Water Meter

How to read your water meter
Knowing how to read your water meter will help you keep an eye on your conservation efforts and keep your water bill lower. Monitor your water usage by reading your meter regularly. You’ll find your meter is located in a concrete box near the street or curb or in the alley by your residence.

The red hand on your water meter is your gallon hand. When it makes a complete circle you have used 10 gallons. Use this hand when checking for leaks. For example: In the illustration the meter reading actually reads 0596. The first
and last numbers  (0 and 8 in this example) are always left off. When reading your meter for the amount of water you have used, take the reading on your meter (the second through the fourth numbers) and subtract the previous months reading found on your water bill. This will indicate how much water you have used since your meter was read last month.


How to check for a water leak

Follow these steps to find out if your system has sprung a leak:

Finding water leaks can save you water, which means saving money on water and sewer bills. Follow these easy steps to determine if you have a leak in a domestic line or sprinkler irrigation system.

Step 1. Turn all water-using appliances off so that no water is being used. This means turning off all water inside and outside the house including showers, sinks, washing machines, and any appliance that uses water.

Step 2. Take the lid off the meter box and lift the protective cover.
Watch the meter. Your meter will have a triangular red or silver and black round disc that is commonly called a “leak indicator”.

  • If it is spinning, you have a leak. If there is no indicator and the actual meter dial hand is moving, water is running somewhere in your system and you have a leak- go to step 3.
  • If the hand is not moving note the position of the hand and wait 10 minutes. Check the meter again, if it has moved, you have a slow leak-go to step 3. If not, you do not have a leak.

Step 3. Locate the main shut-off valve to the house. This is usually located close to the meter box.

Step 4. Turn off the valve.

Step 5. Turn on a faucet inside the house to test.

  • If water still flows from the faucet after several seconds, the shut off valve is not working.
  • If no water flows through the faucet, the shut off valve is working. Return to the meter.

Step 6. Check if the meter’s leak indicator hand is moving.

  • If the leak indicator or dial hand is still moving, water is flowing between the meter and the customer-side shut-off valve.
  • If it is not moving, then you have a leak between the customer-side shut-off valve and possibly somewhere in the house. Check toilets, washing machines, faucets, etc. for any leak.

Step 7. To check a toilet for a leak: Flush the toilet and while the reservoir is still filling, add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring to the water in the reservoir. Wait 15-30 minutes. If the water in the bowl changes colors, the flapper valve needs to be replaced.