City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385

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Water Utility

What is a water meter?

A water meter is a brass bodied device that is typically installed in the crawlspace of homes, multi-family dwellings or commercial accounts to measure water use. All water fixtures, including outside house bibs, are plumbed after the meter in order for it to capture all water use. While most residents are not metered in the City of Juneau, residences having two or more units, commercial businesses, and bulk water sales are required to have a meter.

Do you need a meter? Ask yourself the following questions

  • Do you have a mother-in-law (accessory apartment)?
  • Do you own a duplex or other multi-family dwelling?
  • Have you converted your home into a commercial business with an apartment?
  • Have you converted a portion of your home to host another independent living space?

If you answered any of these questions with a "yes", you might need a Water Meter. Typically, in these situations, most people will end up saving money as they will be paying for the water they use. Contact the CBJ Public Works Water Utility if you would like to have a meter installed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do meters work?
Typical residential water meters have two chambers. A fill chamber and a discharge chamber separated by a movable disc. As water enters the meter body, water floods the filling chamber and displacing a movable disc. The disc then forces water out of the discharge chamber. As this process repeats, the motion of the disc drives gears on the meter register. The meter register then displays the volume of water that passed through the meter.

How are meters read?
For residential accounts, meters are read to the nearest thousand gallons. On a residential meter, you will notice one stationary zero dial with a black background. This dials represents the 10's of gallons used. Because the dial is stationary, the resolution of this meter is said to be 10 gallons. Although the 100 gallon dial turns, the Water Bureau only bills to the nearest thousand (the third number from the left) gallons used each month.

Does somebody need to enter my crawlspace every month to read the meter?
No. The meters are read wirelessly each month. A meter reader only needs to be within 200 feet of the meter to read the signal.

My bill is unusually high, is my water meter broken?
Water meters are most efficient when they are brand new. Similar to a car, the efficiency becomes less with time. In short, water meters become less efficient and actually record fewer gallons per minute than a newer meter.

Who owns the water meter in my crawlspace?
The water meter remains the property of the CBJ water utility. Your only responsibility is to continue to provide a warm dry environment for the meter.

Need Help?
If you think your water bill is high and it is not a result of water leaks, call the CBJ Public Works Water Utility at 586-0995 to have your water meter's accuracy checked. If the meter is found to be faulty it will be replaced at no charge. If no problems are found with the meter a service charge will be levied. At this point, you may need to call a plumber for additional assistance.

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