Water Billing and Estimated Reads


Water Reads

In an effort to keep rates as low as possible, increase efficiencies, proactively identify problem areas, and provide accurate bills, the Town of Johnstown uses an automated meter reading process.  This process and associated equipment allow us to obtain actual meter readings by downloading the meter readings from collectors located around town.  The readings are recorded and applied to each account electronically, streamlining the data collection process by eliminating the need to physically visit each property every month and having staff input the manual readings into the system to generate bills.

Estimated Reads

Each month the Town of Johnstown reads about 6,600 water meters.  Our goal is to quickly, accurately, and safely read each meter so that you receive utility bills with actual data rather than estimates.  In some cases, that is not possible so, estimates may be used. 

If we are unable to read your meter, the billing system automatically generates an estimated bill based on the last actual reading.  If the actual reading obtained for an account was for a low consumption period (such as winter or spring), subsequent estimated readings will reflect that low consumption.  The same is true for the opposite situation, if the actual reading obtained for an account was for high consumption period, subsequent estimated readings will reflect high consumption. 

If your meter is estimated, when the system is able, it will collect an actual meter reading and will report it for the period that was estimated.  If the actual amount of water consumed is lower than the estimated amounts previously billed for, then a credit will be applied to the customer account. If the actual amount of water consumed during the period of estimation is higher than the estimated amounts previously billed for, then the bill will be adjusted to reflect the higher usage.

If you have any questions or are concerned about your water read, please reach out to us at 970-587-4664.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you estimate water use?

  • To estimate your water use, the billing system takes your actual water use from the month immediately prior to the current month.

Will the estimated reading correct itself on my next bill?

  • Yes, provided we are able to get an actual reading.  If we underestimated your water use, we’ll charge the difference on your next bill.  If we overestimated your use, we’ll provide a credit on your account.


Will estimating my reading mean that I get a higher bill?

  • Your bill could be higher or lower than what you’d be charged for an actual read. This is because the estimate is based on your water use from a prior period.

How can I avoid an estimated read?

  • The best way to avoid an estimated read is to make sure that there is always easy, clear access to your meter.  Make sure that the meter is clear from debris, landscaping, and that there are no vehicles parked over it.