City trying to get involved on water meters install

I’ve got a property in Northern Illinois that I only need about 22 water meters for, but apparently the city got wind that we were trying to do this. So they contacted the utility company and they’re trying to say that our water main line is too small (2" apparently) to handle the reduced pressure that the meters would cause. They’re saying the tenants wouldn’t have enough water pressure due to the meters…

They want us to replace the water mains and do a bunch of other stuff in order to install the meters. It sounds to me like they’re just trying to get their cut, which is insane. Judging by the way the utility guy was talking, this could easily be a six figure job instead of maybe 5-10k.

I’m leaning towards just not responding to the city and having my own plumber do the work. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Its private property not city. Install a meter farthest from main meter and see for yourself the water pressure. Pros can chime in here.

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Happy to supply you with documentation that shows the pressure loss, which is very small, after our meter. Please get in touch ( if you’re interested.

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As usual, most municipalities do not understand the concept of private sub-meters, most likely the “official” you spoke to is referencing the current building code for new municipal meters .

The actual pressure loss for water sub-meters meeting AWA standards is minimal.

“We’re her to answer your sub-metering questions”


I appreciate all the input. I think all of you are right and @DanHelton I definitely think they are talking about new municipal meters. I kept trying to explain that that’s not what we are doing, but the guy just wasn’t listening.

Keep in mind that by installing meters in Illinois you are subject to Illinois EPA requirements to get certified as a water operator. I suggest becoming familiar with this requirement and process before proceeding so you at least understand the risk you are taking on if you decide to not do it.

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I find it humorous you said, “apparently the city got wind that we were trying to do this.” I would not be surprised if that “somebody” lives in your park. :wink:

A 2" supply should be adequate for 22 homes, although the condition of the line could play a part in reducing volume and pressure if there is a lot of internal build-up. Below is a link to an inexpensive device you could use to check pressure. Just go to the farthest home from the main source and preferably check the pressure at the riser before the home. You could just attach to a hose spigot off the home, but if there is a lot of build-up in the home - the pressure could appear lower. Generally, a pressure between 40-60PSI is acceptable. If you are in that range, at that same spot, attach one of your meters and check the pressure again…it should not be much different.

Also, when you do a meter install, a lot of debris can shake loose and get into the shower-heads and faucet screens which will lower the pressure in the homes. You just need to be prepared to tell them to take them out and clean them.

Lastly, also having a park in Illinois and working directly with the City water department, no red flags were raised.

Good luck!


A 2 inch line is plenty for that size park. And in New York, the NYS Health Dept requires a minimum of 20 lbs pressure at a mobile home riser - so we also use those handheld pressure gauges on a homes external hose spicket when a tenant complains about water pressure . So check with Illinois law to see what min pressure they require at a home and test the furthest home with a new meter in place .

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Definitely get a plumber to do a water audit to see if the pressure will drop with added lines before you make the investment and find out int he end you do have that problem. I agree people are always out to make a buck but not at all times. In this case it might actually be correct that the presure will drop with added lines. I beleive int eh long run your goal is to run a community that has quality So a water audit might be a great place to start.


Did you pull permits for the meters? What does the agency that issued the permits say?

The city is jerking you around… you need to respond with facts and a standard pressure loss curve for whatever meter you plan to install. All manufacturers have them see below link for sensus 5/8, 3/4"

5/8 3/4" meter pressure loss is 2psi at 10gpm, 4 psi at 15gpm. You will will not likely see higher usage than 5 to 10gpm at a home.

The question of if your mainline is adequately sized is a question of peak demand. It most likely is but the burden of proof is on you. You will need to do a pressure survey (with a recorder) at multiple locations over a 24 to 36hr period.

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Hmmm, for only 22 meters, it may be good to wait a few months. Just an idea, but it is possible to inform the tenants that you want to do an inspection of their underbelly / plumbing / heat tape at your expense, and do an install while under there. Staggering it out to 1 unit at a time may draw less scrutiny.

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