Reading your water meter

Most water meters look like the speedometer or odometer on a car. The meter measures in gallons or cubic feet, as indicated on the dial face of the meter.

The dial pointer of the gallons meter is measured in increments of 10 gallons per revolution. The dial pointer of the cubic foot meter is measured in increments of one cubic meter per revolution. There are approximately 7.5 gallons of water in a cubic foot. The counter on the meter records the number of revolutions of the pointer.

For instance, Example 1 reads 679,089.4 gallons. The 9.4 in that reading is indicated by the dial pointer. Example 2 reads 5,635.23 cubic feet. The .23 cubic feet in that reading is indicated by the dial pointer.

Once you know how to read your meter you can do a meter test to detect leaks.

Examples of counters on both a gallons and a cubic feet water meter

Calculate your daily use

Record your daily meter reading every day for the next week. It's best to read it at about the same time every day.

  • Subtract the previous day's reading from the current reading to calculate daily use.
  • To find the average daily use, divide the total water use by the number of days measured.
  • Compare the average daily use to the actual daily use. Some days are less, some days are more. Why?
  • To find the average daily amount used by each person in your household, divide your average daily use by the number of people in your household.
  • To find the average monthly use for your household, multiply your average daily use by 30. You can develop your water budget by comparing your average daily use to the average daily use of the average customer.
Examples of counters on both a gallons and a cubic feet water meter