Flow Monitoring Devices

Water Flow Monitoring & Leak Detection Devices

device and cell phone app
Tucson Water does not endorse any specific water monitoring device. Images above are used with permission from Flume as part of a pilot project.

Third-party water monitoring devices can provide peace-of-mind and real-time information about water use at your home. These devices, often referred to as flow monitoring or leak detection devices, serve the dual purpose of identifying when the meter has continuous flow, which may indicate a leak, and providing detailed information on use and duration of use in and around the house, which can identify conservation opportunities. These flow monitoring devices come in two basic types with various features.  

The first type of device physically attaches to your City water meter and has been programmed to measure the magnetic pulse that resonates when water flows through the meter. The second type of device is installed in line with your service line, after the water meter, on the pipe leading to your house; these devices measure water directly as it flows through the pipe. All of these devices utilize wifi to transmit data from the device to a phone app, which provides the user with direct and immediate water use and flow information.  Some devices include additional features such as automatic and remote water supply shut off if a leak is detected, goal setting and water budgeting, pressure monitoring and temperature monitoring. 

Customers interested in actively managing their household’s water use and customers who are concerned about leaks or are away from their homes for extended periods of times may be particularly interested in purchasing a flow monitoring device. We’ve done some of the research to help you understand your options and have organized the information in this helpful Water Monitoring and Leak Detection Guide.  

Before purchasing, review Tucson Water’s Policy, Customer Access to City Water Meters for Installation and Use of Third-Party Water Monitoring Devices. Additionally, if you plan to install a device that attaches to a City water meter, we suggest contacting Tucson Water Customer Service to ensure the type of meter you have is compatible with the device.  

Download our Water Monitoring and Leak Detection Guide (updated April 2022) and review the policy on installation and use of third-party devices. If you discover new devices, please share with us at pico@tucsonaz.gov.  

Customer Access to City Water Meters 

Tucson Water acknowledges that there is an emerging market for third-party water monitoring devices that attach to water meters to provide customers with real-time water usage information. Both residential and commercial customers have contacted Tucson Water to ask whether they can install these devices. This policy (in italics and linked below) provides guidance to customers regarding the installation of non-invasive water monitoring devices. These devices are purchased and owned by the customer, and are attached to the City water meter. 

Per City of Tucson code 27-11 and 27-17, all water services are only to be installed by Tucson Water and no person may install or repair a water service. Additionally, tampering with and damaging water department facilities and fixtures is a violation of City code. Installation of a non-invasive water monitoring device should in no way result in tampering with or damage to water meter components.  

Customers may, at their own risk, install non-invasive monitoring devices to their water meters for the purpose of managing water use on their property. Any damage to the meter unit, box or piping, or water loss will be the responsibility of the Tucson Water account holder. This includes installation and the duration of time a device is installed on the water meter. Meter boxes may also contain hidden hazards such as sharp objects, poisonous or venomous animals, and other unsafe conditions. 

Tucson Water may need to remove water monitoring devices to repair or replace a meter and will not be liable for damage to water monitoring devices. If a device is removed from the meter for maintenance purposes, the device will be returned to the customer. The customer is responsible for ensuring the device meets current and any future meter specifications. 

Tucson Water may change the meter at any time, and it is possible that the new meter may be incompatible with a third-party monitoring device. In the event a meter is incompatible with a device, Tucson Water will not replace a meter to meet device specifications.  

For billing purposes, the only reading accepted for determining usage and charges is the water meter owned by Tucson Water. Water monitoring devices provide readings in different units of measure and conduct their own accuracy testing, which Tucson Water does not verify. The City of Tucson does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of the data from these devices. In the cases where the Tucson Water meter fails to register usage, Tucson Code Section 27-43 will apply. 

For data security purposes, if a customer installs a monitoring device on their meter, Tucson Water is not responsible for the release of any data to a third-party who might access it. 

This meter policy is an experimental response to the emerging market for water monitoring devices; in practice, and with experience, Tucson Water may determine that this policy requires rapid amendment or revision. This policy, therefore, does not contain any explicit or implicit term of operation, nor does it provide any “grandfathered” status for any installed devices.    

Tucson Water Policy: Customer Access to City Water Meters for Installation and Use of Third-Party Water Monitoring Devices (pdf), adopted Dec. 1, 2021