Water meters to be installed in 2021

The meter installation project will begin in early spring and is scheduled for completion by the Fall of 2021. The District expects to return to metered billing by the winter of 2021. Currently, PID customers pay only the monthly service fee. 

Meter Project FAQs

Who will get a water meter in 2021?

  • Customers who have a standing structure.
  • Customers who have applied for or received a building permit.
  • Customers who have ordered interim water service backflow device to receive water at their property.

How do I opt-out of receiving a meter?

Contact the District by February 26, 2021.  If you do not need access to water, you can have your meter sealed and pay a ready-to-serve rate to remain a customer of the District. The ready-to-serve rate is $21.49 per month. You will not have access to water at your property, however by remaining in the district you will be able to easily schedule your reactivation and meter install later. To opt-out call 530-877-4971 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to speak to one of our customer service representatives.

How do I opt-out of receiving a water bill?

After March 31, 2021 customers who do not maintain an account with PID—even if they had an account for that parcel in the past—are not guaranteed future water service. Following the 2018 Camp Fire, PID guaranteed a not-to-exceed cost of $500.00 to return to PID service if done before March 31, 2021.

April 1, 2021 marks the beginning of the new policy. After this date, a property owner has three years to return to PID and pay back charges, plus interest (following an engineering review of their parcel and its water needs). Beyond three years of disconnect, all future water requests are subject to the same policy, procedures and costs of a brand new request for water to a parcel. With increased fire flow requirements from the state, this may mean substantial cost to upgrade the infrastructure PID is putting in place now.

While we don’t know what the future of Paradise looks like, we imagine it to be a town of possibility and one supported by a dependable water infrastructure—a water infrastructure we are planning for today.

Will we need to plan to serve your parcel in the future? Call our office at 530/877-4971 for information about our “ready to serve” water rate of $21.49/month and to reserve your future water service. Our Customer Assistance Program may be able to help you with fees if you have a qualifying income level.

What are the new backflow device requirements?

A backflow device is required to receive water at your property. Visit our backflow maintenance page for more information.

How to calculate your future water bill

In 2018, monthly water-use averaged 13 units per residential account (1 unit = 748 gallons). At $1.61 per unit, this means customers could expect a difference of $20.91 per month depending on household use. PID customers can log in to their online accounts at mypidbill.com to view their 2017 & 2018 water usage history or estimate their household’s water-use at watercalculator.org.

   Service Charge ($42.97 PER MONTH for residential)
+ Town Hydrant Fee ($1.00) PER MONTH
+ Quantity Charge ($1.61 x number of units) 1 unit = 748 gallons


   $85.94 (FOR TWO MONTHS) 
   $  2.00
+ $45.08 ($1.61 x 28 units used)
= $133.02

Calculate your household use

Paradise has used an automated metering system for almost a decade, reducing costs related to traditional meter reading and water resource management, and providing valuable household water-use information to customers.

The meters themselves will be brass analog meters attached to a battery-operated meter interface unit (MIU) which will communicate water use data to the PID office via the AMI network. Customers will have access to near-realtime water use data, allowing for setting water-use budgets and leak alerts. The more resilient meter-design will include cement meter boxes instead of plastic. MIUs will use long-lasting batteries (up to 10 years) and the AMI network infrastructure will include back-up batteries making it more resilient against public safety power shutoffs.

What is a water meter?

A water meter is a device that measures the amount of water delivered to your propery. PID's meters measure water in cubic feet. One cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons.

Meters are usually located near the street in front of your home or business and are protected within a green plastic or concrete box with a lid.

PID meters also have a disc-shaped antenna attached to the lid or located near the box. This antenna is connected to the analog meter with a thick wire and is used to electronically transmit the meter read to our data center each day.

To open the meter box, use a long screwdriver to remove the lid. Be careful not to disconnect the antenna from the meter inside the box. Be cautious of insects or other small animals that may have taken up residence inside the box.

Trim brush from around your water meter
Keep it trimmed with a 3-foot clearance - You'll be able to turn off your water meter quickly in the event of an emergency if you can easily find it. Know where your water meter is and cut the plants back every month or so. 


The district implemented its automatic meter reading (AMR) system in 2012. Water meters are not regularly visited by PID employees - meaning the plants may have grown up around the meters, making them hard to spot. In case of an emergency, knowing where the meter is and being able to quickly access it will make it much easier to turn off the property's water at the meter, if necessary.

If you're not sure where your water meter is, give our customer service specialits a call at 877-4971. They can help guide you to the right location.

Understanding your meter

PID uses analog meters

  • The sweep hand - moves clockwise around the dial. One rotation = one cubic foot of usage.
  • The leak indicator - makes it easy to spot a small leak. This triangle (or gear on some meters) will turn even when the sweep hand is moving too slowly to recognize movement.

The meter register works the same as the odometer in your car.

 You can record and compare meter readings to determine water used during a period in time.



Three ways to use your meter to determine if you have a leak

Make sure everyone in the home knows not to use water while you're doing your investigation. Ensure laundry and dish-washing machines are not running.

  1. Sweep hand - if the sweep hand is moving you have a leak.
  2. Leak indicator - if the leak indicator is turning you have a leak.
  3. Take meter readings to determine a very slow leak.
    - Read your water meter and record the numbers on the register (call this "Read 1").
    - Wait 20 minutes.
    - Read your meter again and record these numbers (call this "Read 2").
    - Subtract Read 1 from Read 2.
    - If the cubic feet are greater than zero you have a leak.

Click here for tips on finding leaks

Was this article helpful?

We are always looking for ways we can improve our services. If you need additional help please contact customer service.

If you'd like to give us some feedback on this article or the website click here.