Metering and Accountability

AWWA Policy Statement on Metering and Accountability

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) recommends that every water utility accurately meter all water taken into its system and all water distributed from its system at its customers’ points of service. Meters should be read at sufficiently frequent intervals appropriate to support the utility’s understanding of volume of production, rate structures and to provide accurate bills and feedback to its customers.

Data collected from accurate metering is essential for wholesale and retail customer billing, system performance studies, facility planning, and the evaluation of conservation measures. An effective metering program relies upon selecting and managing the proper metering technology and data collection for the customer's consumption patterns; including determining the proper size, type, and installation of meters and periodic accuracy testing, repair, maintenance and replacement of all meters. These practices ensure optimum accuracy at reasonable cost. Accurately recording all water consumption provides a basis for effective recovery of revenue and assessing users fairly and equitably for all services used, which encourages the efficient use of water.

Metering may also be part of a program that facilitates the recovery of costs associated with the provision of wastewater services.

AWWA also recommends that utilities annually compile a water audit meeting acceptable quality assurance standards to demonstrate accountability and effective use of metering information. Water audits evaluate the effectiveness of metering and meter reading systems, as well as billing, accounting, and loss control programs. Accurate metering, water auditing and effective loss control allows an equitable recovery of revenue based on level of service and wise use of available water resources.

Practices specified in this policy statement are consistent with all other pertinent AWWA policy statements.

Adopted by the Board of Directors Jan. 26, 1969, revised June 15, 1980, reaffirmed June 22, 1986, revised June 6, 1993, June 21, 1998, and June 18, 2004 and Jan. 17, 2010. Revised June 8, 2014. Revised Jan 24, 2019.