Locate Your Meter

Your water meter is generally located near the curb around the perimeter of your business but can be on the property itself. It is housed in a concrete or plastic box usually marked “water”, but can be above ground fenced off. Carefully remove the lid by using a tool such as a large screwdriver. Insert the tool into one of the holes and pry the lid off. Visually examine the area around the meter to make sure there are no harmful insects or other animals.

Types of Water Meters

There are various types of commercial water services and have the widest range of metering possibilities, due to the different requirements for service. They will include standard water meters, compound water meters, fire service meter, factory mutual meters, and combined compound water services. The different meters will have either of the two types of registers.

Types of Water Meter Registers

There are two basic types of water meter registers -- the straight-reading meter that resembles an odometer in a car, and the round-reading meter that has several separate dials. The meters measure water in cubic feet (one cubic foot equals about 7.5 gallons). Charges for the amount of water consumed are based on the number of units of 100 cubic feet (748 gallons) you use during a billing period.


How to Read a Straight-Reading Meter Register

Straight-Reading Meter Register

In a Straight-Reading meter register, the reading is taken from the figures shown under the words CUBIC FEET. The meter reads “9999.99”, which is the total number of cubic feet of water recorded since the meter was installed. 

Since our charge is based on units of 100 cubic feet, the meter reader discards the last two numbers (the ones with the black background). So, this reading would actually be “9999”.

It's important to note that the large sweep hand can be used as read dial if the gauge around the circumference of the register represents 100 cubic feet, any value lower is only for testing purposes.

How to Read a Round-Reading Meter

Round-Reading Meter

1.To read your water meter correctly, read only the dials with the red pointers from right to left. The rotation of the pointer alternates between dials. The read is the number that the pointer is directly on or has passed. If the pointer is in between two numbers drop down to the lower number.

2.Begin with the 1,000 cubic-foot-value dial towards the bottom right of the meter. This dial rotates clockwise and the pointer is in between the 8 and 9 so drop down to the lower number so the reading is "8."

3.Repeat this procedure on the 10,000 (dial rotates counterclockwise), 100,000 (dial rotates clockwise), 1,000,000 (dial rotates counterclockwise) cubic-foot-value dials. Write down the numbers from right to left. The meter reading of the above meter is “0078.”

Note: If the lowest value dial is labeled 10,000, the large sweep hand will be used as read dial, any values lower are only for testing purposes.

How to Detect a Water Leak

Running toilets and leaky faucets may seem minor but are actually costing you money and precious water: up to 10,000 gallons a year, per household.

To learn more, go to How to Detect a Water Leak.