This section falls under Financial Services Department and is located at Revenue Hall, offices 155 to 157.
There is currently 30 Meter Readers out of a total establishment of 42. These meter readers are to
read the whole city in a month.
- Reading all water meters for both domestic and non-domestic water consumers within and Bulawayo Urban and Peri- urban areas. Currently there are 119600 meters for both domestic and non-domestic consumers which are read monthly.
- Gathering information on new properties which have to be brought into Council's billing system, i.e., newly installed meters
Gathering information on faulty, stolen, or stopped meters which need replacement also gather any other information which might be relevant to other Departments as well.
Why Read Meters Regularly
- To bill consumers on what they would have actually used, thus avoid incorrect billing brought about by estimates.
- To assist consumers detect where there could be leakages within their own water pipe systems.
- To assist in identifying faulty, stopped, by-passed, or areas where meters have been deliberately removed or stolen.
To assist in monitoring water usage for all consumers individually or the whole city especially during times where there is the need to conserve water.
Challenges Faced By Meter Readers
Meter Readers are exposed to various types of hazards whilst on the field and some of them are
- Often they are bitten by dogs which are left loose by their owners.
- Bee and Wasp stings are also a common feature as bees and wasps would normally hive in Meter Boxes.
- Meter boxes are good hiding places for snakes and on many occasions Meter Readers would find these snakes in boxes.
- Some consumers are hostile to Meter Readers, as some would go to the extent of beating them up for trespassing on their properties.
Meter Readers are exposed to road traffic accidents as their work involves a lot of walking, cycling and driving around the city.
For security reasons some properties are always locked, and thus Meter Readers cannot get access to
the meters.. In such instances, the Meter Reader would leave a note informing the consumer that he
called in and found premises locked. Consumer is to read the meter and return or phone the office
with his/her readings within 24 hours.
Inaccessible and Unreadable Meters
Some meters can be in areas which are inaccessible to Meter Readers. Such meters are those in places
overgrown with bush, submerged in pools of water or sewerage, have waste dumped where they are located
and some covered with soil to conceal them from the would be thieves. Consumers are encouraged to
ensure that their meters are always accessible to the Meter Reader at all times by trimming their
environs, reporting any leakages, sewer blockages, and securing meters in such a way that it is readable.
Functions of Office Support Staff
Preparation of Meter Reading Schedules. This is a timetable which shows where and when
Meter Readers will be reading an area.
- Setting up of daily reading roaster and preparation of Meter books.
- Correction of incorrectly taken and captured meter readings.
- Adjustment of accounts that have been billed incorrectly due to incorrect or estimated readings
Attendance to meter reading queries from consumers who come in person, phone in and or
correspond with the office about water bills and meter reading problems.
- Creation of newly installed meters in the billing system.
- General administrative issues within the Meter Reading Section.
- Financial Services