Water Meter Care and Frozen Water meters

In each residence, business and industry in the City of Webster City is a city owned water meter. Even though it is owned by the City of Webster City it is the property owner’s responsibility to take care of that water meter.

In the winter time, if your water meter is in an area of your house that can get below freezing (unheated basement or crawl space) it is your responsibility to keep the water meter from freezing.  You will need to insulate it from the cold. It is recommended to wrap it with an electric heat tape and then wrap insulation around it to keep the warmth from the heat tape in. If you feel you cannot do this yourself or don’t know how, we recommend calling one of the many plumbers we have in Webster City to do it for you.

Frozen Water meters

If your meter does freeze, but it has not burst the bottom plate open.

Use a hair dryer to slowly warm it up. You should never use a torch or heat gun to thaw a frozen water meter. This can cause damage to the measuring chamber and or register on the water meter. It could also damage the gaskets in it which could make it start leaking in your house.

If the bottom plate of the water meter breaks open.

  • Shut your water off before the water meter.
  • During normal business hours of 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday; call the Utility Office at City Hall 515-832-9141 to have a technician come and change it out.

After normal business hours or on the weekend, you should call the Police Department.  They will page a meter technician out. You will be billed for overtime hours to have them come to your home.

If you do not want to have the meter technician paged out after normal business hours:

  • Shut your water off before the water meter and call the Utility Office the next business day morning to let them know about the water meter. They will issue a work order and have a technician there as soon as possible.

Do not try to fix the water meter yourself.

Trying to fix the water meter yourself will incur extra charges for tampering on your bill for the frozen water meter.  If you do try to fix the water meter and it is not put back together properly or if you use any type of sealant on it, it could possibly cause toxins to get in the drinking water in your house and possibly the distribution system.

You will be sent a bill for the repair and/or replacement of a damaged water meter. Other charges may also apply. Please pay the Utility Office as soon as possible after receiving your bill. If you cannot afford to pay the bill all at once, Please stop in at the Utility Office or call 832-9141 and talk to them about setting up a payment plan that will work for both you and the Utility Office. They will be happy to work with you to make it easier for you to pay your bill.

Keep your water meter clean.

You should never paint your water meter. If you are painting around it or doing some other type of work in the area of the water meter, it should be masked off so nothing gets on it. When you paint it or allow things to get on the water meter it makes it difficult to verify the reading on the register. This could make it possible for the water meter to be read incorrectly and you could end up paying more than you should.

Keep your water meter dry

If the area your water meter is in is prone to flooding you should have it mounted at least six inches above the highest level of water. If your water meter is in a pit, it is your responsibility to have a sump pump in the pit. The pump should be on the opposite end of the pit as the water meter. The pump should be lower than the water meter to keep it dry.

Accidents can happen.

Sometimes something heavy can get dropped on the water meter causing damage to it. If this happens, call the Utility Office and let them know about it. A meter technician will come to inspect it and decide what should be done with it. You will be charged for any repairs or replacement of a damaged water meter.