All customers are metered. The most common size is ¾-inch, and there are around 30,600 in the system. New installations and replacements are scheduled each year.
Meters are usually located at the customer's front property line and readings are taken by Commission utility staff on approximately the same day each month. If you need help finding your meter call Customer Service: (541) 774-2430.
Customers are charged only for the water they use. Occasionally, however, it can become difficult to read particular meters, usually due to their being obstructed by plants or vehicles. In these cases, we may have to send out an estimated bill.
Therefore, it is important that you keep plants trimmed and make sure that you have no vehicles parked over meter boxes.
Additionally, as you plan new landscapes, please consider the location of your plantings relative to the water meter. Give consideration to the size plants will be once they are mature. This will benefit you as well as us, since you may need to shut water off quickly at some point due to a leak or other problem. Also, plant roots will make repair or replacement of water lines both more likely and more difficult. Considering this as you are planting can save you – and us – future problems.
While we have begun installing meters that are read via radio signals, most of our existing meters require reading and entering the data into a hand-held recording unit. Employees may travel through your neighborhood fairly quickly, reading about 75 meters per hour. The information from these recorders is then downloaded at the office and reviewed. If a reading seems questionable, the meter is re-checked; however, typically the readings are accurate.
Meter readings are used to determine the amount of water used at each location during the previous month. The displays on the meters look and function similar to an odometer on a car. Rather than returning to zero each time they are read, water usage in a given month is computed based on the change registered by the meter since the last time it was read. Because we have a continuous record of meter readings, an inconsistent reading is generally detected quickly.