Water Meter and Sub-Water Meters

by Howard Kirby
(Essex Junction, VT)

Water Meter and Sub-Water Meters

Water Meter and Sub-Water Meters

We pay $89.00 for 1,500 Cubic Foot for water/sewer.

I live in a condo with 77 units with 5 Buildings.

I would like to buy a water meter that would fit a hose connection cost about $70.00.

Use the meter when we have our units power washed.

Question #1:

Would this be OK with the water department?

Question #2:

Would the savings be worth it?

Howard Kirby


See in the photo above the Main Water Supply water meter and sub-water meters installed after the main water meter.

I have installed separate water meters for each of the apartments in this building after the main City water meter.

Each resident pays their own water bill and I believe it's only fair to give them an actual water meter reading of their usage.

Answer to Question #1:

The Water Department (known as the DPW: Department of Public Works) installed their water meter to read actual usage of water supplied to the property or building.

The DPW has no problems with sub-water meters, piping, or plumbing fixtures installed after their water meter as long as the installations are up to code.

Installing a sub-water meter as you described should not be a problem with the DPW and is not a code violation.

Answer to Question #2:

I believe the savings would be worth it especially if the Condo owner's maintenance people are using your water to clean the building.
That should not be your expense in my opinion.

Water Cost Comparison:

You're paying $89.00 for 1,500 cubic feet of water.

(Where I live, we're charged $5.25 for 1,000 cubic feet of water.)

An approximate idea of water flow at about 60psi, is about 5 to 7 gal per minute.

You can test this yourself with a five gallon bucket... Run the water for One-Minute and measure how much water flows out.

Play with those calculations... 30 seconds of water flow equals "how many gallons?".

You can now time the Condo maintenance people to see how long they run the water to get an idea of how much of your water they're using.

Example: 5 gallons per minute times 60 minutes (1-hour) equals 300 gallons of water used.

Your water rate: $89.00 divided by 1,500 gallons equals .06 cents per gallon,
Times the 300 gallons per hour equals $18.00.

Hopes this help you Howard. Feel free to ask for further clarification if needed.

Joe Trometer

P.s. Anyone can comment on this to help Howard by clicking the link below to add your comments.

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Sub Meter For Rental Units
by: Anonymous

Does any know how much is cost to install a sub meter for 3 to 4 rental units?

Water Meter
by: Howard Kirby

Thanks Joe you have been a big help.

Howard Kirby

Hose Bib Water Meter
by: Joe Trometer


Looks like you have a good handle on your water usage and an estimate of how long it takes the power washing company to clean one Condo Unit...

The water usage of five days of power washing from your water meter could add up quickly and cost you maybe a couple hundred dollars.

I doubt that the DPW Water Department would have a problem attaching a sub-water meter at the hose bib where the power washing company connects their equipment.

The question is whether or not you could get the power washing company to reimburse you for their water usage?

Is it only one time per year that they clean your buildings?

Maybe a suggestion to the cleaning company that they use a sub-water meter to gauge how much water they use and include their water usage and costs into their cleaning service bill.

Just a thought,

Joe Trometer

Water Meter
by: Howard Kirby

Thanks Joe,

The $88.92 is sewer and water combined.

By installing the meter we would pay for water only at $38.00 per 1500 cf.

I think it would be a savings because it took a week to power wash just one of 5 units.

I just don't know if the water department will allow us to use a portable meter.

Howard Kirby

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