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Yes, the base rate is now determined by the size of your meter. Approximately 96% of our residential customers have a 5/8-inch meter. Effective February 1, 2018, the base rate for a 5/8-inch meter increased from $20 to $21. Only four percent of residential customers have a larger meter. Bases rates for the different sizes are listed in the tables at the top of this page.
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The base rate is based on the size of the meter because larger meters have the ability to place a greater demand on the water system. Establishing a base rate on the size of the meter is consistent with how Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) charges cities. Each city pays a demand rate based on the volume it can demand from the system, which may not equal what the City actually requests or uses.
Larger meters are often installed to accommodate home fire sprinklers, irrigation systems, and homes with more water fixtures. The size of the meter installed is determined by the builder or engineer who designed the home, not by the City. The meter size installed is determined to be the size necessary for the volume and pressure necessary to accommodate the property’s water fixtures, however, downsizing a meter is an option.
However, if a 1 1/2-inch or 2-inch meter is currently installed, the City’s Utility Operations Department recommends downsizing to no smaller than a 1-inch meter. A noticeable difference in volume and pressure may be experienced if the irrigation system and other water fixtures are running at the same time.
It would be necessary to enlist a plumber to change the meter. The plumber would assess the situation and inform you of the impact of downsizing your meter based on your particular home and if any adjustments to piping would be necessary. The plumber would need to obtain a permit from Building Inspections prior to exchanging the meter and then request an inspection after the meter is installed. A new meter can be purchased from Building Inspections. The cost of a 1-inch meter is $299.25, while a 5/8-inch meter is $178.50.