West Des Moines Water Works
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WDM Water Meter Replacement Program


West Des Moines Water Works will be replacing about half of the 24,000 water meters within the City as part of its multi-year Water Meter Replacement Program.  When you receive a letter, please call customer service at 515-222-3460 to schedule an appointment to replace the water meter.  Water meter replacement usually takes less than 30 minutes.  


All current water meters that have been in service for 15 years or more will be replaced. As water meters age, they can slow down and lose accuracy, sometimes stopping completely, resulting in incorrect billing. The new meters have an expected 20-year lifespan which will ensure fair and accurate readings and billings.

The new water meters will operate the same as the old meters. All water meters in West Des Moines currently have a wireless device that transmits the meter readings.This technology has improved the efficiency of the meter reading program.


The water meter replacement program is expected to take approximately four years to complete. When your water meter is set to be replaced, you will receive a letter or email from Water Works requesting a meter replacement appointment.


During this appointment, a West Des Moines Water Works meter technician will visit your home to replace the water meter, free of charge. Each appointment takes about 30 minutes to complete, during which the water will be shut off for about 15 minutes. Appointments may be scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Water Works sincerely appreciates your help in making this project a success. For questions about the Water Meter Replacement Program, please contact Customer Service at 515-222-3460 or read the related Frequently Asked Questions listed below.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why is my water meter being replaced?
A: The water meters have reached the end of their useful lives. Most residential water meters in West Des Moines are 15 plus years old. As water meters age, they can slow down and lose accuracy, resulting in incorrect billing. The new meters, which have an expected 20-year lifespan, will ensure accurate readings and billing.

Q: What is the cost to have my water meter replaced?
A: The water meters are being replaced at no charge to the customer.

Q: How long will it take to replace the water meter?
A: Normal meter installation time is about 30 minutes, during which the water will be shut off for about 15 minutes. In unique situations, it may take slightly longer to replace the water meter.

Q: What is my responsibility as a homeowner?
A: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the water pipes and valves within their homes. Old valves may need replaced in order for the new meter to be installed. The below image shows a typical meter setup, with a gate valve (green handles) both before and after the water meter. Homeowners need to test both these valves by shutting one off at a time and testing to see if the home still has water. Both valves need to work in order for the water meter to be replaced. Sometimes, as the valves age, they fail and will not close. A licensed plumber will need to replace any non-operating valves. All new valves need to be ball valves. West Des Moines Meter Techs are not plumbers and cannot replace the valves.


Q: What is required for replacement of the water meter?
A: Water Works staff will need space around the meter to perform the work, and access to the shut-off valves. The valves must be in good working order prior to the meter replacement appointment.

Q: Do I need to be home for the meter replacement?
A: Yes. Water meters are located inside, typically in a basement or utility area. Someone 18 years or older must be home during the appointment.

Q: Am I required to participate?
A: Yes. Participation in this program is mandatory. Water meters are necessary for the fair and accurate billing of utility services. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and will aid in the smooth completion of this important project.