Permanent Irrigation Meters & Backflow

Irrigation meters are used to measure water use for irrigation of yards, swimming pools, gardens and other uses for which sanitary sewer charges are not applicable.  A plumbing permit is needed before an irrigation meter can be plumbed.  The permit can be found here.  

Purchasing an Irrigation Meter

Irrigation meters must be purchased from the City of Grimes to ensure compatibility with the current meter reading software.  Meters can be purchased through Utility Billing located at City Hall.  Once the meter has been purchased, the installation of the meter will be scheduled and be completed by City staff.   Irrigation meters allow for water that does not enter the sanitary sewer system to be billed for water use only.   To purchase a permanent irrigation meter, contact the Utility Billing department located in City Hall at 515-986-3036. See the current fee schedule for the meter cost (under Utilities Billing: 1" irrigation meter).

Installation of an Irrigation Meter

Meters shall be permanently installed with a backflow prevention device as required by the latest edition of the plumbing code adopted by the City of Grimes.  The City of Grimes will install the meter after a plumber has appropriately diverted the plumbing. Irrigation meters are read by the city every month along with the regular water meters. You are only charged for the water that goes through this meter and not the sewer.  

Unused Irrigation Systems

If you have an irrigation system and do not plan on using it, notify the city by April 15 of each year by contacting the Utility Billing Department at 515-986-3036. No water consumption will be allowed through your irrigation meter which could include water usage through your outside spigots, or any other fixture plumbed through your irrigation meter. If these criteria are met, then a backflow test is not needed. If water consumption is detected on your irrigation meter, then a backflow test is required immediately.

Irrigation Meters Without an Irrigation System

If you do not have an irrigation system, then neither a backflow device nor test is required. To ensure that you are taken off the irrigation system list, please call the Utility Billing Department at 515-986-3036.

Backflow Devices

If you have an underground sprinkler system, fire sprinkler system or swimming pool, federal, state and local laws require you to have a Reduced Pressure Backflow Prevention Device. The backflow preventer keeps water from backing through the water system into your drinking water from your irrigation system. A certified inspector registered with the State of Iowa must inspect this device annually. 

Backflow Testing

The City's cross connection control program is managed by Backflow Solutions, Inc. (BSI), through the use of a web-based tracking program called BSI Online. BSI provides a more efficient and cost-effective means of managing the city's inventory of backflow prevention assemblies.

If your system doesn't have an approved backflow device, one must be installed and tested.