Frequently Asked Q and A

Why is my water meter being replaced?

To ensure accurate billing based on consumption, New York State Department of Public Service rules and regulations require water utilities to replace water meters periodically based on the meter size. This requirement allows us to provide you with continued accurate meter readings and prevent estimated billing. These meter changes are a regulatory requirement and not optional.

I recently had my meter replaced, why am I receiving another request to change the meter from New York American Water?

The current meter in your residence is an AMR meter. New York American Water is now transitioning to AMI meters to offer our customers the best in advanced metering technology. Meters that comply, but are not AMI will be replaced and upgraded to the AMI platform during the replacement program.

What is AMI?

AMI is Advanced Metering Infrastructure. Water meters are connected to a communications system enabling monitoring as well as automated alerts and notifications to be sent to customers in case of suspected leaks, high usage or backflow. AMI collects water usage data throughout the day allowing customer visibility of their near real-time usage profile. Data is logged in 15 minute intervals and collected and transmitted four times per day.

How does the meter reading data transmit?

The selected AMI system operates on a secure commercial cellular network and transmits encrypted data to the system server four times per day. American Water data management systems will retrieve the meter reading data and any alerts.

What type of water meter will be installed?

New York American Water is installing the Recordall® Model Disc Series meters with an ORION® Cellular LTE-M endpoint. The Recordall Model Disc Series meters comply with the lead-free provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is certified to NSF/ANSI Standards 61 and 372. The ORION Cellular LTE-M endpoint meets all applicable legal requirements of Part 15, Part 22 and Part 24 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Are the radio frequency signals emitted by an AMI meter safe?

Radio frequency signals broadcast from the endpoint devices on the meter are well below the levels most people come in contact with on a typical day in their home. Devices such as television sets, wireless phones and cellphones all utilize radio frequency technology that provides much greater contact to radio frequency signals.

The ORION Cellular LTE-M endpoint operates like a cellphone. Under normal operation, the endpoint transmits reading data four times per day for seconds per day.

Additionally, the exposure to radio frequency signals decreases with the square of the distance to the device. This means the farther away anyone is from the radio frequency device, the less the radio frequency contact. For example, the energy measured two feet away from the endpoint is a quarter of the energy measured at a distance of one foot. Since the ORION Cellular LTE-M endpoint is typically located in a basement, on the outside of the house or in a pit below grade, the extended distance and material between the endpoint and the individual further reduces contact with radio frequency signals. Further information regarding the ORION Cellular LTE-M endpoint and its approval for use in water meter reading applications can be found on the FCC website.

How do I set up an appointment?

Customers will be receiving a letter from New York American Water informing them of the required meter change and are advised to contact the Customer Service Center or our selected, qualified contractor to set up an appointment. Please note that in some cases, if our employees are in your neighborhood, one of our field service representatives from New York American Water may also stop by your property to see if it’s a convenient time for them to perform the work.

What should I expect for the appointment?

Meter changes will be done by both New York American Water crews, as well as our qualified, approved contractor from May 2020 through 2025. Customers will be given a three-hour window on the day of their appointment. Typically, the procedure takes approx. 20-30 minutes for smaller meters and longer for large meters. There is no charge for the meter replacement. New York American Water and our selected contractor technicians are required to be in uniform and carry company-issued photo ID badges. Their vehicles will also be appropriately marked with their respective company logos.

Does the technician need to perform work inside my home?

If the meter is located inside your home, yes, the technician will need to access the meter inside your home. If the meter is located outside of your home in a meter pit, the technician will not need to access your home. If your meter is outside, New York American Water will alert you to when your meter has been changed so you can take advantage of all AMI has to offer.

Will I have to pay for the meter change?

No, there will be no charge for the meter change work. Meter changes are covered as part of the Water Service Charge on your bill.

Do I have to have my meter changed?

Yes. Meter replacement is a regulatory requirements and is not optional.

What if I don’t want an AMI meter?

Residential customers can choose to not have an AMI meter installed. By opting-out, a customer will miss out on the benefits of AMI, including access to near real-time water usage data which can empower customers to conserve and save money on their water bill, and important alerts. If you choose not to have an AMI meter installed, New York American Water will be required to send a meter reader into your home on a monthly basis to read the meter. You will be charged for this service.

Call New York American Water at 516-632-2222 to get more information about your options and costs associated with opting-out. After that, you can download and fill out the AMI Meter Replacement Opt-Out Application Form.

Can I call New York American Water to set up an appointment instead of waiting for you to contact me?

Customers should wait until they receive the first notice/letter, as the letter will specify if their meter change will be handled by New York American Water or our selected contractor, and who to contact to set up an appointment. Once you have received the first notice and have questions related to this project or would like to schedule an appointment, please use the contact number provided in the notice.

What if I need to reschedule an appointment?

Please contact the company that’s replacing the meters in your area (the same company that you called to set up the original appointment) at least one business day before the actual appointment date.

Will my water service be interrupted during the installation?

Yes, water service will need to be turned off on both sides of the meter during the installation. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes to perform the work for smaller meters and can take a few hours for large meters. Water service will be restored when the replacement is complete.

Once water service is restored, if some air is left in the line, you may notice a slight air release/sputtering sound the first time you operate a fixture. This should only last a few seconds and is normal. Slowly open a fixture to release the trapped air.

You may also notice discolored water at first. This can happen after any plumbing work. Simply run the water until it is clear.

What if there is something in front of or blocking the meter?

Customers must allow for clear access to the meter prior to when the installer arrives. The water meter is property of New York American Water and homeowners are required to provide clear and unobstructed access to the water meter. If, for any reason, the water meter has been covered by drywall or paneling, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that the meter is accessible.

What if there is a leak or a problem with the meter after the meter is replaced?

Please contact New York American Water’s Customer Service Center at 877-426-6999, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so we can coordinate the proper follow-up. For emergencies, we’re available at this number 24/7.

Can I cover up my meter after the install?

The meter needs to be accessible at any time. If you have completed or are planning any renovations, the meter still needs to be accessible. It is in the homeowner’s best interest to have clear access to the water meter and it’s shut off valves in case of an emergency.

Is there any special care or maintenance that I need to do to my new meter?

New York American Water owns the meter; however, it is the customer’s responsibility to maintain the ambient temperature around the meter above freezing, and to keep the area around the meter free of dirt, debris and water. Failure to do so could result in damage to the meter.

If the meter is damaged for the reasons listed above, the customer is responsible for the cost to repair or replace the meter. The meter installation shall not be altered or moved. The new meters have incorporated tamper alerts that will flag meter equipment issues.

If a meter is damaged for reasons outside of the customer’s control, New York American Water would be responsible for the cost to replace or repair the meter.