Water Smart Meter FAQs

  • Smart Water Meters – What are they?
    • Digital water meters that can transmit data directly to and from the City of Lakeland offices via a secure wireless network.
    • As a result of this “two way” communications capability, meter readers no longer need to come to your home or business to collect the meter data used to generate your monthly bill.
    • Your Smart Water Meter will be wired to a transmitter that will enable these ‘two way’ communications. Should this wire get disconnected, the Water Utility will be alerted of this condition.
  • What are the benefits of the Smart Water Meter Project?
    • Customers will have access to more detailed and timely information about water use via a customer website. This will be the same website where customers can currently view their electric usage. We expect this detailed water usage will be available in 2019.
    • For most residential and commercial locations, we’ll be able to help identify if there are leaks on the customer side of the water meter. This can be determined if water flows through the meter 24 hours a day for multiple days. For those locations that operate around the clock, detecting leaks will be a little more challenging.
  • Will all City of Lakeland Water customers be connected to the SmartGrid?
    • Yes, all residential and business customers will receive a Smart Meter over the next few years.
  • I have a home office, my baby sleeps during the day, etc. – how will I know when you are coming?
    • Customers will receive a notification letter one to two weeks before we begin installation in your area. The field technicians will be City of Lakeland Water Utilities employees and have a clearly identifiable uniform, vehicle and City I.D. badge.
  • Will there be any interruption to any of my services?
    • The size of your water meter determines the amount of time and effort needed to install your new Smart Water Meter. Residential and small business locations typically have a 3/4 inch meter that will require an average interruption of 30 minutes or less. Larger meters may require a longer outage. Those longer outages will be communicated with each customer prior to the interruption of water service.
  • Do I need to wait around all day for an installer?
    • No, you do not need to be home for the work to be completed. The installer only needs access to your water meter.
  • Can you tell me the exact day and time the technician will install my Smart Water Meter?
    • Due to the nature of the Water Distribution system being underground and the complexities that come with digging, tree roots, Florida weather, etc. we are not able to predict the replacement schedule with the level of accuracy and certainty to publish an exact date. A letter will be mailed to each customer one to two weeks prior to your scheduled installation that will communicate that your meter is about to be replaced.
  • Do you still have to visit my home to get my meter reading?
    • After the first few months of validating the readings on your new Smart Water Meter, it will no longer be necessary for a Meter Reader to access your water meter for monthly readings. However, after your Smart Water Meter is installed, we will implement a maintenance program that will require a physical inspection on each meter every 2‐3 years.
  • If you don’t have to visit my home to read my meter, how do you know how much water I’ve used in any given month?
    • Your Smart Water Meter will automatically transmit your usage information to the City of Lakeland via a secure wireless network. Because the new meters “talk” to us, we will know how much water you have used throughout the day. Eventually, you will be able to log onto a customer website and see that same information. If you don’t have a home computer with Internet access, you’ll still be able to get that same information by calling Lakeland Electric Customer Service at (863) 834‐9535.
  • What about my electric meter?
    • The electric meters have already been replaced with Smart Electric Meters that offer similar functionality for your electric consumption.
  • My Smart Electric Meter automatically reports outages. Will my Smart Water Meter report outages also?
    • No, Smart Water Meters cannot detect when your water is out. Should this occur, you will still need to contact the Lakeland Electric Outage Number at (863) 834‐4248. This number can also be used to report water outages or water leaks.
  • Will you be able to turn my water off remotely?
    • No, the Smart Water Meters being installed do not have the ability to turn off water service remotely. They can detect if the water is turned back on, or if water flows backwards through the meter. In each case, the Water Utility will be alerted of these conditions.
  • Will I be required to hire a plumber to complete any of the installation work?
    • No, The City of Lakeland Water Utilities staff will complete all aspects of the installation of the new Smart Water Meter.
  • My water meter is in a sidewalk or driveway. How will it be replaced?
    • If the installation of the new Smart Water Meter requires that the sidewalk or driveway be altered, The City of Lakeland Water Utilities staff will complete this process and restore the sidewalk or driveway as part of the process. If additional restoration work is needed, like concrete work, this work may be scheduled and completed on a different date by a different crew. However, the area will be safely cordoned off until the restoration work will be completed.
  • Who is paying for this?
    • The Smart Water project is being completed in conjunction with the SmartGrid Initiative that Lakeland Electric recently finished when they installed your Smart Electric Meter. The costs related to the Smart Water Meter project are funded by the existing rate structure for water services.

Water Smart Meter Opt Out Program FAQs

  • What are the benefits of participating in the Smart Water Meter program?
    • Participants that have a Smart Water Meter will be able to view their water consumption online via a secure web site. This information will be helpful to determine how consumer behavior (irrigation, long showers, leaking faucets or toilets, etc.) can impact water consumption and your water and wastewater bill.
    • Customers may be able to receive notifications and alerts when their consumption indicates high water flow or a possible leak. This will enable you to respond to the problem and make necessary repairs quickly saving you money and water a very important natural resource.
  • What is the Smart Water Meter Opt Out Program?
    • This program allows customers that decide not to receive a Smart Water Meter an alternative option.
  • Is there a cost for the Opt Out program?
    • Yes. The cost is currently $16.25 each month. Those customers that already participate in the Electric Opt Out program will only be charged one Opt Out fee per account/location. Those customers will not be charged a fee for electric and a second fee for water.
  • Why is there a charge for this Opt Out Program?
    • The direct read water meter used in the Opt Out program does not transmit readings to the Utility, someone must physically visit the meter each month to obtain a reading. This $16.25 charge covers the costs associated with obtaining that manual reading each month.
  • Will my meter be changed out if I choose to participate in the Opt Out program?
    • Yes. Everyone will receive a new meter except those larger meters that are tested and rebuilt on a regular schedule. The new Opt Out water meters used for the Opt Out program will not be Smart Water Meters. They will not communicate data to and from the Utility. They will be direct read meters.
  • How can I join the Opt Out Program for my water meter?

                             Lakeland Electric

                                         Attention: Customer Service Support

                                         501 East Lemon Street

                                         Lakeland, Florida 33801‐9881

    • Include your account number, name, address and phone number in the request to participate in the Smart Water Opt Out Program.
  • If I choose to participate in the Opt Out program now and want to have a Smart Water Meter installed at a later date, is there a charge?
    • Yes, there will be a charge of $365 (or greater) to change to a Smart Water Meter in the future. This cost is subject to change. This covers the costs associated with removing the Opt Out/Direct Read meter and installing the new Smart Water Meter.
  • If I choose to have a Smart Water Meter installed now and want to change to the Opt Out program in the future, will there be a charge?
    • Yes, there will a charge of $189.00 (or greater) to switch to the Opt Out program in the future. This cost is subject to change. This covers the costs associated with removing the Smart Water Meter and installing the Opt Out/Direct Read water meter. The $16.25 monthly charge will also be added to the account to cover the costs associated with manually reading the meter each month.