Residential Companion Meter for Irrigation Systems

Irrigation

Chesterfield County Utilities offers a residential companion meter to residents who have a water and wastewater account and would like a second meter to measure outside water use separately.

The benefit of a residential companion meter is only water consumption charges apply to the residential companion meter, not wastewater charges since outside water does not enter the wastewater system. The residential companion meter for irrigation is only available to Chesterfield County homeowners. It is not available for commercial use or entrances to subdivisions and their common areas.

Additionally, view water-wise lawn and landscape care information

How can I get a residential companion meter for an irrigation system?

To receive a residential companion meter, it is necessary to obtain a county backflow plumbing permit and pay the permit fee and the companion meter installation fee. Backflow plumbing permits can be obtained online on the Community Development Enterprise Land Management (ELM) or by visiting the New Construction Section of Chesterfield County Utilities, located on the first floor of the Chesterfield County Utilities building, 9840 Government Center Parkway.

For the current fee, contact the Utilities Department’s New Construction Section at 804-748-1862. The backflow plumbing permit must be specific for a residential companion meter for irrigation service. The backflow plumbing permit also must include the installation of the backflow device for a residential companion meter. Backflow prevention devices can be installed by contractors with a valid Backflow Prevention Device Worker certification from the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

Where will it be installed?

Chesterfield County Utilities will choose the location of the residential companion meter which is installed adjacent to the domestic meter.

What inspections are required after the work is complete?

After the residential companion meter is installed, it is the customer’s responsibility to connect the irrigation piping to the companion meter. The customer may install their own irrigation system or contract the work to a plumber or irrigation contractor. All irrigation systems must include the installation of a backflow preventer between the residential companion meter and the irrigation system. 

When all work is completed, a county plumbing inspector must inspect the backflow preventer and the water supply line. To schedule the required plumbing inspection, the customer can visit Chesterfield Community Development, use the online ELM Portal or call Chesterfield County’s Building Inspection’s Office at 804-751-4990. The backflow preventer must be tested in conjunction with the backflow preventer inspection and annually thereafter by a backflow prevention device worker as certified by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations. Chesterfield County does not perform testing on these private backflow prevention devices, set testing rates or collect any revenue from these tests.

Why do I need a backflow preventer if I use a companion meter with an irrigation system, and how do I file the test results?

Backflow preventers play an important role in protecting drinking-water supplies, and the annual testing is required by the Virginia Department of Health. Annual test results must be returned to Chesterfield County Utilities. The Backflow Prevention Assembly Test can be mailed to Chesterfield County Utilities, Cross Connection Control, P.O. Box 608, Chesterfield, VA 23832,  emailed to Backflow or faxed to 804-751-4437. The Backflow Prevention Assembly Test Report can be found online at Utilities under Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program. Call 804-748-1280 for more information.

What is the installation fee, and how will I be billed?

For the current installation fee, contact the New Construction Section at 804-748-1862 or view Rates & Fees. After the residential companion meter is installed, the information, including meter number, billing period and usage, will be itemized on your bills. Domestic water-meter usage is categorized as water service, and residential companion-meter usage is categorized as irrigation service. Both service charges are shown as line items in the transaction description and are included in the balance due.

 This information is presented in cooperation with the Chesterfield County Building Inspection Department.