Water Meter FAQs

In New York City, Automated Meter Reading (AMR) devices connect to your individual water meter. These devices transmit readings to a computerized billing system up to four times a day. This technology enables customers to view and manage their water consumption on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis using their MY DEP Account. To schedule the installation, repair or replacement of an AMR device, please contact Customer Service. Go to How We Bill You to learn more about water rates or Billing FAQs for questions about water and sewer bills.

How can I get a water meter installed in my property?

Property owners should contact Customer Service to schedule the installation of an automated meter reading device.

Who is responsible for the water meter?

For most small properties in New York City, DEP is responsible for the initial installation, replacement and repair of the water meter. There are some occasions where the property owner may be responsible and all newly constructed or renovated properties must install water meters at their own expense. Property owners may also be responsible for replacement of the meter if it is illegally removed.

Property owners are responsible for protecting their water meters and ensuring that they are not damaged by freezing weather or negligence. Learn more about how to Protect your Pipes and Meters from Freezing.

Where is my water meter?

Water meters are required to be installed on a property’s water supply line very close to where it enters the building. Some water lines come into a property underground, which requires the water meter be installed in a pit, which may be indoors, in a basement, under a sub-floor, in a garage or outdoors in a yard. Where an outdoor pit is required, it must be insulated to protect the meter in winter.

How can I check the accuracy of my water meter?

If you feel that your water meter is recording incorrectly, you may request to have a “meter accuracy test” performed on your water meter. This test is not free and a service fee of $180.00 must be paid before a water meter test appointment can be arranged. Please contact Customer Service for more information about this service.

How do I read my water meter?

All water meters approved for use by DEP read much like a car odometer. To learn how to read your water meter properly, download How to Read a Water Meter.

What should I do if I am buying or selling a property?

If you are buying property in New York City, it is important to request a Property Transfer Meter Reading (or title reading) prior to the closing. To protect yourself from charges incurred by the seller you must obtain the reading thirty (30) days prior to the closing. Buyers should have their legal representative request that the seller obtain this title reading thirty days prior to the closing.

Important steps to keep in mind:

  1. Buyers should request a title meter reading from DEP at least a month in advance of the closing. Contact Customer Service to schedule a title reading.
  2. Sellers need to stop automated bill payments before the sale is final. Contact Customer Service for more information.
  3. Sellers who have opted to participate in the Service Line Protection Program should call (888) 300-3570 to cancel their service line protection coverage.
  4. Sellers must unenroll from their My DEP Account before the sale is final to stop receiving leak notifications and paperless bills. Contact Customer Service for more information.
  5. Buyers should file a Customer Registration Form. This form provides DEP with the appropriate information for water and sewer bills. Once you are registered, take advantage of online bill payments and sign up for a My DEP Account. A My DEP Account allows you to view your water consumption, detect costly leaks and pay your bills online.

To print out this information, download the Buying or Selling Property Guide.

Please note that title readings cannot be issued for accounts with issues related to the denial of access process, theft of services violations, or any other DEP related violations.

Can my AMR device change my water meter readings?

No, your AMR device cannot change your water meter readings. As a one way transmission device, it does not have the ability to affect how your water meter measures your consumption.

Does the AMR equipment meet industry and federal standards?

Yes. AMR technology is designed to function at very low power levels and is in widespread use throughout the utility industry. We only use AMR equipment that has been tested and is compliant with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) standards. Similar systems are used by many other major cities, including Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Washington, D.C.

Why are my water meter readings taken at different times of the day?

AMR water meter readings are taken at different times of the day to ensure that radio frequencies are transmitted and received properly.

Why are there no reads, just estimates, at certain times?

More than 99% of all automated meter readings are received without disruption. However, there are times when DEP is unable to receive the water meter’s signal. On these rare occurrences, the consumption graph will either indicate “Read not Available” or an average consumption will be displayed based on the next reading that is received. Because the AMR system sends daily water meter readings, isolated disruptions will not affect your water bill. If there are no reads for more than a week, please contact Customer Service to schedule an appointment.

Does AMR equipment interfere with TV, personal computers, or other electronic equipment?

No. AMR equipment is outside your building in most cases and operates on a low-power frequency band reserved specifically for this purpose. It is highly unlikely to interfere with the operation of any other electronic equipment.

Does the AMR transmitter run on my home’s electricity?

No, AMR transmitters run on batteries with a 20 year lifespan.