Meter Tampering

§ 16-13-385. Altering, tampering with, or bypassing electric, gas, or water meters.

It shall be unlawful for any person to alter, tamper with, or bypass a meter which has been installed for the purpose of measuring the use of electricity or gas or water.

Any meter found in a condition which would cause electricity or gas or water to be diverted from the recording apparatus of the meter or to cause such meter to inaccurately measure the use of electricity of gas or water or the attachment to a meter or distribution wire of any device, mechanism, or wire which would permit the use of unmetered electricity or gas or water or would cause a meter to inaccurately measure the use thereof shall be prima facie evidence that either the person in whose name such meter was installed, or the person for whose name such meter was installed or the person for whose benefit electricity of gas or water was diverted caused the electricity or gas or water to be diverted from going through the meter or the meter to inaccurately measure the use of electricity or gas or water.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall for a first offense be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars or imprisoned for a term not to exceed thirty days and for a second or subsequent offense shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not to exceed ten years, or both.

HISTORY: 1962 Code 16-400; Act No. 650.

It is a crime to tamper with a utility meter.

The Chester Metropolitan District and Chester Sewer District will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any individual found to have tampered with a water or sewer service for the purpose of altering readings or bypassing the metering equipment. This includes, but is not limited to installing additional pipe to a service in order to re-route water service, reconnecting a service which has been disconnected for non-payment, installing a jumper in the place of a pulled meter, and breaking or otherwise damaging metering equipment to produce inaccurate readings.

Please report any abuse of water or sewer service by calling our office at (803) 385-5123.