For Immediate Release December 6, 2022

The City of Sartell is in the process of upgrading water meters inside of some homes from manual read water meters to automatically read electronic water meters. The process will begin in January, 2022 and conclude by, approximately, the end of June, 2022.

Historically, the City of Sartell has required property owners to read their own water meters and manually submit readings to determine usage and utility bills. With the new water meters, the City of Sartell’s Utility Department can read water meters electronically from the road, instead of relying on property owners to manually read their water meters. This will provide real time information for water use, less manual requirements of property owners, and improve property owners’ ability to use water sustainably. 

If a property owner has not read their water meter and has not provided manual readings to City staff, the City has had to estimate usage and bill accordingly. These estimates may be higher or lower than the actual usage and are purely estimates.  When the new water meters are installed, an actual meter read will be taken and it could create a “true-up” amount due to the estimates being imprecise.  For those that have estimated meter readings and subsequent “true-up” charges, City staff are prepared to help with payment plans and flexibility.

The City of Sartell has partnered with Ferguson Waterworks to do all scheduling and installation of the new water meters. Impacted property owners will receive a letter in the mail providing information for scheduling the installation and are asked to be prompt in responding to the letter.

Below are commonly asked questions and answers for the water meter upgrade process. If you have additional questions, please reach out to City Hall (320-258-7301).

FAQ Automatic Water Meters Upgrades

Will everyone in Sartell receive an automatic water meter?

Yes, but some property owners may already have the upgraded water meter. If you do not receive a letter from the City of Sartell regarding a water meter changeout, your meter is already being radio read.  This may include: most houses on the East Side of Sartell, most houses built within the last few years, and any other resident who were notified already in June of 2021 that we have begun reading your water meter for you. If you misplaced the letter you received, please contact Ferguson Waterworks: www.fergusonscheduling.com or 800-818-0389.

When will I receive my new water meter?

The new water meters will be installed from approximately January-June 2022.  Property owners will receive a letter in the mail from the city of Sartell providing information on how to schedule your appointment for replacement. Owners that may be relocated for the winter, can contact Ferguson when they get the letter to let them know when they will be back in their homes to schedule the replacement. Ferguson Waterworks can be reached at www.fergusonscheduling.com or 800-818-0389.

Will it cost me money to replace my water meter?

There is no cost for the replacement, and you ARE required to have your water meter replaced.

How do I schedule a time to replace my water meter?

The City has partnered with Ferguson Waterworks to complete the installation. You will receive a letter from the City of Sartell to have your water meter replaced. Once you receive that letter, please call or visit the website given to schedule your appointment: www.fergusonscheduling.com or 800-818-0389.

Do I have to manually read the new water meter?

Once new water meters are installed, meters will be read automatically by City of Sartell. This will provide more appropriate meter readings, as well as less manual requirements of property owners.

What if I have not been reading my old meter?

If a property owner has not read their water meter and have not provided readings to City staff, the City has been having to estimate usage and bills. These estimates may be higher or lower than the actual usage, so when the new water meters are installed, an actual meter read will be taken and it could create a “true-up” or “true-down” amount due or credit to the last estimated bill.

What if I have a high water bill from my old meter being estimated too low?

For those that have estimated meter readings and subsequent “true-up” charges, City staff are prepared to help with payment plans and flexibility. Please call City Hall 320-253-2171 to discuss options. The opposite could also be true, and an actual meter read could result in a credit on a property owner’s account if the usage was being estimated too high.

How do I know it is safe to have a Ferguson Waterworks installer inside my home?

Ferguson Waterworks was selected based on their experience as a meter installation contractor.  All installers will have identification, wear uniforms, travel in marked vehicles and have completed background checks.  Covid protocol will be in place for each installer.

What can I expect from the installation process?

To install the new water meter:

  • Ferguson Waterworks will need access to the current water meter inside your home.
  • The water meter area should be clear and accessible.
  • An adult 18 years old or older must be present at the time of installation.
  • A two-hour block of time will be scheduled.  The installer will complete the water meter installation work within the two-hour time frame. The actual installation should take approximately one hour.