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FAQs - Know Your H2O

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In 2018-2019, City of Coppell water utility customers saw their water meters replaced as part of the City's Advanced Water Meter System project, a service enhancement initiative to install advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) throughout the community. The city-wide installation of 13,375 new meters impacted every home and business in the community.​

Frequently asked questions

  1. Why did my water bill increase?
  2. How does the new meter benefit me?
  3. Why did the City replace my water meter (or why did the City replace all the water meters)?
  4. Can I still open the meter box with a standard meter key in order to turn the water off in an emergency?
  5. Do you have any info on if/when smart gas meters are coming? 
  6. If my bill goes up how do I know it is correct?  
  7. How can I tell by looking at the meter if I have a leak?
  8. If I check the meter and then check the customer portal, will I see changes in real time?​
  9. Why is my water pressure so high and how do I adjust it to recommended levels?
  10. How do I set up my customer portal?
  11. Will the City lower my water and sewer rates?​​
  12. Have water and sewer rates increased because the City replaced all meters?​​

Why did my water bill increase?
During the project planning, a random test of sixty-three residential meters, conducted by a third party, revealed that the old meters were registering, on average, about 90% of the water actually used. The test also found that of the sixty-three meters, five meters, or 8% of the meters tested, were registering no usage. Since that testing, the City found that on average, at any given time, there were approximately 700 meters, or 5% of the old system's meters, that were not registering usage. 

With the more accurate meters, it is very possible that members of the community will receive bills that are higher than statements for a corresponding month in a previous year. It is highly likely that comparing consumption history of the old meter to the new meter will be significantly different for many customers because their old meter was not registering all of their water usage. For some, it is possible their old meter had not been registering any usage. In both instances, customers can expect to receive a larger bill than they did previously.

It is also possible that customers could receive bills lower than previous if they utilize the customer portal to monitor how much water they are using and adjust their usage. For example, many of us do not realize how much our irrigation system uses or how much water is used when we shower. Reducing the time our irrigation systems run or reducing the length of our showers could have an impact on consumption, resulting in a lower water bill.​

How does the new meter benefit me?
The MyH2O Customer Portal provides residents and businesses with access to usage data from their new meters. Residents and businesses are able to more closely monitor their water consumption and adjust their usage accordingly. In addition, a leak alert can be set that notifies the account holder if the system is detecting a leak at their home or business. The customer can also setup usage alerts which will generate an email when the account registers the usage established by the account holder. In short, customers have the tools and data they need to better plan and "Get to Know Your H2O."

This project was the result of listening to our customers. Specifically, the purpose of this project was to provide customers with a water meter system that accurately registers usage, utilizes technology to proactively provide effective and efficient customer service, and provide our customers with easy access to water usage information.

The new system addresses the accuracy concern. During the development and investigation phase of the water meter project, a random test of old meters found meters to be registering approximately 90% of actual water consumption. As a result, some customers were not being charged for their full water usage. The new meters register with an accuracy of at least 98.5% of actual consumption. With improved accuracy of the new meter, customers’ bills more precisely reflect charges for actual water usage.

The new meter system enhances the customer experience by allowing staff to provide proactive rather than reactive customer service. Previously, staff only saw how much water a customer used once a month when the meter was read for billing purposes. The new system allows staff to monitor the system for potential leaks and unusual consumption throughout the month. Staff is able to research situations and contact a customer sooner than they could under the old system. In addition, staff had no way to answer consumption questions from customers who had the older analog meters. Customers with the radio meters required staff to go to the meter to download consumption information.

The new system provides staff with the ability to access information for all customers who call with questions. The new meter system also helps customers gain deeper insight and understanding on how and when they use water. The new system provides customers with access to a Customer Portal where they can:

  • Set daily usage alerts – alerts you when consumption is more than a given amount in a day.
  • Set billing cycle usage alerts – alerts you when consumption is more than a given amount in a billing cycle.
  • Set vacation usage alerts – alerts you if usage occurs when you are away on vacation.
  • See how much water is used each hour, each day, or each month.
  • Control the water portion of their Utility Bill through knowledge of when and how they are using water.
  • Click a link to pay their bill online.
  • Receive messages and alerts from the City.​

Why did the City replace my water meter (or why did the City replace all the water meters)?
Previously, the City used three types of metering systems and multiple meter brands that ranged in age from three years to over 10 years. This variability posed operational challenges for City staff. The Advanced Meter System project has one type of system and one brand for all meters, which better equips City staff to maintain operations, manage inventory, and provide all customers with the same level of customer service. 

Can I still open the meter box with a standard meter key in order to turn the water off in an emergency?

Yes, a standard meter key (pictured below) will open the lid and can be purchased at Ace Hardware, Home Depot or Lowe's. Customers are also welcome to stop by Town Center, 255 Parkway Blvd., during normal business hours to view a display water meter, box, and lid, and request a demonstration of how to use the key. Please note: the meter box lid has a wire that connects the transformer mounted in the lid to the meter. It is important to be careful when removing the lid so the wire does not get disconnected.​

Standard Water Meter Key​


Do you have any info on if/when smart gas meters are coming? 
Currently, it is unknown.

If my bill goes up how do I know it is correct? 
The advance water meter system brings improved accuracy as compared to the old water meters. During the development and investigation phase of the project, old meters that were tested were found to only be registering approximately 90% of actual water used and some were registering no usage. The new automated readers register at least 98% of actual water usage.

To verify meter accuracy, every meter shipped by Sensus​ is tested for accuracy according to American Waterworks Standards before leaving the factory. All test results are attached to the meter to ensure accuracy and quality. The City has also contracted with Siemens to randomly select and test water meters each year to determine if the meters are accurately reading usage. The meters are sent by Siemens to a third party for testing and the results are shared with the City Council.​

How can I tell by looking at the meter if I have a leak?
The meter data display looks similar to the numbers on a car odometer and has nine digits. The digits on the meter represent the number of gallons consumed down to the 1/100th of a gallon. The last two digits after the decimal can be used as leak indicators to detect continuous water flow through the meter.

Unlike old analog water meters, the new Sensus meters do not have a “STAR” in the center to indicate a leak. As reflected in the picture, the new meters have two digits to the right of the decimal. The furthermost digit indicates 100ths of gallons and is considered to be the leak indicator. 

If the last digit is moving, then water is flowing. Low flow would be indicated by this digit moving slowly when all valves are closed in the irrigation system and the residence.

Customers can also see how much water is used each hour, each day or each month on the customer portal. Usage alerts can also be set by customers who access the customer portal.​

If I check the meter and then check the customer portal, will I see changes in real time?
No, the meter sends updates to the customer portal periodically throughout the day. ​


​Why is my water pressure so high and how do I adjust it to recommended levels?
There are properties in Coppell that experience water pressure in the 80-95 pounds per square inch (PSI) range. The pressure in the vast majority of the water system is less than 80 PSI. Residents can reduce the pressure by hiring a plumber to install a pressure reducing valve behind their water meter. If you have questions about the water pressure at your residence, please contact the Public Works Department at 972-462-5150.​


​How do I set up my customer portal?
The Customer Portal Setup webpage​​ provides instructions and videos on how to set up your customer portal. If you have additional questions, please call 972-304-3695.


​Will the City lower my water and sewer rates?
Rates are determined each year after projecting consumption levels and reviewing the rates supplied by Dallas Water Utilities and Trinity River Authority. The impact of the new water meter system on consumption will need to be evaluated along with the impact of rate increases from both entities. The City can no longer absorb increases from those entities through an increase in the number of customers as the City has moved from a growth to maintenance stage.​


​Have water and sewer rates increased because the City replaced all meters?​
No. City staff did cite the uncertainty of the impact of the new water meters on customer consumption as a reason for not increasing rates. The installation of the new advanced water meter system provides more accurate meters which could impact consumption. Some customers may experience higher bills because their old meter had slowed and was not measuring all consumption. However, other customers may use the new customer portal to monitor and reduce consumption, which will lower the water bill.

In addition to the uncertainty regarding the impact of more accurate meters on customer consumption on revenue, staff evaluates the impact of rate increases from Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) and Trinity River Authority (TRA) on the cost of operations. Historically, the City absorbed rate increases from both entities due to Coppell’s growth and expanding customer base. Coppell has moved from the growth to maintenance stage and can no longer absorb increases from those entities, which resulted in the rate increases implemented each of the past three years and the anticipated increase for this year. However, staff cited the following reasons to support why a rate increase would not be necessary to cover costs related to DWU and TRA.

  1. Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) settled its legal dispute with the Sabine River Authority (SRA). The impact of the settlement is that the rate increases from DWU to the City of Coppell were less than previously provided.
  2. Trinity River Authority’s (TRA) rate increase was slightly less than they originally provided to the City.

Staff concluded that the current rates, based on a similar consumption by our customers, should generate the necessary revenue to cover the operating costs of the Water and Sewer Fund as well as provide funding for the infrastructure needs of the water and sewer system. The primary funding source for the water and sewer system is water and sewer rates. The water and sewer fund does not receive any funding from property or sales tax revenue. Therefore, rates are set at a level that provide the necessary revenue to cover the cost of operations and maintenance of the water and sewer infrastructure.​





If you have questions or concerns, please call 972-304-3695.


If you are experiencing water meter issues

and need assistance, please call 877-853-2923 (toll-free).​