How to Read Your Meter & Calculate Water Use

View a PDF version of instructions on how to read your meter and calculate your water use (PDF).

For your first meter read, it is best to get your latest meter read and date from your bill. This is most accurate. But you can also read your meter as early in the month as possible and again a week or so later. The exact number of days between readings is not critical, but try to read your meter at the same time each day. Repeat as often as needed during the month. Your meter billing period is the time between your meter readings by the District. (see revere side – “Dates that Meters are Read”)

How to Locate & Open Your Water Meter

Your water meter can usually be found in a ground-level concrete box near the street.

Bring a flashlight and two large flat head screwdrivers to open the meter box cover. You may want gloves, too. Clear away any spiders or leaves with a screwdriver.
  1. Stick one screwdriver in the hole to use as a lever.
  2. Use the other screwdriver to pry up the outer edge.
  3. Lift the lid just enough to slide it away from the opening with your foot. (Replace the lid by sliding it back into place.)
Inside the meter box is a hinged meter cover. Flip the cover into an upright position to read the meter face.
Water Meter Box

How to Read the Meter Gauge

The district uses several types of meters, all of which resemble an odometer in a car. The meter shown reads 726.70, which is the amount of water recorded, 726.70 Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF). 1 HCF equals 748 gallons.
Use Your Meter to Detect If You Have a Leak
  1. Make sure no water is running.
  2. Turn off all faucets and water-consuming appliances—including your automatic ice maker and your evaporative cooler.
  3. Look at the low flow indicator. It is a tiny triangle or star near the middle of the meter (see picture at right). It will rotate even with a small leak.

Additional Helpful Information About Meter Reading

Meter Gauge

Dates That Meters are Read

Water meters are read every other month around the 1st or the 15th, depending on your billing cycle. If your account number begins with 03 or 07, your meter is usually read between the 1st and the 4th of the month. If your account number begins with 01 or 05, your meter is usually read between the 15th and the 18th of the month, holidays and weekends permitting.

Need Help Estimating?

Use Our Online Calculator. You can enter the information into our online calculator and it will do the math for you.
Download a PDF guide to meter reading and calculations. Download this PDF guide to meter calculations that includes a form to do the math yourself.

1. Read Your Meter and Write Down Results

Odometer Reading 1
7 Days
Odometer Reading 2
Odometer Reading:
  • 726.70 Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF)
Odometer Reading:
  • 728.90 Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF)
2. Calculate Water Use in Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF)
Subtract Reading 1 from Reading 2
728.90 minus 726.70 equals 2.2 HCF water use during the measured period

3. Water Use Per 2 Month Billing Period at Current Rate of Use
2.2 HCF water use divided by 7 days read multiplied by 60 days in billing period equals 18.86 Estimated HCF per 2 month billing period