Water Meter Rehabilitation Project


The DC Water Meter Rehabilitation Project focuses on replacing meters and meter transmitting units (MTUs) that are nearing the end of their useful life in various locations throughout the District of Columbia. This project supports the rehabilitation of DC Water’s Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system, which uses radio transmitters wired to water meters to convey data to a network of radio receivers, also referred to as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The new meters and transmitting units will have better capabilities compared to the last series of meters and promote timely and accurate monthly bills for customers.

The new meters, and their associated transmitting units, are necessary because it has been more than a decade since the last replacement program. Over time, water meters and transmitting units wear out and are no longer able to transmit readings automatically - when this occurs, DC Water needs to mobilize resources to read the meter in the field or the customers receive an estimated bill rather than one based on their actual usage. Also, customers with a failed transmitting unit cannot participate in DC Water's award-winning High Usage Notification Application (HUNA) - a free service to proactively notify customers of high water use- including unknown household leaks, sprinklers accidentally left running or ruptured washing machine hoses. The HUNA has generated more than 97,000 notifications to customers since its inception 10 years ago.

DC Water has subdivided the project into two phases. Phase I, which consisted of roughly 90,000 meter replacements, was completed from January 2017 to January 2019. Phase II began in Fall 2019 and is scheduled to end in Fall 2020. Phase II consists of approximately 12,000 meter and/or MTU replacements. 

Click here to see an interactive map of the Meter Replacement Program

The DC Water Contractor will perform the work Monday to Saturday. For most, it will be a straightforward replacement of the old meter to the new one. In some instances, the meter or transmitting unit may be located inside the building or serve a non-residential building. In these cases, the customer will be contacted to set up an appointment. Customers are also asked to be sure that there is not anything blocking their meters, such as planters or landscaping stones.

Phase I 2017-18 Meter Replacement Project Information Sheet (PDF 129 kb)

Scope of Work and Schedule

Phase II (Fall 2019-Fall 2020)

  • Replacement of about 12,000 small diameter water meters and/or meter transmitting units.

Phase I (2017-January 2019)

  • Replacement of about 90,000 small diameter water meters and meter transmitting units.

Important information

Phase II (Fall 2019-Fall 2020)

  • DC Water crews will be performing all inside and some outdoor meter replacements. DC Water's contractor will perform the majority of the outside/outdoor meter replacements.

Phase I (2017-January 2019) and Phase II considerations:

  • Approximately 95% of the meter installations are located in outside pits in public space, thus minimizing impacts to customers. DC Water will locate the meter box in the field using a utility locating device and uncover the meter lid.
  • If the meter is located inside a residence and/or is for a non-residential service, DC Water will need to schedule an appointment to gain access and will provide a three (3) hour arrival time frame. Please provide access for DC Water to complete this important project.
  • The contractors completing the work will have DC Water photo identification, uniforms with patches and hard hats with decals identifying them as a DC Water contractor.
  • We will aim for minimal disruption of landscaping. Upon completion of the work, minor site restoration (re-grading soil, mulch or similar to preexisting conditions) may be performed.

For more information, please read the FAQs.