How to Read Your Water Meter
Locate your meter
1. Residential water meters are located near the curb and typically have a stripe of blue paint on the street to indicate where the meter is located in the yard.
2. Using a screw driver, carefully lift the heavy metal cover off the meter and set it to the side. Meter covers are either rectangular or oval shaped. (Please note: Black widow spiders and snakes can be found inside the meter box, so use caution as you lift the cover.)
3. Water in your meter box is common. It is usually a sign of a high water table or recent rain. Scoop water out with a cup until you can clearly read the face of your meter.
4. In order to confirm that you are reading your meter, match the meter number located on the top of the black plastic cover with the meter number identified on your water bill.
Read your Meter
Once you’ve determined that you are reading the correct meter, write down the row of numbers on the face of the meter. They look like the odometer in your old, non-digitalized car. Write down all the numbers from left to right, including the stationary 0 at the end of the row. The read on the meter below is 0037930.
After obtaining your reading, carefully return the meter cover.
Understand your Reading
The reading you take is a cumulative number of gallons that have passed through that meter. In order to determine how many gallons you’ve used since your previous reading, subtract your previous reading from the current reading. For example, if you want to learn how much water your washing machine uses, take an initial read before you run the washing machine. Do not use any other water for the duration of the washing machine cycle. When the washing machine is finished, take a final read. Subtract the initial read from the final read. This is the number of gallons your washing machine uses.
Here’s another example of how to determine how much water your family uses in a 24 hour period. Take an initial reading before you leave the house for work. Then, take a reading 24 hours later. Subtract the first day’s read from the second day’s read to determine the total number of gallons used in a day. To determine how many gallons were used per person, divide the total by the number of people in your household. That number is the number of gallons used per person per day.