Utility Billing Questions
1. How do I know if my water bill matches my meter reading?
The City of Mesquite bills customers for each 100 gallons of water used. A customer’s monthly charges are based on the number of gallons a customer uses during a billing period. When reading a customer’s meter (normally located in the parkway between the sidewalk and curb), the register of the meter is similar to an odometer which has incrementing numbers. To determine a customer’s water usage, the reading system records the number on the meter on the first day of the billing cycle. After 30 days, the reading system records the reading again. The first reading is then subtracted from the second reading to determine the customer’s water use, in gallons, for the month. In the example below, the previous reading, 2507, is subtracted from the current reading, 2595, which equals 88. Since the meter reads in hundreds (100x) of gallons, the actual water use is 8,800 for the month. For more information or question, please contact Water Billing at (972) 216-6208.
2. How often does my meter get read?
The City of Mesquite reads every meter each month. With the new AMI electronic metering system, the new water meters transmit readings to the reading system and are compiled for billing. Utilities staff manually read any meters that are not responding to the electronic reading system and are added to the electronic readings. When reading manual meters Meter Readers walk to each meter, lift the lid, take the reading, and enter the number into a handheld processor.
3. Who is making sure the meter readings are correct?
The Water Billing Department uploads the data from the electronic system and manual readings from the handheld processors once each month. During this process, the water billing program will flag meters that are out of normal range. Water Billing then requests a confirmation of the meters that are flagged. Meter Readers will take another reading of the meter to check the accuracy of the first reading.
4. I have had a new meter installed and my bill has increased. Can I have my meter tested?
The City of Mesquite Water Utilities Department replaces water meters after a specific amount of time or during a meter replacement program. Every meter eventually becomes worn out and fails to keep an accurate measure of water used, normally showing less water, over time. When a new meter is installed, it will register water passing through it more accurately up to 97% and could result in an increased water bill.
Older meters tend to lose accuracy as they age and therefore don’t measure all the water going through them. The new water meter will accurately measure the water you use. All new meters are tested prior to delivery by the manufacturer to ensure that they register properly. If you see a higher bill immediately upon the new meter installation, it’s likely the old meter was running slow.
5. My water was off due to a water main break or a private repair. Now I hear noise in my water line and air is coming from my faucet after I turn the water on. What should I do?
Sometimes air enters the water line after a repair is made in the system. If you have air in your water line, turn on all faucets inside and let the water run for at least five minutes. Flushing toilets while the water is on will also help push the air out of the line.
6. City crews are, or were, working on a water line repair near my street. Will it affect my bill?
If a repair is made on the water main or service line, there is no impact on a customer’s water usage. Water must pass through the meter before it will register on the customer’s meter.
7. Why do I have milky-colored water coming out of my faucet?
This is caused by air being introduced into the system through pumping or a recent repair. If you fill a container and it looks white or milky, let it settle for a while and it will clear up as the bubbles rise. The water is safe to use and will return to normal over a short period of time. If this condition persists, contact the Water Utilities Division at 972-216-6278 and a technician will flush the fire hydrants around your residence or business.
8. Why do I have low pressure in my house?
Experiencing low pressure in just one location within your home indicates a restriction at that particular water outlet. This is generally caused by the aerator screen becoming blocked with the natural minerals found in the water. Removing, cleaning, and or replacing the aerator should alleviate the problem.
Some older homes may still have corroded galvanized pipes (smaller opening), which over time will cause a reduction of flow and pressure. If there is low pressure throughout the residence, contact the Water Utilities Division at 972-216-6278 to have your pressure and flow tested at the meter location by a technician.