Serving the Greater

Escondido Valley Since 1954

How to Read Your Water Meter

MeterReading your meter will help you monitor your water use and determine if you might have a leak in your system.

Step 1 - Locating your meter

Most meters are located by the street near the frontage of your property. Look for a meter box lid marked "water". Carefully remove the lid by using a tool like a large screwdriver. Inside, you will see a meter with a protective cap inscribed with a serial number. This number should match the meter number found on your water bill.

Step 2 - Reading your meter

Lift the protective cap to expose the meter face. The row of numbers work similarly to a car's odometer, measuring water rather than miles. But just like an odometer, your water meter is never reset, although it may eventually roll over back to zero.

The numbers with a white background represent the amount of units that have collectively passed through the water meter. (Three digits with a black background, located to the right side of the string of numbers, are not used in the computation of your bill. These numbers from right to left represent single gallons, tens of gallons, and hundreds of gallons.)

Step 3 - Calculating your usage

Your bill is based on the number of units used (one unit is made up of 1,000 gallons of water). In the example above, the reading is 369 units (or 369,000 gallons).

To find out how much water you have actually used, subtract the usage identified on your previous bill or the number you recorded from a previous reading. For example, your last bill indicated that the reading was 328. Your new reading is 369. 369-328 = 41. This is how many units were used between readings.

Step 4 - Checking for leaks

The small red triangular dial (tattle-tale) is a tool to help you determine if you have a water leak or other unidentified use. To use it, verify that no water is being used on the property. This includes toilets, ice makers, irrigation, pool refill, etc. Now check the face of the meter. If the red triangle is moving, you may have a leak. For help looking for a leak, log into your WaterSmart portal. On your portal homepage, click on the "I want to...check if I have a leak" link .

If the read on your billing statement is significantly different from that displayed on your meter or if you need assistance with the steps above, please contact our customer service.