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Is it ice cold in your basement or do you live in a mobile home park? Prevent water pipes and the water meter from freezing. The pipes and meter can freeze within hours if exposed to cold air. Frozen pipes and meters stop water from flowing and can be expensive to repair or replace. Property owners are responsible for protecting water pipes and the water meter from damage. Make sure warm air is circulating around the pipes and meter.
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There are several options for making payments for utility bills.
If you are moving out or selling your property, you may request a final billing statement for the utility account. The City does not perform final meter readings for utility bills. The property owner, tenant, or agent should provide the final meter readings if a final billing statement is required as part of the closing process. Obtaining a Final Reading Statement is the most accurate way to pay your final utility bill. It protects all parties involved from erroneous estimations. Utility bills are created quarterly and sent out the month after the quarterly billing period ends.
Obtaining a final statement is easy!
If you would like to have the name changed on your bill, go to the City website and fill out the water utility account update at www.westalliswi.gov/account. Otherwise, call 414-302-8830 Monday-Friday, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. Account updates can only be requested by the property owner. We are unable to update the account for tenants, property managers, or anyone other than the property owner unless they are authorized in writing by the property owner.
You can set up an online account to access billing information. Go to www.westalliswi.gov/payutilitybill and create an account. Otherwise, current and previous bills can be requested by calling the water utility billing department at 414-302-8245. Due to the recent passing of WI Act 25, information will only be released to the property owner unless authorization has been given in writing to supply information to a third party.
The landlord should fill out the water utility account update form available online at www.westalliswi.gov/account or call 414-302-8830 Monday-Friday from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. All owners must receive a copy of the bill as delinquent amounts may still affect the tax bill.
The landlord should fill out the water utility account update form available online at www.westalliswi.gov/account or call 414-302-8830 Monday-Friday from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.
You are charged for water that passes through the water meter and into your home, whether you enjoyed a cold drink or a hot shower or the water dripped or leaked and was wasted.
Main breaks happen due to various reasons and are a normal part of operating a water utility. Temperature changes or overly dry or wet weather can cause the ground to shift. This results in breaks to the water main pipes. The age of the main or sudden fluctuations in the pressure may also cause a break. Older pipes may break due to corrosion. Main breaks are more frequent in the winter time due to frost in the ground. You may notice reduced pressure and/or volume when you turn on the shower or faucet in your home. A water main break will result in water leakage which may cause running or pooling water in the street. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to have a water main break completely repaired. The amount of time it takes to fix a water main depends on the size of the break, where the break is located, and what type of environment it is in. Water mains are generally repaired and completed in four to eight hours. One factor that may delay the repair is the location of the break. A water main that is buried deep inside the earth or under another utility will take much longer. The utility crews isolate the pipe by shutting off valves and temporarily placing the water supply out-of-service for the time it takes to make the repairs. After the repairs or replacement of the broken pipe is made, it is flushed prior to connecting it to the system. After a main is repaired, reddish discoloration may be seen in the water caused by small amounts of iron compounds flushing out of the system. You can get rid of the discoloration by running cold water for a few minutes through a tap without an aerator, such as the basement washtub or outside spigot. If you see a water main break you can use the City’s Online Help System at www.westalliswi.gov/letushelp or contact the Municipal Water Utility at 414-302-8830.
Water meters and their registers can often lose accuracy as they age. They must be replaced every 15 to 20 years. In addition, the new meter will have Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology that will save cost and prevent errors.
We are replacing two components. The first is the actual water meter located in the basement or utility closet. This meter will be replaced with a new meter and a radio read device. Secondly, properties with Read-o-matic (ROM) remote reading devices will be deactivated. The ROM will remain on the exterior wall of the property to protect any siding, stone, brick, or stucco exterior. The property owner may remove the device at any time or leave it installed. The picture below shows a Read-o-matic device that was previously wired to the meter in the basement and installed on the exterior of the property. The new radio device is typically installed right on top of the new meter, but we can also remotely mount the radio read device if transmission is not optimized.
City employees will be installing the new meter and radio read device, removing the old meter, and deactivating the Read-o-matic (ROM) remote reading devices. City employees will arrive in a City marked truck or van and will have City ID badges. We recommend a 3 foot radius around the meter to allow the work to be completed in a safe manner. Please remove anything blocking the meter before the appointment.
The West Allis Municipal Water Utility will send you a letter asking you to schedule a water meter exchange. You can schedule this appointment at your convenience, Monday through Friday with the earliest appointment at 7:30 am and the latest appointment at 2:15 pm. For residential meters, the appointment should take around 30 minutes. For commercial, industrial, and other customers, the appointments can range from 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on the size of the meter. Access to the meter needs to be available at all times. If you do cover up the meter, then make sure we are able to access it with a 3 foot radius in order to work on it if needed.
If the inlet and/or outlet valve are not working, then we will attempt to shut off the water at the curb stop. We recommend replacing any valves that are not working to ensure you will be able to shut off water in the event of an emergency. You can contact a plumber to replace the valves. The City will not replace the valves for you unless we happen to damage them during the appointment. Valves should be exercised regularly to reduce the likelihood of seizing and being inoperable in an emergency.
There will be a temporary service interruption during the meter replacement. The water service is typically off for 20 minutes. Once water service is restored, the City employee will attempt to purge any air trapped in the service line. If some air is left in the line, you may notice a sputtering sound the first time you operate a fixture. This should only last a few seconds and will not cause any harm. The first few gallons of water may be discolored. We recommend running the water until it is clear. This should not take more than five minutes.
There is no charge for the meter replacement. The only time the City will charge for a meter is if the meter is damaged. A meter can be damaged by not keeping the area around the meter warm enough to prevent freezing. If the water in the meter freezes, then the bottom of the meter is designed to crack to help avoid pipes bursting in your property.
A device is installed with the meter that will transmit a radio signal to a data collector as the meter reader drives by. With previous technology, a meter reader would be required to walk up to a device installed on the exterior of the home and manually enter a reading in the data collector.
The water meter is installed in the basement of most properties. Properties without basements typically have a utility closet where the furnace, water heater, and other mechanicals for the property are stored. The meter is on the street side of the property where the water line connects to the property from the water main.
Pictured below are two examples of water meters that are installed in properties in West Allis.
Meter readings are obtained automatically over radio frequency and transmissions are 100% accurate. Our meters are tested and/or replaced periodically. Nearly 100% of the meters tested are 98.5%-101.5% accurate.