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Water meters 5/8-inch water meter photo

Meter reading

A water meter accurately measures the amount of water you use. Reading your water meter allows you to monitor the amount of water you use and can help you discover leaks in your plumbing.

To avoid estimated bills and ensure you only pay for the water you use, please provide regular water meter readings. Beginning January 1, 2016, we require at least one water meter reading per year from all customers.

Meter sizes

  • Meter sizes range from 5/8" to 10 inches.
  • Meter size refers to opening of the meter where the water enters.
  • Meter size is determined based on the maximum consumption demand of all plumbing fixtures to be installed in the building. For more information on water meter sizing, contact 311.
  • For more information about internal pipes and plumbing configurations please see our drawings of installation details or contact your plumber.

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1 1/2 -inch water meter photo New meter installation

  • We will turn on the water and install a new water meter at no cost under the following conditions:
    • The building must have a control valve installed where the meter will go. The area must be accessible and be heated in the winter.
    • The shut-off valve at the property line must be operational and at grade.
    • All plumbing must be installed according to our installation details.
  • Meter sizes supplied and installed by the City include:
    • 5/8", 3/4" and 1-inch meters (include gaskets and tail pieces)
    • 1 ˝", 2", 3", 4", 6", 8" and 10-inch meters (include gaskets, nuts, bolts and companion flanges)
  • For water meter installation requirements, please see our drawings of installation details

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Meter exchange

  • Water meters are exchanged as required, typically every five to 25 years, depending on meter size.
  • Meters are replaced at no cost, unless the meter has been tampered with or damaged.
  • Smaller-size, residential meters are usually changed in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Larger meters may take several hours.
  • If you think your meter needs to be exchanged, please contact 311.
  • If your meter is due for an exchange we will send you a letter explaining how to set up a mandatory replacement appointment.
  • Before your appointment:
    • Ensure the stop and waste valve before the meter is working. You are responsible for the repair of defective plumbing or valves on your property. If faulty plumbing prevents the meter replacement, you may be charged for a second appointment to exchange your meter.
    • Make sure the area around the meter is clear of obstructions so the installer can access the meter. If possible, a three foot by three foot area is ideal.

Any missed scheduled appointments will be subject to a fee. See the Fees and Charges manual for current fees.

We require that an adult be present during the installation. This could be the resident, a friend or a relative. We will not enter your home unless authorized to do so by someone 18 years or older or if your children are home alone.

No. Water meters are mechanical devices that need to be replaced periodically to ensure you are billed for the actual water you use. As water meters age, they lose their ability to accurately record water use. If you receive a letter advising you that your water meter needs to be replaced, a new meter is required for future billing.

No, not necessarily. In some cases, your bill may increase, but only if your current meter is underreporting usage.

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Moving a meter

  • Meters may be moved at the customer’s expense.
  • Before you contact a plumber, email us at
  • We require a drawing of your planned installation.
  • The new location of your water meter must meet our installation details.

3-inch water meter photo

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Removing a meter

  • We will remove a meter without installing a new meter if:
    • you have abandoned your water service pipe
    • you have purchased a demolition permit and taken out a permit so the water service pipe can be reused
    • the meter is installed on a seasonal water service pipe
  • You must contact us to have the water turned off and to remove your meter.

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Leaky meters

  • During hot summer months, condensation may form on cold water meters and the surrounding piping, giving the appearance of a leak.
  • Brass meter connections (tail pieces) found on 5/8 to one inch meters may leak if disturbed. Meter connections are the property of the City and are repaired at no cost.
  • Meter leaks should be reported immediately to prevent property damage and water loss. Preventing leaks in your home will save you money on your utility bill.
  • Water meter leaks may be controlled by closing the shut off valve by the meter.
  • You are responsible for and own the control valve and surrounding piping. Contact a plumber for valve problems or leaks inside your property.
  • If a meter is removed during repairs, email for an inspection and to reseal the meter.

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Frozen meters

  • Meters can leak if they are exposed to sub-zero temperatures.
  • To prevent frost damage, ensure the area near the meter is well heated or the meter and surrounding piping are well insulated.
  • If a water meter is damaged, we will replace the meter at your expense.

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Water meter test bench photo Meter testing

  • New meters are tested at random for quality control before being installed.
  • The dial hand and register move as water passes through the meter.
  • High consumption readings are most often caused by internal household leaks from toilets and taps.
  • If you think you have a faulty meter, you can request that your meter be checked for accuracy. There is a charge for this service. See rates for meter testing for more information

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Automated Meter Reading

We are currently conducting an automated meter reading pilot program in the Waverley West and Ridgewood South areas. New automated water meters are being installed in 2,100 homes. These new meters transmit meter data wirelessly to the Water and Waste Department. The benefits to customers include:

  • more accurate water bills
  • eliminating the need for customers to supply quarterly meter readings
  • the water meter’s advanced technology identifies the possibility of a water leak at a property

In addition to the pilot project in Waverley West, there are 350 advanced water meters in commercial and industrial buildings throughout Winnipeg.

Automated meter reading devices comply with Industry Canada regulatory limits and are safe to be installed in homes and businesses. A wireless transmitter is typically attached to the water meter or installed just above the water meter in the basement. The meter sends signals similar or lower in strength to typical household devices. For more information, please visit Health Canada’s website.

When the pilot program is complete, consideration will be given to expanding the program to other areas.

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Multiple metering

Multiple metering is usually found in multiple-family buildings or buildings with multiple businesses (ex: strip malls). Each individual unit in these buildings can be metered and billed directly, with service pipes split into individual water lines.

To convert an existing property, property owners must apply to have more than a single water meter on a single water service pipe.

The requirements for multiple metering include:

  • An approved application is required before beginning any plumbing work.
  • All meters must be installed where the water service line enters the building.
  • The meters must be installed in a single room that is accessible at all reasonable times.
  • Customers must comply with all requirements for multiple metering per Water By-law 107/2015, the City of Winnipeg Standard Construction Specifications and all requirements of the approved application
  • For new construction, the water service line must enter the building within 1,000 millimetres of the exterior wall. Multiple metering must be installed where the water service line enters the building.

Property owners should note that tenants will be billed directly for water usage. However, unpaid water bills can be added to property taxes, which is the property owner’s responsibility.

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For more information

Contact 311.

Last updated: February 21, 2017