Water Theft or unauthorized consumption is the potential illegal use of water. Water theft can be in the form of a straight, unauthorized fire hydrant usage, a stuck meter or unauthorized fire service usage.


A straight is an illegal connection to a water service. BWW meter readers are currently checking every meter box within the BWW system to determine if straights are present. If an illegal meter or straight is found, it will be reported, corrected and removed within 10 business days.

Unauthorized Fire Hydrant Usage

The BWWB authorizes meters to be connected temporarily to a fire hydrant for bulk water sales, hydro-seeding, sewer contractors and other construction operations in lieu of installing a temporary service line. A customer who uses a hydrant meter at any fire hydrant not approved under permit will be assessed a $500 penalty fee.

Stuck Meter

If a customer’s monthly water usage appears to be abnormally low, it is possible he/she has a stuck meter that does not accurately measure water usage. If you think your water meter is stuck, please call 244-4000.

Unauthorized Fire Service Usage

Fire services are designed to help protect commercial buildings in the event of a fire. All fire services are required to have backflow prevention assembly on all fire sprinkler systems, including wet and dry systems. Field surveys will be performed to detect potential unauthorized usage from unmetered fire services. Using a fire service line for any other use besides fire fighting and testing is prohibited.