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Water Meter Replacement Program

Water Meter Replacement Program

The City’s Water Division reads approximately 7,500 meters via three separate reading systems (Orion, Sensus and Trace).  The City still has a significant portion of meters that require “walk-up” manual reading. The Trace reading system has become obsolete and can no longer receive support.  These older water meters have been in service for 10 to 15 years and have reached the end of their useful lives and frequently require bills to be estimated.  In order to provide a more cost effective and efficient service to the residents, the Water Division began replacing meters that require manual reading and meters that utilize the Trace system in 2016.  Recently, the Trace reading equipment has begun to fail much more frequently.  This has caused a tremendous strain on resources for the division, and the number of estimated reads has increased.  Due to this fact, the Water Division will be accelerating this Water Meter Replacement Program. 

The new water meters will allow for the consolidation of the reading systems.  This will drastically increase the efficiency of the meter reading process.  The new meters will also have an expected 20 year battery life.  Once these meters have been replaced, all the meters in Sycamore will have a wireless device that transmits the meter readings on a licensed radio frequency over a short distance to a handheld or mobile device.

This program is expected to take approximately 4-5 years to complete. Residents will be contacted via letter and/or a door posting notifying them that their household meter requires a change-out.  The resident will then call the Water Division at (815) 895-4516 to schedule a meter change-out appointment.  During this appointment, a Water Division employee will visit the home to replace the water meter, free of charge. Each appointment takes about 30 minutes to complete, during which the water will be shut off for about 15 minutes. Appointments may be scheduled between the hours of 7:15 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Special arrangements may be made under special circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions – Water Meter Replacement

The City sincerely appreciates your help in making this project a success. For questions about the City’s Water Meter Replacement Program, please contact the Water Division at (815) 895-4516 or read the related Frequently Asked Questions listed on this page.

1. Why is my water meter being replaced?

The water meters have reached the end of their useful lives. Most residential water meters in Sycamore are 10 to 15 years old. Water meters often lose accuracy as they age, resulting in incorrect billing and non-revenue water loss. The new meters have an expected 20-year battery life.

2. What is the cost to have my water meter replaced?

The water meters are being replaced at no charge to the homeowner.

3. How long will it take to replace the water meter?

Normal meter installation time is about 30 minutes, during which the water will be shut off for about 15 minutes.

4. Do I need to be home for the meter replacement?

Yes. Water meters are located inside, typically in a basement or utility area. Someone 18 years or older must be home during the appointment.

5. What is my responsibility as a homeowner?

City Code states that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the water pipes and valves within their homes.

6. What is required for replacement of the water meter?

Water Division personnel will need space around the meter to perform the work, and access to the shut-off valves.