smooth completion of this important project.