Water Billing Program Highlights


Since 2018 Melrose has offered residents the option to opt-in to monthly billing.  Benefits of monthly billing include:

  • A more manageable monthly payment.  Especially for those on a fixed income, it can help by making household budgeting more efficient and easier to manage. 
  • Allows residents to adjust to month-to-month consumption changes from winter  to summer months.
  • Detect leaks quicker, reducing the potential of a high-water bill as a result of the leak especially in multi-unit  properties.

If you are interested in switching your billing cycle from quarterly to monthly, you may opt-in by emailing us at waterbills@cityofmelrose.org. Include in the email your name, account number, account location, billing address, and telephone number.  Please specify that you're interested in "Monthly Billing". You can also call the Melrose Water Division at 781-979-4175. and we can mail you out an opt-in form.


Automatic Meter Reading/Water Meter Replacement Program Update & Frequently Asked Questions

The City of Melrose has successfully completed 99% of the meter replacement program as of May 16, 2024.  We continually strive to replace the remaining 1% of meters.  Below are some frequently asked questions that will give you a better understanding as to the type of meter you currently have installed at your property, and if you are part of the 1% remaining why you should have yours upgraded.

What is an AMR Meter?

AMR means Automatic Meter Reading.  The new radio registers that were installed allow the City of Melrose to obtain meter readings without coming into your home or yard.  Meter readers will be able to capture meter read information as they drive through your neighborhood with portable data collection software. The AMR will allow for more accurate collection of water usage reading, consumption history and leak detection information for end users in their homes.

What are the benefits of having an upgraded radio read meter?

  • Reduced need to have access to your property
  • Improved customer service by increasing accuracy of meter reading.
  • Reduction in estimated bills
  • Quick answers to billing questions.
  • Detection of broken meters
  • Leak detection
  • Daily usage reporting

Where is my water meter?

Your water meter is most likely located in your basement or crawl space, usually along the front wall of your house, where your water service (pipe) enters from the street. In most situations, the meter will have a shutoff valve on the street side of the meter as the pipe enters the house. Sometimes, you may also have a shutoff valve on the house side of the meter as well.

Is there a hazard from the radio transmitter in my home?

No, the radio signal is only on when the meter reading takes place. This is less than a few seconds per quarter. The power level is far below that where any risk occurs. The radio frequency will not interfere with any other household devices such as cell phones, internet and cable service, or other electronics.

Is there anything hazardous inside the equipment?

No, only ordinary electronics and batteries are inside the equipment.

How do I know if higher usage may be a result of a leak in my plumbing system?

A new, more accurate meter has the ability to detect small leaks that the older meter missed, including continuous flow recordings late at night, between the hours of 2 and 5am, when water usage is typically non-existent. Check faucets for small drips. Also check your toilet tank for small leaks in the toilet bowl. Place a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the water in the bowl changes to the color of dye used in the tank, you have a leak. Seek assistance from a plumbing professional to fix all such leaks. Be reminded that you are responsible for all water that passes through the meter so careful monitoring of invoices and the functionality of the meter is critical to minimizing your utility expenses.

How do I read my meter?

You will need a flashlight or bright light to read your Neptune E-coder radio register(A smart phone flashlight does work)

  1. Flash the flashlight on the meter screen. (It looks like solar panels.)  The screen is very sensitive so you will need to keep moving the flashlight around until the register "wakes up."  Keep the flashlight on the screen on screen otherwise it will go back to sleep.
  2. Once activated, you will see a set of number's flash on the screen very fast; disregard them, they are just unique meter identifying numbers.
  3. The next set of number's you see will be your meter reading.  you want to read the first 6 digits from left to right up until the decimal point.
  4. After about 5 minutes the screen will then toggle to a screen that says RATE.  This is your flow rate.  As long as nobody is using any water in the home, no flushing of the toilet, no running the dishwasher, showers, irrigation, etc., the flow rate should stay at zero.  If the flow rate is moving without using, then there is a leak in the background.
  5. On the screen you also may see a faucet icon.  The icon has two functions:
    1. Blinking faucet-in the last 24 hours there was an intermittent leak
    2. Solid faucet-in the last 24 hours there was a continuous leak
    3. The ecoder register holds 35 days of "events." Each day there are ninety six 15-minute increments.  Per day these are the parameters:
      • 0/96                no consumption
      • 1-54/96           standard flow
      • 55-95/96         intermittent leak
      • 9696                continuous leak