Prepaid Metering Revolution

Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has embarked on installation of prepaid water meters in various locations of its supply areas. The installation begins in November 2019 in various areas in Mzuzu and the surrounding areas. The system allows customers to purchase water credit/units in advance through information transfer from the NRWB’s computer to customer’s prepaid meter by recharge voucher/ token.

HOW TO RECHARGE THE METER

Customers will purchase water credit at any Northern Region Water Board’s vending stations using the prepaid account number. They will be given a 20-digits printed token upon payment of cash. When they return home they need to press any number on the Customer Interface Unit (CIU). The LCD displays ‘start ’up V2.1.x.x.x then ‘please input token “. Input the token and press enter key. The meter valve will remain open until credit reaches warning value.

The CIU beeps or displays the number “14”once.

the units reach the alarm value warning the customer to recharge the account, the meter valve closes and water stops. To reopen the valve, the customer will have to input the previous recharge voucher or press the number “12”, the meter will completely close at zero balance.

WHERE CAN WATER CREDIT BE PURCHASED?

NRWB has made efforts to ensure that customers are able to purchase water units at any time of the day each and every day. The following vending stations for prepaid water units will be opened to bring services closer to customers.

VENDING STATIONS AND BUSINESS HOURS

Vending Station/

Service Centre

Monday—Friday Saturday Sunday
Kawiluwilu House 7.30 am –

4.00 pm

8.00 am –

11.30 am

Closed
Shoprite Office 7.30 am –

4.00 pm

8.00 am –

11.30 am

Closed
Luwinga Office 7.30 am –

4.00 pm

8.00 am –

11.30 am

Closed
Ekwendeni Office 7.30 am –

4.00 pm

8.00 am –

11.30 am

Closed
Katoto Filling Station 24 hours every day
Mtambo Filling Station 24 hours every day

BENEFITS OF PREPAID WATER METERING

  • The customer is in control of his/her water usage
  • No monthly bills and accrued bills
  • No disconnection and reconnection of water accounts.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE OUTSTANDING BILLS?

When the prepaid meter is installed at your premises the postpaid meter account is completely closed and will no longer be active. Therefore, you will no longer be required to use that account to purchase water credit in case of prepaid meter account or to pay water bills in case of postpaid accounts

If the postpaid account has a bill, it will be transferred to the new prepaid account that will be opened and 50% of the amount tendered will go towards settlement of arrears at each particular purchase of credit.

Similarly, a credit note will be issued to the customer if the account has credit

 QUERY TOKEN

01 Real time clock in the meter 14 Insufficient water alarm
11 Total water purchased 15 Overdraft value
12 Remaining water (credit  volume) 21 Last recharge water volume/amount
13 Total consumed water    

FAULT REPORTING

NRWB has specifically trained and dedicated technicians for rectifying faults and attending to customer complaints. The faults are attended to every day even during weekends and public holidays. Customers can report faults or present queries at service centres of NRWB or phone / whatsapp 0999130230 or 0885449270

If you encounter the following problems, please report to Northern Region Water Board:

  • Unable to read token
  • Leaking meter
  • Meter not dispensing water
  • Flat battery
  • No water

HOW SECURED IS THE PREPAID METER?

When the prepaid meter is installed it is covered in the locked box which can only be opened by NRWB officials. The moment the meter is tampered with, the water valve automatically closes and water stops. Supply will only resume when the maintenance official comes to rectify the problem.

The credit is confined to one household therefore it cannot be shared or transferred /in case of water interruption there is no deduction of water credit, deduction resumes when supply is restored

PENALTIES ATTACHED TO PREPAID METER

The prepaid meter should be well taken care of. If something happens to a prepaid meter, the customer will be compelled to pay a penalty as outlined below:

No. Type Penalty
1 Self-opening of meter box K5,000.00
2 Damage or removal of meter box K18,600.00
3 Damage of CIU K46,600.00
4 Damaged meter  (by accident not by illegal attempt) K121,400.00
5 Meter tampering by cutting off meter seals and trying to open meter Illegal penalty (to be decided by the NRWB) plus K121,400.00 for meter replacement if it is damaged
6 Magnetic interference According to NRWB’s Policy
7 Meter by-pass According  to NRWB’s Policy