How to Read Your Meter

There are several reasons why you’d want to read your water meter. First, you might be interested in just how much water you use in a day. By reading your meter at the beginning and the end of the day you can compare the two totals to tell how much water you and your family used. The second reason is to check for water leaks. If you turn off all the taps in your house, look at your meter and if the small red or blue triangle is still turning, chances are you have a leak somewhere. Here are some hints to help you find and read your water meter:

STEP 1: Locate Your Meter

Your water meter is generally located near the curb in front of your home or place of business in a direct line with the main outside faucet. It is housed in a green plastic box or a concrete box usually marked “water.” Carefully remove the lid by using a tool such as a large screwdriver. Please, do not use your fingers. 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.

STEP 2: Reading Your Water Meter

All Vaughn Water Company meters measure water in cubic feet (one cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons). The reading for the meter pictured here is 587,145 cubic feet. The reading includes all numbers on the totalizer.

To measure the water used for an activity, follow these instructions:

1. Before you begin the measurement, write down the meter reading.

2. Perform the activity you want to measure, but be sure that no other water is being used during the test. Some examples include:

• Washing a load of laundry or dishes
• Taking a shower or bath
• Washing your car
• Watering your lawn
• Filling your swimming pool

If you are performing an activity that may have a variable duration, such as taking a shower or running your sprinklers, you should measure the number of minutes the activity required. This information will allow you to determine the number of gallons per minute the activity requires.

3. After the activity is complete, read the meter again. Subtract the first reading from the second reading. The remainder is your usage in cubic feet for the activity.

Landscape Sprinkler System Example:

A. Turn off all water using devices (washing machine, dishwasher, evaporative cooler).

B. Read meter.

C. Activate sprinkler system.

D. Read meter again after sprinkler stations have completed a full cycle.

E. Subtract first reading from second reading. This is the number of cubic feet used to water your landscape.

139,600 End Reading
139,500 Start Reading
100 Cu Ft used

If sprinkler system runs a cycle every day, you can estimate your monthly landscape water as 30 days x 100 cubic feet = 3,000 cubic feet. (1 Cu Ft = 7.48 Gallons)