Setting up separate metering for water/sewer in Mesa AZ on Duplex

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Question for everyone, im purchasing couple duplexes in Mesa AZ and each one has single Water meter. It has been paid by the previous owners but just got to look at the bill and its way more then it should be and i would like to get the metering setup so the renters pay their own water and sewer(and thus waste less). Has anyone done this before, who do you contact/work with to get this done? what costs are involved?  they pay separate electric already, each unit has its own water heaters. there is external shutoffs for each unit near the external spigots but a single meter in the back for both. any help/advice is appreciated



@Vincent Treola Jr. It would be a coordinated effort between the City of Mesa and your plumber to split the metering. It sounds like it should be pretty easy to do since you already have shutoffs in place to each unit.

The high water bill is a little concerning! Do you have a leak at the property? With everything off in each unit does the Meter still run?

@Vincent Treola Jr. you say each unit has it's own meter? Is this a city of Mesa meter? if so, instruct the tenants in 60 days (or whatever warning you give them) they will need to set up their own water accounts with Mesa. This also assumes the lease doesn't guarantee water is covered, then you will either need to amend the lease or wait to make the change at the tenant turnover.

no there is only 1 meter for each duplex.  Im asking how/what/cost etc to have 2nd meter installed so each duplex will have 2 meters one for each unit. yes its mesa

@Vincent Treola Jr. Gotcha, Mesa Building division can get you the costs on the meter fees for the privilege of paying them for water. Beyond that you are best off getting a plumber to trace the main to see how it is plumbed. hopefully each has a separate line to it.

It may be possible to have a private metering company install their meter on each unit. You pay the water bill to the city, the private metering company collects from your tenants and sends you the money (minus their fee). A few years ago I did some research on this for our condo complex HOA. Feel free to PM me and I'll send the contact info of a vendor.

Hey Vince, you should first contact a plumber and bring them to the duplexes. The situation that would make this conversion the most difficult and expensive is if the branch supply plumbing (hot and cold) for each unit is inter-connected inside the walls and/or slab foundation for each unit. (Im not sure if your duplexes are on a basement, crawl, or slab.) In any case, it would be extremely difficult for the plumber to separate the supply lines for each unit if they are currently inter-connected and concealed. If the plumbing is easily accessible (Basement) or are already separate it may be easier. You would have to hire a licensed plumber to do this work. 

Contact the utility company regarding the meter. In NJ, you have to buy a meter from them ($400/meter) and have your plumber install it. 

It is a great idea to separate the water for each unit and can have a significant implications on your cash flow. If you can do it for a reasonable price i would definitely recommend it. 

Good luck


ya will be getting plumber to look at it, also checking with city of mesa on getting 2nd meter on each. still finalizing deal etc at this point, havent closed yet so cant really get in and do much

externally there is a shutoff for each unit at the external water bib and each unit has its own water heater, so hoping it can be done. 

Going through the same scenario here. Made a few phone calls but no one can give an estimate until they physically see what they are working with. So I guess we’ll after negotiations. 

no, cost would be to great since stupid regulations would require new piping from each unit to sewers etc, + the fees to the city would be way to much money would take 15 years + to break even probably.


I have a six plex in mesa with one water meter. We hired a sub metering company to set up the separate meters. We pay the monthly water bill to the city and sub metering company bills the tenants and then we get reimbursed by the metering company. I think it was an up front cost of 2k. Its defiantly worth it and haven't received any pushback from tenants. 

@Mike Delprete What was the name of the company that you used to sub meter the water. Was it a RUBS (Ratio Utility Billing Services) or do they actually do a meter?

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