Installing water meters

All new supplies should be metered, as set out in the Water Industry Act 1991.

We prefer the meter at the boundary of the property, to act as a marker between privately owned pipework and that which we own and maintain. This is usually in the footpath or the road outside the property boundary. If this isn’t practical, the meter will need to be installed within the boundary of the property, in either an external or internal location. We’ll need to discuss with you how and where this meter will be fitted, to ensure it captures all water usage.

We fit ‘smart’ meters, so that we have the potential to read them remotely. However, from time to time we’ll need to access the meter to confirm readings, or to maintain or replace them. It’s therefore important to install them in an easily accessible location.

We don’t permit meters to be fitted in ceiling voids, as they may be unsafe to access. There must also be no obstruction preventing the meter being read. Wherever possible, meters should be installed in a communally accessible location. Where this can’t be done, you should discuss any proposed alternative with us before you install the meters.


Our metering policy

Meter installation policy for property developers – May 2019 (0.51MB)

The latest policy includes updates to our stance on the location of internal-fit meters in apartment blocks. While we encourage all customers to follow the policy with immediate effect, we recognise that it may be difficult to change the location of internal meters in existing building designs. In light of this, we will not be enforcing the internal location aspect of the policy until 1 April 2020 to give you time to adapt to this change.

From 1 April 2020, any applications you make for water supply must be accompanied by designs which comply with the policy. If you’re unable to follow the policy because your design is too far advanced, you’ll need to evidence that the development has already reached RIBA Stage 3 (‘Developed Design’). Any applications where the building design is at RIBA Stage 2 or earlier will be expected to conform to the policy.

You can download details of the Sensus 640 meter specification below.

Sensus 640 Meter Specification (0.50MB)


Ordering internal meters

For sites where there is likely to be high demand for water, we’ll need to consider the size and location of the water meter, to make sure we can record the correct usage.

The timescale for meter ordering is up to 28 calendar days. If any delays or stock issues arise, we can draw on our own stocks from metering teams across the area. There’s no minimum or maximum order quantity, but we do ask that you are able to store all the meters you order, as we can’t hold stock for you.

If you prefer not to store the meters on your building site, we can deliver them to any address within the Thames Water region.

Please use the meter ordering form to order your meters.

Once delivered, the meters and any fittings are your responsibility. If lost or damaged, you’ll need to pay for them and place a new order with us.

You need to notify us when meters are installed, as well as provide the postal addresses allocated to each plot and the TAPS5 certification. We’ll then arrange to visit the site to record the details of each meter and check they’ve been fitted correctly - we’ll use this information to set up new billing accounts for the occupants.

For non-household properties, we'll notify the Market Operator of the connection date and meter details. They'll in turn notify the appointed retailer who'll contact you about billing until the property transfers to the new occupier. More information can be found in our News and Improvements section.

If you need any guidance with any of our processes, please do contact us.