Tampering With Meters

  • Per North Carolina General Statute 14-151.1, it shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to alter, tamper with, or bypass a meter which has been installed for the purpose of measuring the use of water or knowingly to use water passing through any such tampered meter or water bypassing a meter provided by the town for the purpose of measuring and registering the quantity of water consumed. Any meter or service entrance facility found to have been altered, tampered with, or bypassed in a manner that would cause such meter to inaccurately measure and register the water consumed, or which would cause the water to be diverted from the recording apparatus of the meter, shall be prima facie evidence of intent to violate and of the violation of this section by the person in whose name such meter is installed, or the person or persons so using or receiving the benefits of such unmetered, unregistered, or diverted water. Any person(s) not authorized by the town operating any valves on the distribution system, which included the cut off valve at the meter, hydrants, etc. shall be charged with tampering.
  • Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • Whoever is found in a civil and/or criminal action to have violated any provisions of this section shall be liable to the city; losses shall be fined and shall also be charged for the cost to repair and or replace any damages sustained.
  • Fines as listed on the City of Lowell Fee Schedule will be charged to customers who illegally cut on their own water. Civil and criminal penalties also apply.
  • If water is cut on illegally after disconnection due to nonpayment of a utility bill, the meter is to be locked, and charges of $250 for tampering with a meter will be applied to the account. If the meter is tampered with after being locked the meter will be removed and there will be an additional tampering fee applied to the account. The meter will only be replaced after all fees and balances are paid.
  • If you need to have repairs done at your property, please contact the Utility Customer Service Department at 704-824-3518 option #1 to have a City employee turn the water off at the meter. Once repairs are completed, contact the Utility Customer Service Department and we will turn the water back on.
  • Any damaged to a meter incurred by an individual turning their own meter on and off for repairs will be charged to the service address owner. The cost of a replacement meter ($40.00) and possible man and/or equipment hours will be charged in addition.