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Sewer Meters & Charges

_Why do I have 2 meters when I only expected 1 meter?

Why is sewer shown as a meter when my statement only shows a single sewer charge on the water meter?_


Utility providers depict Sewer services in many ways across their respective invoices. In some cases, Sewer is clearly defined as an explicit metered service, with unique Usages and/or Charges. More frequently, providers depict Sewer service as a small collection of charges affiliated or proximal to the Water meter(s).

Regardless of the invoice format, utility providers are striving to accomplish the same goal: Recover the costs of maintaining the sewer system in their district. Arcadia customers have a similar goal: Analyze sewer usage and cost across all of their accounts and locations.

To promote consistency across these billing formats, and help customers achieve this goal, Arcadia imposes a standard for the extraction of Sewer services across all invoice formats and providers.


For Arcadia, the single most important question to answer regarding any invoiced sewer service is whether or not [sewer] service was measured via an explicit, independent meter. The critical element of the question being whether or not sewer measurements (metering) was distinct and independent of the water service at the facility or location. By answering this question, one of two possible extraction paths is adopted:

  • An independent meter approach
  • OR an implied meter approach

Regardless of the approach, all sewer services will have a meter in the Arcadia data model. In the first scenario [independant sewer metering], there is no change to the typical criteria to create a meter. While, in the second case, Arcadia uses a specialized set of business rules to extract and model the sewer service.

Independent Sewer metering

Independent sewer metering, once verified, will extract and model a sewer meter using methods identical with our formation of electric and gas meters. We would expect meter numbers, read dates and raw reading values, meter constant multipliers and unit of measure conversions to all be published in association with the independent meter.

Implied Sewer metering

Implied sewer metering, on the contrary, accounts for most sewer service activity and follows methods that are not obvious or intuitive for many users. Arcadia believes that all sewer service activity is based upon a [domestic or commercial] water service. Sewer is a derivative of water infrastructure and water activity for a given property. Without any water service or activity, there can be no sewer activity (at least this is the law adopted by Arcadia’s Provider Invoice Data Model).

Additionally, Arcadia’s intention is to provide for sewer charges and activity in a manner that allows users to query and isolate sewer, distinct from domestic water and irrigation and fire protections services, respectively. In order to guarantee that sewer exhibits as a distinct service, sewer must always be modeled with metering. No service, in the Arcadia Provider Invoice Data Model, can exist without a meter. Therefore Arcadia will create sewer meter objects in order to incorporate sewer services whenever sewer is presented as a series of charges within any invoice. Sewer metering created in this manner is referred to as implied metering.

Implied sewer meters are generated as replicas of the water meters from which the sewer service derives. The presence of sewer charge activity indicates that a sewer meter is required and thus the Arcadia model will create a copy or replicate the water meter and subsequently update the service type [for the replica] as sewer. The sewer meter will inherit all the characteristics from the water meter.

  1. INDEPENDENT metering:
    Sewer presented as separate Meter (the more rare scenario)
    1. Sewer in Meter Table - When Sewer receives its own line in the Meter section of the bill, it is extracted as its own Meter.
    2. The threshold for independent meter includes some combination of the following:
      1. Distinct [sewer] meter number
      2. Distinct rawRead values
      3. Distinct address (separate from water)
      4. Distinct tariff name
  2. IMPLIED metering:
    Sewer Charges presented within the water meter section. Valid sewer charges indicate that a sewer "meter" must be constructed (the most common scenario).
    1. Sewer charges within any water charge section - In an example, the Water and Sewer charges share a section of the bill. Here, the sewer specific charges should be split onto a unique meter record with Service Type of "Sewer". The water charges remain on the water meter.

IMPLIED [sewer] metering FAQs

  1. When triggering the creation of a sewer meter to host the charges how are usages handled?
    1. (created) Sewer meter will ALWAYS INHERIT usage details from the water usage.
    2. The replicated water meter is being transformed into a sewer service meter and it will therefore maintain all the attributes of the original water meter; this means all raw reads, all usages, all dates.
      1. The exception is that charges from the water meter are not replicated or inherited to the sewer replica.
  2. **Do we post usage on the replicated Sewer meter from chargeUnitsUsed in the original sewer line-item charges?
    1. **No. As with other usage and charge standards we do not generate usage objects from chargeUnitsUsed data. As stated above, usage is inherited from the original water meter during the act of creating the sewer replica. Sewer charge.chargeUnitsUsed remain only as chargeUnitsUsed. Even in the [common] case that sewer usage (inherited from water usage) conflicts with the values cited in the sewer.Charge.chargeUnitsUsed we do NOT alter the water usage amount inherited.
  3. What if multiple line-item sewer charges exist, with different Charge.chargeUnitsUsed, do we make multiple sewer meters or sum the units used or ignore unitsUsed/usage?
    1. Sewer meter counts should mirror water meter counts. Multiple sewer charges should belong to a parent sewer meter (generated from a parent water meter). If there are multiple water meters and Arcadia cannot determine which of the various [multiple] sewer charges associate with which parent water meter then the multiple sewer charges should elevate to account level and reference all sewer meters (and prorate).
  4. What happens if we detect a statement with only sewer charges? What if there are no water charges and no water meter is present? What if the provider advertises as a Sewer provider?
    1. As stated above, the Arcadia philosophy is that sewer service can only exist where water has been metered. Therefore when we only observe sewer indicators on a particular invoice, we will assume water metering was present and we must model and represent the ‘associated’ [implied] water service by standard.
      1. In this case Arcadia performs essentially the inverse of the sewer replica operation. In the absence of any ‘original’ water service indicators, a water meter will be generated as a replica of the published sewer service. Again the underlying law is that no sewer service can exist without a complimentary water service.
        1. To reiterate; ‘water’ invoices with [explicit] water meters and sewer charges will generate sewer [replica] meters from the [original] water meters. And per the question above, ‘sewer’ invoices with [explicit] sewer services and sewer charges will generate water [replica] meters from the [original] sewer services.
        2. The created [replicated from sewer service] water meter will contain no charges from inheritance (assuming the invoice was otherwise an invoice devoted entirely to sewer service.
        3. The[replicated from sewer service] water meter will need to contain usage value(s) (see below).
        4. _Our standard of requiring usage means we must present (via extraction, proration, or inference) one General Consumption [usage] with the rate component “total” for every meter.(See section xyz). In order to establish usage values from a series of charges we must answer the following:
          1. Do we have signals (charge.chargeUnitsUsed) for any usage amounts within charges and charge descriptions; in this case, sewer charges (since no Usage block or meter for water exists)?
            1. If yes, then the sewer charge "chargeUnitsUsed" are candidates to become our usage value for inferring a water usage generalConsumption total (usage).
            2. The sewer charge(s) must be evaluated to determine that a charge represents the rateComponent “total”
            3. If a “total” can be determined this becomes the generalConsumption “total” for the water meter (and the sewer meter which will take the sewer charges)
          2. Else if surveying all the sewer charges and "chargeUnitsUsed" do not present a case for general consumption “total”:
            1. We cannot create any usage for the (replica) water meter or the original sewer meter
            2. We will encounter validUsage audit Errors and we will have to post override for this exclusive qualified condition
            3. No water meter usage; no sewer meter usage
            4. We will deliver the sewer charges with chargeUnitsUsed on the sewer meter (the sewer meter will have no usage)
            5. We will deliver the (replica) water meter with no usage as well


In conclusion, Arcadia's approach to modeling sewer services is driven by a desire for consistency, accuracy, and the ability to provide customers with actionable insights about their sewer usage and costs. Regardless of how the sewer services are presented on provider invoices, Arcadia's model of either independent or implied metering provides a standard for extraction and analysis. The intricate details that guide the creation, adaptation, or replication of water and sewer meters hinge on aligning with Arcadia's fundamental principle: no service can exist without a modeled meter. This approach allows Arcadia to create a comprehensive model of sewer services that mirrors the overwhelming majority of our customers' real-world experiences and utility markets and provides them with insights that drive effective decision making.