Submeter Program

The City of Portland Submeter Program is a partnership with the Portland Water District. The City coordinates the authorization, purchase and inspection of the submeters with the applicant and the Water District.

The is an optional program where the customer bears all costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the submeter. Under the City's program, a customer can install two types of submeters: 

     1. Deductive/Subtractive in which your wastewater bill is reduced by usage that flows through this submeter and 
        doesn't discharge to the sewer. This submeter is used to measure the water not entering the sanitary sewer system and is 
        normally associated with irrigation of lawns, gardens, cooling towers on buildings and pool filling. By installing this submeter, you 
        will be able to water your lawn and fill your pool without paying a sewer charge for the water used. This is the typical submeter for
        most residential applications. The meter must be installed on a tributary that does not provide water to any internally plumbed

     2. Sewer/Reverse Mode which wastewater bill is calculated on usage that flows through this submeter and discharges to the sewer. 
        This submeter is used to measure water that is being discharged to the sanitary sewer system and is normally associated with post 
        process wastewater, cooling tower blowdown or industrial wastewater discharge. By installing this submeter, your wastewater bill will 
        be calculated by the volume that discharges through this submeter. This is a submeter that may be used in some 
        commercial/industrial applications. Sewer/Reverse Mode submeters require an annual calibration by a certified technician/plumber 
        with documentation of such submitted to the City.
 Submeter Application Process:

1. Applicant completes application through Section 4;
2. Submits application to City for review and approval. Any
    questions/concerns will be addressed at this time prior to
3. Customer pays for the meter;
4. City submits application to PWD, who then mails submeter and
    encoder receiver transmitter (ERT) to customer.
5. Customer installs and maintains submeter and ERT, bearing all
6. Customer notifies the City the submeter has been installed and
    needs inspection;
7. City contacts a plumber to inspect the installed submeter;
8. If approved, City forwards completed application to
    PWD for activation. Submeters must be activated to receive
    credit on water and sewer bill
*PWD mobile meter reading vehicle must be able to read the submeter from the main road without entering the customer's driveway. Factors such as: terrain surrounding property, distance from property to main road (less than 300 feet optimal), and the distance the submeter is to an outside wall could interfere with transmission of the reading. Disclaimer: PWD does not guarantee a submeter read from main road.

*If PWD is unable to read the submeter, PWD will send a letter to the customer stating the submeter could not be read. No credit will be given until PWD is able to get a read. Customers can contact PWD to attempt to have the mobile meter reading vehicle pick up a submeter reading from their driveway. A successful driveway read indicates the equipment is working properly, but the meter and/or electronic reading device needs to be repositioned to pick up a signal from the main road. There is a PWD Troubleshooting Fee of $19 per visit for this service that will be billed to your account.