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Reading Your Water Meter

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Here are some simple steps for checking your water meter for billing accuracy or water leaks:

Where is my water meter?
It is probably in your front yard, in the grass, near the street. It could also be in the back yard or side yard. Look for a cast iron lid on the ground with the words "water meter." Remove the lid to expose the meter, which is about 12 inches down into the ground.

What does my water meter look like?
Your water meter gauge looks similar to the one shown here. Lift the hinged meter lid if the face of the gauge is not showing.

What do the dials mean?
The long hand measures water consumption and shows larger water flows. The triangular hand shows smaller water flows. If the long hand is moving at all (and you have made sure no water is being used in or out of the house for things like toilets, ice makers, dishwashers, washing machines and sprinklers), you probably have a large leak. If the triangular hand is moving at all, there may be a small flow water leak.

What am I billed for?
Find the 7 digits on the meter which together look like a car odometer. The first digits on the white background measure water consumption by thousand gallons and are read for billing each month. The meter reading is rounded down to the closest 1,000 gallons each month. The black background digits on the right side show the one gallon, ten gallon, and hundred gallon amounts and carry over to the following month's reading for billing.

How can I tell if my bill is wrong?
Small differences occur because the meter reading is rounded down to the closest 1,000 gallons each month. For example, a customer whose meter reads 1,900 gallons would be billed for one thousand gallons (1,000). If the customer uses 1,100 gallons during the following month, the meter will register 3,000 gallons and the customer will be billed for 2,000 gallons on the second month's bill. If there is a large difference between the bill amount and the amount you see on your meter, there may be an error in the bill.

Who do I call if there's a leak or error in my bill?
If you suspect a water leak, call a plumber. If you suspect an error in your bill, call Utilities Customer Service at 311.