Municipal Services

Regulatory Affairs

Water Meters

Water metering will
  • Encourage efficient water use among customers;
  • Ensure that customers enjoy a high quality and reliable water source for years to come; and
  • Provide more equitable charges for water service.

Meters will allow customers to pay for what they actually use. Customers then can directly benefit from efficient water use measures they choose to implement. The installation of water meters will mean that water bills will be based on actual water consumption. Your current bill already includes the cost of water meter installation, including the cost of the meter. On average, most households on metered water will have little change in their water bill Customers who use above the average amount of water will see their bill increase Metered water bills are generally higher in the summer and lower in the winter.

question mark Why are water meters being required?
In 2004, the State Legislature passed a law requiring utilities to charge water customers based on the actual volume of water used. The deadline to comply with this law is 2010 for all homes built since January 1, 1992 and 2025 for all homes built before 1992.

question mark What kind of water meters will be installed?
The City has chosen to install an automated meter reading (AMR) system - the water meter's reading will be automatically transmitted to a central computer by a radio signal. The transmitter or "endpoint" is a grey box labeled "Itron" and is attached to the meter by a single black wire.

question mark When will meters be installed?
Water meter installations began in early 2007. The City plans to have all of the water accounts metered by the end of 2008.

question mark After the water meter is installed, when will customers start being charged based on actual water usage?
Metered billing is scheduled to begin in early 2011. Therefore, you will continue to receive your regular flat-rate bill at least through the end of 2008. Please use this transition time to read your own meter and assess your typical water use. Now is the time to review your water use and make appropriate changes— adjust your sprinklers and fix leaky fixtures. A running toilet can waste 20-40 gallons per hour– that’s almost 29,000 gallons per month! You can also contact the City of Turlock at 668-5590 for a detailed print-out of your water consumption.

question mark How will the water meter project affect my water bill?
The cost of purchasing and installing water meters has already been funded through a series of five annual water rate increases (starting in 2004 and ending in 2008). So, other than continuing to pay your regular utility bill, you will not receive a separate or additional bill for the cost of purchasing and installing your water meter.

Any future changes to the water rates (i.e. the charge per gallon) will be subject to a notice, protest vote and public hearing consistent with the requirements of Proposition 218.

How to read your water meter

What can I do to save water?

Some of the simplest things the average household can do to reduce water use include: efficient landscape watering, complying with the City’s adopted landscape watering schedule, adding aerators to faucets, installing low flow shower heads, and fixing leaky toilets and faucets. For more water conservation ideas, check out the City of Turlock’s website at You can also sign up for weekly E-tips sent right to your e-mailbox and/or the City of Turlock, Municipal Services Department’s Go Green newsletter.

Regulatory Affairs
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Municipal Services
156 S Broadway, Suite 270
Turlock, CA 95380
(209) 668-5590
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