Water meters are precision instruments built to accurately measure both large and small amounts of water. Although your meter may look a little different, the dial pictured here is typical of most residential water meters.
1. Leak Detector
A Leak Detector is the small triangle that rotates, even when very little water is moving through the meter. If the triangle turns when all water is off in the house or at your property, you have a leak that should be investigated further. You may wish to hire a professional to help you find small leaks.
2. Sweep Hand
Each full rotation of the sweep hand indicates one cubic foot of water has passed through the meter. A cubic foot of water equals 7.48 gallons. The markings around the outside of the dial indicate tenths and hundredths of one cubic foot.
3. The Register
Just like the mileage odometer on your car, these numbers keep a running total of all water that has passed through the meter since it was new (this meter shows 36,810 cubic feet total). Subtracting the last reading from these numbers will tell you how many cubic feet of water have been used. Multiply by 7.48 to get gallons.
What is a billing unit?
Water charges are based on increments of 100 cubic feet of water delivered, or what we call a "billing unit". One unit equals 748 gallons. When the meter reader records the numbers on your meter, he or she disregards the numbers in black, recording only the numbers in white (multiples of 100). In the example above, the reading shown on this customer’s water bill would be 368.
Water Equivalents Table