Metering Program

This program has been mandated by New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation. In general, the water meter project will either replace existing meters or “convert” all flat rate water service to metered accounts using the most automated water meters available. These meters can be read from outside the home and accurately bill you for the amount of water that has been used, in the same way that you are currently billed by other utilities.


Maintenance: Your new meter should register and run without any problems for fifteen years or more. The City of Buffalo owns and maintains the meter only and will replace any meter that fails due to mechanical problems at no charge to you. There is a charge for repairing meters, cables or remotes that are damaged willfully or through the neglect of the property owner. Meters must be protected from freezing if they are located in an unheated area.

Meter Reading: The remote reading device placed on the outside of your home allows us to accurately read the meter without entering your home. Please do not disturb the remote device or the wire between it and the meter, or place any objects directly in front of the remote device that would make access to this device difficult for the meter reader.

Meter Billing: The City of Buffalo currently reads and bills metered accounts quarterly. Metered customers are billed for the actual amount of water used during the quarterly period; bills are processed and mailed within approximately 30 days following the previous quarter. Plans are currently being reviewed to change to monthly billing for metered customers; you will receive information about this change in the future.

Billing Cycle: Depending upon the timing of your new meter installation, you may receive a flat rate bill for your property before the new-metered account is set up. If you have already received a flat rate bill, or receive one before the metered account is established, please disregard this bill. You will receive a notice from the billing department with information regarding any credits or monies owed on your flat rate account. Because of the time required to set up a new-metered account, it could take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to process this new account. Even though your first metered bill may be delayed, you will still only pay for the amount of water you actually used.

Water Conservation: Conservation is one of the primary goals of the metering program. In order to conserve water, people must know how much water they actually use. To conserve water, and to keep your bills low, fix any leaky fixtures in your house or building. Additional conservation tips have been made available to you to help you better understand this important measure.

If you have any questions regarding your bill, please contact our customer service department at 716-847-1065.