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.
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. Carefully remove the lid, and please be aware of any critters that may be in the box. You can clear away any spiders or leaves with a screwdriver.
Stick one screwdriver in the hole to use as a lever.
Use the other screwdriver to pry up the outer edge.
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.
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
Make sure no water is running.
Turn off all faucets and water-consuming appliances—including your automatic ice maker and your evaporative cooler.
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
Dates That Meters are Read
Water meters are read every other month around the 1st or the 15th, depending on your billing cycle. Review your most recent bill to find out what date the meter was read.
Need Help Estimating?
1. Read Your Meter and Write Down Results
726.70 Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF)
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
Help Your Meter Reader
To ensure access for reading and servicing your meter, it is important that you maintain the area around your meter box. Most people are not aware that their water meter is located within a utility easement. This means that when landscaping or fencing your yard, you need to maintain at least a five (5) foot radius of clearing around the meter box to allow us to read, service, or perform emergency repairs to the meter. It also means that it is the property owner's responsibility to ensure that the meter box is visible and accessible at all times. If the area is not maintained, the District will provide the customer a 48 hours' notice prior to the District staff clearing the area.
Clearance Needed Around Water Meter Box
Please keep these things in mind when landscaping:
Permanent structure such as walls, fences and gates cannot be installed in a utility easement area without an encroachment permit.
Your meter area should be kept clear of shrubbery, trees and low growing bushes.
When planting trees, keep in mind that the tree roots can become entangled around the underground pipes, increasing the possibility of broken pipes and water leaks.
Shrubbery can become bushy and hinder our ability to access the meter.
Customers who already have established landscaping are required to trim their plants to allow access to the meter.
If you have any questions about maintaining the meter area, or need help locating the water meter, please call the District's Customer Services Department at (858) 756-2424.