A question I often get asked when designing a new lawn sprinkler system is; should I get a second water meter?  The simple answer is “Maybe…  allow me to explain.”

What is a second water meter?

A second meter, sometimes called a maintenance meter, keeps track of the amount of water you use OUTSIDE. It looks identical to your existing water meter and is installed next your first one in the basement or crawl space.  If you have one installed, it will monitor the water usage for things like washing your car, filling the pool, watering the lawn and flowers, etc…

Why would I want one?

In general, your water bill is base on how much water you use.  It is broken down into 2 main costs: Water & Sewer.

Water is the volume of clean water coming into your home.

Sewer is the volume of water that goes down the drain and needs to be treated.

Here is where a 2nd water meter matters:  When you are washing your car, filling your pool, and watering the grass, that water is  not going back into the sewer system to get treated.  Therefore, you shouldn’t have to pay for it to get treated right?  A second meter will tell the city how much water is being used inside vs. outside.  Those with a 2nd water meter will see a more itemized usage on their water bills.

Again, whey does this matter???

It costs more to treat the water than it does to supply the clean water to your home.  Therefor, sewer cost are often much higher than the water cost.  If you can show that you are using water outside (not going doing the sewer), your water bill will be less.

Who can get a second water meter? You must meet all of the following criteria:

  • your house is connected to city water (not a well)
  • your house is connected to a city sewer (not septic system)
  • your city offers it (not all of them do)

If you meet all the above criteria and you are planning on getting a lawn sprinkler system, you should look into a second water meter or give me a call and I can help you with the process.

Off the top of my head, here are some S.E. Michigan cities we install sprinklers in, that allow second water meters: Shelby Twp, Chesterfield, New Baltimore, Bloomfield Twp., Rochester, Waterford, Long Lake Village in Ortonville, Grand Blanc, Imlay City, Almont.

Here is a short list of some S.E Michigan cities we install sprinkler systems in that do not offer secondary water meters:  Romeo, Oakland Twp, Oxford, Lake Orion, Clarkston, Troy, Metamora, and Goodrich.

Hopefully this is helpful you, if you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (810) 796-3245 or shoot me an email at sprinklers@newlawn.com.

Brian Moran

American Lawn Sprinkler Inc.