Water Conservation FAQs

  • What are the residential metered and unmetered water rates?
      • Metered (Locations that already have a meter)
        • Base Rate per month: $30.00 plus Usage Rate: $1.00 per every 1,000 gallons of usage
      • Unmetered (Locations that do not currently have a meter)
        • Large Lots in RP/RPA/RE Zones (primarily 10,000 square feet and larger):
          • $70.00 per month level pay until a water meter is installed
        • Small Lots in all other zones (primarily less than 10,000 square feet):
          • $50.00 per month level pay until a water meter is installed
  • What do my water fees pay for?
    • Water fees pay for the water bond, the cost of delivering water to residents and businesses, and ongoing operation, maintenance and depreciation of the Ammon water system. Water fees paid by Ammon residents or businesses are not used for any other purpose by state law.

  • How can I save water on my lawn and tree areas?
      • Lawn watering: Of all water usage, the vast majority is used on our yards. Studies show that most lawns are overwatered by 50%, due to a number of factors. This is the place where the most water conservation can occur. Water the lawn and outdoor plants 2-3 times per week at nighttime or in the early morning when it is cooler outside, to prevent water evaporation. Less frequent watering may be warranted in the early Summer or early Fall months when it gets cooler.
      • Rain or wind: Do not water lawns or plants when it is raining or within 24 hours after a major rainstorm. In our windy climate, consider turning off water when it is very windy.
      • Thawing of water lines: In the spring, find, fix, and prevent water leaks in and around your home.
      • Think xeriscape: Use native drought-resistant plants and rock gardens to reduce outdoor water use significantly.
      • Run-off from watering: Dig basins around individual plants to prevent the run-off while watering.
      • Tree mulch: Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to slow the moisture evaporation.
      • Weeds: Pull weeds that steal water from desirable plants.
      • Inspection: Walk around your property once per week to look for spongy or mushy ground where broken pipes might be hidden.
      • Sprinklers: Check sprinklers for jammed, broken or malfunctioning heads. Use accurate, efficient sprinkler or drip irrigation systems where possible instead of hand watering.
      • Sweeping: A hose can use up to 10 gallons of water per minute. Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps instead of watering them down.
  • How can I save water on my garden and flowerbeds?
      • Plants: Consider planting more low-water and drought-resistant plants.
      • New gardens: Wait until fall or winter to install a new garden. New plantings require more water than established growth.
      • Placement of plants: Keep low-water plants away from “thirsty” plants.
      • Shade plants: Keep shade plants in the shade. This will help prevent them from drying out.
      • High water plants: Place water-loving plants at the bottom of slopes, where they will benefit from water runoff.
      • Mulch: Include mulch around shrubs and plants to help reduce evaporation, limit weed growth, moderate soil temperature, and prevent erosion.
      • Drip Irrigation: Consider installing drip irrigation in gardens and flowerbeds, which can save you thousands of gallons of water.
  • How can I save water around or inside the home?
      • Air conditioning ducts: Check for proper insulation.
      • Swamp coolers: Install window air conditioners snugly and insulate if necessary.
      • Shades, awnings, or louvers: These can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
      • Drinking water: Keep some water refrigerated so you don’t have to run the tap until the water gets cold.
      • Car wash: Consider using a commercial car wash.
      • High-efficiency toilets: Replacing an old 3½- to 8-gallon-per-flush toilet with a new 1.28 or less gallon-per-flush high-efficiency model can save thousands of gallons per year. If you would rather not buy a new toilet, you can put a brick or other displacement device in the tank to reduce the amount of water in each flush.
      • Low-flow shower heads: Low-flow shower heads deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute or less. Older shower heads use 5–7 gallons of water per minute.
      • Showering: Each minute of showering represents up to 7 gallons of water. Take shorter showers.
      • Personal grooming suggestions: Turn off water as often as possible while shaving, brushing teeth, washing your face or hands, and washing the dishes. These tips can save 70 gallons per month or more.
      • Home leak inspections: Check under all sinks inside the home for drips, leaks, wet spots, or bowing of wood.
      • Toilet leaks: Drop a teaspoon of red or blue food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, have the flapper valve replaced.
      • Washing machines and dishwashers: High-efficiency models can use half the water and energy that a traditional washer does. Run full loads of laundry or dishes as often as possible.
  • What research has the City done on water metering within the City and the need for water meters?
    • The City has been researching and reviewing water use within the city for the last 30 years. In January of 1978, the City of Ammon began requiring water meters for all new construction projects and considered implementing a metered water rate at that time. In 2017, the City formed a citizens’ working water committee and hired Keller Associates to complete a comprehensive study of our water system. The City also purchased a subscription to Waterworth software to analyze expenses, revenues, and future project needs of the water system. Based on the research, it became clear that metering water would be the most economical and equitable way to stabilize Ammon’s water use and meet the long term financial needs of Ammon’s water system. This research was used in determining the base rate and usage rates. Based on this study and recommendation from the city’s water engineers, a metered water rate was warranted.

  • How many homes in the City currently have meters installed and able to read?
    • As of August 2019, there are 3,057 residential metered customers. There are 1,259 residential services that need a water meter at this time. The City Council adopted a meter installation plan in December 2018 to complete installation of water meters throughout the city.

  • What is the plan to finish metering the entire City?
    • In December 2018, the City Council adopted a meter installation plan that will install meters in all remaining locations over the next six years. Between 2019 and 2025, the City of Ammon will install meters in locations that do not have a water service meter. A total of 916 of these locations will receive a meter in 2019 and 2020. A map showing the meter installation schedule and locations is available to view in City Hall. By the end of 2025, all service locations in the City of Ammon will be metered.

  • What will happen to those homes that are currently not metered?
    • Service locations that do not have a meter are charged a flat rate until a meter can be installed. This flat rate is a twelve-month average of water usage documented on similar sized lots throughout the city that are on meters. This flat, unmetered rate is best understood as a “level pay” rate that accounts for high summer irrigation usage and low usage during winter months.

  • Will homes that currently do not have a meter have the option of a test period?
    • Yes. Homes that are currently unmetered will have the option of utilizing a 12-month test period after their meter is installed and before the metered rate is charged. New construction will not receive a test period. Customers must request a test period within 10 days after their meter is installed in order to receive the test period. During the test period, customers will continue to pay the applicable flat, unmetered rate for their lot and zone. The test period will be 12 months for customers that request this option.

  • How are the water meters read? Does it cost the city to read the meters in manpower?
    • Water service meters in Ammon are read remotely and require no additional manpower. Water meters are read every 15 minutes by radio frequency. Meters are programmed to read in 1 gallon increments. Ammon’s system is equipped with leak detection which notifies the city when abnormal meter reading is caused by a leak. A meter proof report is reviewed each month to correct errors prior to billing. Ammon can chart individual meters by the day, week, or month for individual customers to answer questions and identify potential issues.

  • What is the City doing to provide education to the public about water usage, water meters, and how they can prepare for metered water?
    • If you are interested in speaking with the water department experts at the City of Ammon, please contact the city offices at 208-612-4000 and we will arrange a time for a city official to meet with you at your property and assess your watering practices. Also, the Water Department sends out notifications to the 20 highest consumption users each month and offers assistance as needed to help identify issues of high consumption. Residents that set up their Ammon utility account on Xpress Bill Pay (https://www.xpressbillpay.com/#/ can view a chart showing their last 12 months of water usage.

  • What do I do if I think that my meter reading is wrong?
    • If you think there is a problem with your meter and it is reading incorrectly, please immediately call the Ammon Water Department, at 208-612-4034.

  • Who do I contact for help in checking for leaks or with help in assessing the effectiveness in my water system?
  • Where can I find more information about the water study, needs in Ammon’s water system, or the formula for the test period rates?
    • Please visit our Water Department page. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information. The full Keller Associates water study is available on the website.

  • Is the City considering other ways to water properties other than metered water?
    • The City Council approved a resolution to require all new developments to utilize surface water (canal water) for outside irrigation, rather than using the city's culinary water system. The City is also researching how to extend pressurized irrigation utilizing surface water to all existing subdivisions and neighborhoods. n engineering consultant is currently assessing how this might be accomplished in new developments and throughout the City of Ammon.