Smart Water Meters

Header Image
Hand holding a smart water meter ratio transmitter device

Bellevue Utilities is replacing outdated, manually-read water meters with new, wireless-read technology. Between 2020 and 2021, Bellevue Utilities will begin updating existing water meters with Smart Water Meters at businesses and homes. The project will not result in any rate increases or surcharges. In fact, it might even help you reduce your water consumption and save money.

Why Smart Water Meters?

The current manual meter reading program faces the following challenges:

  • The existing meter reading system does not allow for timely detection—or notification—of water leaks.
  • Customers currently only have access to their water usage information once every two months.
  • Almost half of the existing meters are at, or approaching the end of, their useful life and will need to be replaced.

How do they work?

Diagram of how smart water meters work.

Smart Water Meters collect water use information just as the current manual-read meters do.

Here's the big difference:  Right now, water meter readers visit homes and businesses to manually record water usage every two months. With smart meters, water usage will be transmitted wirelessly to the utility company every day.

This secured, encrypted data will be accessible to customer service representatives and to customers through an Online Customer Portal – coming soon! (The timing of your Smart Water Meter installation and the launch of the online portal may differ).

Instead of once every two months, customers will be able to monitor their water use in near-real time and find and fix leaks faster—potentially saving time and money.

Please see our frequently asked questions page to learn more.

Don’t see an answer to your question?

Contact us at SmartWater@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-6932.

As of December 2019, the City Council approved an updated direction to the project—using cellular endpoint technology instead of the previously explored approach of installing separate data collector units.

Smart Water Meter Project Timeline
The high-level project schedule below shows progress on the Smart Water Meter Project begun last in 2019.

Why the change?

During field survey work, our team uncovered additional challenges to installing data collector units to serve Bellevue's diverse topography. Our vendor presented an alternate approach at a feasible cost that relies on existing cellular technology, eliminating the need for separate data collector units. After careful evaluation, we decided to pursue the new approach for the opportunity to use better technology with less system maintenance over time.

What does this mean for you?

The project work will continue with no additional rate impact. The timeline of installation will shift by about 18 months to allow full testing of the technology. We anticipate that commercial meters will be installed in 2020 and residential meters in 2021.

When will your meter be installed?

While we cannot project the timeline precisely at this point in the project, all customers will receive direct communication before, during and after their meter installation takes place. Look to this website, your billing newsletter, and mailers as sources of information for updates on when installation will occur in your home or business.

Other questions?

If you don't see the answer to your question on this website, please contact us at SmartWater@bellevuewa.gov. You may also subscribe to this webpage to be notified of updated project information.

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Receive email or text notifications about project updates.