Home | Careers | Font size A A A

Bureau of Utilities - Water Meter Division

 Bureau of Utilities - Water Meter Division

Location : 8270 Old Montgomery Rd.
Hours of Operation : Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Water Meter Department Inquiries : 410-313-4980
Water Billing Inquiries : 410-313-2058
Fax : 410-313-4983

The Meter Division reads over 65,000 water accounts for billing purposes. Of those meters 72% are installed inside of a residence or commercial building. The remaining meters are installed in a meter vault, in the ground, located near the property line.

The department responds to inquiries regarding :

  • Low or High water pressure inside the home.
  • Water leaks from the meter.
  • Stopped and noisy meter related issues.

Appointments are scheduled for those inquiries. When a resident experiences a pressure problem it may be due to a faulty pressure regulator valve ( PRV ). This valve controls the main water pressure coming into the house. It may be the PRV causing the noisy meter/ banging pipe problem as well. This concern should be directed to a plumber, the Meter Department is responsible for the water meter only.

It is important to know the location of the inside water shut-off valve. Having access to this valve can help to minimize damage in the event of a broken water pipe or be useful in a general plumbing repair.

Water dripping from leaking plumbing fixtures can be costly, causing a sudden increase in water and sewer bills and should be addressed as soon as possible. A leak of one drop per second can waste up to 2400 gallons of water a year. A leaking toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons a day.


How does the County assure water meter readings
and water bills are accurate ?

  • Most water meters in Howard County are read electronically via radio interface, thereby minimizing human error.
  • Water meter data is transferred electronically to the County's billing system, again minimizing human error.
  • These readings are automatically compared to the previous readings and/or the reading from the same time period in the prior year. If a substantial difference is found the bill is reviewed individually by a staff member.
  • If the staff member determines that the difference is significant and there is no mitigating reason for the discrepancy, a field investigation will ensue to identify and resolve the problem.
  • While it is extremely rare that the actual water meters over-register, the general cause is a malfunctioning transmitter.

We do our best to ensure all billed water meter readings are correct. If you feel your water bill is inaccurate give us a call at 410-313-2058, Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8am and 5pm.


The Bureau of Utilities' "Water Only Submeters Policy for Commercial and Industrial Water/Sewer Accounts", including the Submeter Permit Application Form, is now available online.
Please see the Submeters Policy page for additional information.


Water Meter Maintenance Program

In an effort to update our aging infrastructure the County announced in November 2009 that it will begin an eight year Water Meter Maintenance Program to replace aging radio transmitters on all Public water meters.

The top section of the water meter houses a low power radio transmitter that sends water usage data to meter reading trucks.  This data is used to compute water bills.  These devices use batteries that are coming to the end of their usefull life of ten years.

The Bureau of Utilities will be replacing the radio transmitter with new units that will be more reliable and have a twenty year life span.

If a resident's water meter is inside the home, Utilities staff will be setting up appointments to coordinate the replacement.  This change-out should take less than twenty minutes to complete.

Water Meter Transmitters
Click on an image for a detailed view of the two types of water meter transmitters.
 Old Water Meter Image Link    New Water Meter Image Link
Old type water meter
radio transmitter
  New type water meter
radio transmitter

Questions can be answered by calling the Bureau of Utilities during normal working hours at 410-313-4986.

Bureau of Utilities Links :
Utilities  |  Tech Support  |  Maintenance  |  Meters  |  LPWRP  |  Issues