The City of Belle Plaine electronically reads the water meters each month. We collect the first four numbers off of your water meter register, which tells us how many thousands of gallons are used. We only bill for the thousand gallons that are used.
It is common to see fluctuations from one to two thousand gallons because we read by the thousands and don’t bill for the gallons used until it rolls to the next thousand. For example: a new meter starts with a reading of zero (0000,000.00). A household uses 900 gallons in the first month (rdg = 0000,900.00). The reading that we receive from the meter is the first four numbers – which is still zero (0000). The next month the reading is 0002,300.00. The reading we receive is now 0002 (the first four numbers). Our billing system calculates the current reading less the previous reading for a total of 2,000 gallons billed. Therefore, you have been billed for zero gallons for the previous month and 2,000 gallons in the current month, even though in reality you used 900 in the first month and 1400 in the second month. This can also explain why some residents who may average 2,333 gallons per month will see a jump to 3,000 gallons every third month.