Pinellas County Utilities, in partnership with authorized contractors Badger Meter and Pedal Valves, Inc. (PVI), is starting the process of replacing commercial and residential drinking water meters and installing reclaimed water meters.
These meters will be replaced with electronic meters, also known as smart meters, which will provide more accurate water usage data for billing purposes using a cellular network. This technology has been available for many years and is used for other services like gas and electric utilities and parking meters.
The first step in replacing meters is for PVI employees to verify the location and the condition of existing meters and determine the best method to replace each meter. This process includes taking pictures of the meter and the surrounding area near it, which may include pictures of the property or nearby street. In some neighborhoods, for meters located on private property, PVI employees may need to briefly work where the meter is located.
Water meter changeouts and reclaimed water meter installations will start in December 2022. This process will take place neighborhood by neighborhood, and the project will continue through 2026.
PVI employees will wear company identification. Survey work should average 15 minutes at each property. If you have questions about survey work on your property, please call our Customer Services team at (727) 464-4000.
Thank you for your patience and support as we make improvements to provide a higher quality of service to our customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the meters being replaced?
Meters can become less accurate as they age. They have a useful life of between 12 and 15 years.
What is different about electronic smart meters?
The new meters are automated, meaning they transmit water usage meter readings through a cellular network. This allows water account data to be continuously accessible to customers. This means Pinellas County employees will no longer physically read each meter for billing purposes.
Will service be interrupted during this process?
Service will not be disrupted while Pedal Valves, Inc. employees are verifying meter locations. There will be a temporary service interruption while meters are being replaced, which usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Customers will receive notices when this is scheduled to take place on their property. Pedal Valves, Inc. employees will try to talk to customers, when possible, immediately before they replace each meter. Additionally, customers will receive a door-hanger notice stating what work was completed or if there was an issue.
Do I need to be home when the meter location is verified?
No. The process should average 15 minutes at each property.
Will new meters increase my water bill?
With drinking water, there may be a change in a customerís bill because the reading will be more accurate. New meters may also help detect leaks that customers can repair to improve water conservation, which can reduce a water bill.
With reclaimed water, bills may increase because meters did not previously record reclaimed water use. Approximately one year after the new reclaimed water meter is installed, customers will be billed by actual reclaimed water use rather than be billed at a flat rate. This will give customers time to understand and adjust their reclaimed water use.
How much will the smart meter cost?
Customers do not need to pay additional fees for new meters.