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Do Not Remove, Tamper With, or Obstruct a Water Meter

Criminal charges and civil penalties may be the result

Last Modified: February 24, 2014
Water meter with cover off

Water meters are the property of the City of Raleigh. Removing or tampering with a water meter can result in a $500 Fine and Criminal Charges. Obstructing a water meter can result in Civil Fines of $500 per day.

Tampering with a Water Meter

Per North Carolina General Statute 14-151.1, it is illegal for any unauthorized person (including a licensed plumber) to alter, tamper with, relocate, willfully damage, or bypass a water meter. It is illegal for any person (including a licensed plumber) other than a City of Raleigh employee to reconnect a water meter after City of Raleigh personnel have disconnected it.

City of Raleigh Ordinances 1985-543; 1999-658 "...it shall be unlawful for any person to remove, damage, or interfere with any water or sewer pipes belonging to the City...."

Obstructing a Water Meter

City of Raleigh personnel must have access to water meters to properly service water and sewer accounts and to ensure accurate billing.

The utility customer is responsible to trim, cut back, and remove any bushes, trees, plants, sod, landscaping, etc. that may cover or obstruct access to a water meter.

It is a violation to cover or obstruct access to a water meter. Failure to maintain accessibility to the water meter could result in civil fines of $500 a day for noncompliance.

WARNING - Tampering is a Criminal Offense

Tampering is also subject to criminal charges. Any person violating these provisions may be found guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Whomever is found guilty in civil action of violating these provisions shall be liable to the City of Raleigh in triple the amount of losses and damages sustained or $500, whichever is greater.

The fact that water is turned on to any premises by an occupant thereof without the approval of City of Raleigh personnel shall not relieve such premises of liability for the unauthorized use of water and damage to City of Raleigh property.

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