Portable Irrigation Meter

How to Buy

Portable irrigation meters can be purchased at City Hall for $125. The meters connect directly to a 5/8-inch garden hose.  It is the property owner’s responsibility to report a meter read once a month during the summer months. Sewer charge credits will be reflected on the following bill. Portable irrigation meters must be certified each spring before use. City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call ahead to 515-978-5502  to start the process and save time while at City Hall.


The purpose of the portable meter is to save residents from paying sewer charges on water used for irrigation or other outdoor purposes. Sewer credit is given for each 1,000 gallons used.

Portable Meter Reading

How to Read Your Meter

Your meter reads as follows: 0000/000. The first four digits (with the white background, black numbers) are millions, hundred thousands, ten thousands, and thousands. The last three digits (with the black background, white numbers) are the hundreds, tens and ones. The ones are a stationary number and always zero (refer to example below).

The number 0028/690 represents 28,690 gallons. The reading you would call in is 0028690. If the following month your reading is 0030/980 (which represents 30,980 gallons), then the reading you would call in is 0030980 and you would receive credit for 2000 gallons. You would then multiply the current sewer rate by 2 to determine your credit on the next bill.

Spring Certifications

You are required to bring your portable meter to City Hall each spring to have it certified. At that time, the meter number and its current reading are recorded. It takes about 2 minutes of your time. A notice is mailed in March to portable irrigation meter holders as reminder to bring the meter in for certification. You will not receive a credit until the meter is certified. Once it is certified, you can call in the reads for the rest of the season.

Reporting Meter Readings

To receive your sewer credit you will need to report meter reading. Call the Utility Billing Office at 515-978-5502 to receive your sewer credit. Report all digits, including all zeros. If you report the reading before the 20th of the month, your credit will be on the next statement. After the 20th, the credit will appear on the following month’s statement. If you pay your bill with cash or check you may choose to write your reading on the payment stub in the appropriate location. If you pay any other way, you will need to call in the reading. If you have more than one meter, please report the 8-digit meter number located on the lid with the reading so it can be correctly recorded on your account.

Winter Months

This meter will freeze if not brought into the house during the winter. There have been instances where a meter left in the garage has frozen and was then useless. If you sell or give this meter to someone else, please inform the Utility Billing Office. If you have any questions, call the Utility Billing Office at 515-978-5502.