Irrigation Meters and Irrigation Systems

Irrigation Meters

A dedicated irrigation meter, or subtraction meter, is a water meter that exclusively meters water used for outdoor watering and irrigation. A separate irrigation meter provides the following benefits:

  • Accurate measurement of outdoor water use, irrigation meters are separate water meters used exclusively to measure water used for landscaping, yard irrigation or filling swimming pools. 
  • Reduction of wastewater bills. With none of the water returning to the sanitary sewer system, wastewater charges do not apply to irrigation meter usage. The irrigation meter usage will be billed as a separate line item on your utility bill.
  • Separate shutoff option to the irrigation system.

Irrigation meters are purchased through the county, require a permit and must be installed by a license plumber.

Irrigation Systems

Installing a slow drip, deep root watering system or other water conserving irrigation system can save up to 60% of all water used in garden care. Professionally installed and maintained irrigation systems will further help conserve water. 


Could an irrigation meter save me money in the long run?
Yes, if there is high water usage outside the house this could result in significant savings on your water and sewer bills. If you use an abundance of water for home and car maintenance, to irrigate your lawn or garden, and/or to fill and maintain a swimming pool or hot tub, consider installing an irrigation meter. The meter will register all outside water usage separately and it will not incur a wastewater fee. Since the water does not enter the sanitary sewer system, your bill will reflect only water usage. Aside from your water bill, irrigation system installation is beneficial to adding curb appeal to your home and may raise your property value.

What is the cost for an irrigation meter?
You will need to purchase an additional irrigation meter from Calvert County Government, the cost for the meter is $244. You will also need to obtain a permit from the county, which has no associated cost. Installation costs to complete the necessary plumbing are billed separately and can vary. Please see the list below of plumbers in Calvert County.

How would I estimate my savings?
You will need a copy of your account history to estimate your savings. Account history can be obtained by calling (410) 535-1600, ext. 2211.  Highlight all the sewer charges for your home for the past year. A good estimate of inside sewer usage is to look at a bill from the fall and winter months.

Example: An average sewer cost in the fall/winter is $100.00. Now look at the sewer costs during a quarter when you water outside. Assume this amount is $300.00. The savings on that bill would have been $200.00 that quarter, if an irrigation meter was installed in the home.

What do I need to know about installation?

Who is eligible for an irrigation meter?

  • You must receive water service from Calvert County Water & Sewer
  • Customer requesting an irrigation meter must be the property owner 

Why should I invest in an irrigation system?

  • It’s environmentally friendly
  • It helps you save money by lowering your water bills
  • It increases the value of your home
  • It keeps your lawn healthy, vibrant and beautiful
  • It prevents uneven watering
  • It’s convenient and saves you the time and trouble of watering by hand
  • It reduces weeds, fungi and plant diseases
  • It promotes healthy plant growth
  • It can be scheduled to water your property at the ideal time of day
  • It gives the flexibility to water while you’re out of town