Read My Water Meter?

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How To Read Your Meter

water meterNorthshore Utility District encourages its customers to learn how to read their water meters.  Knowing how to read your meter can help you detect leaks in your home, measure the amount of water used in your household, and understand your water charges.

  1. First, locate your meter.  Water meters are usually installed near the street in the right of way just at the boundary of your property.  The meter is protected by a concrete box with a lid - lift the lid and you will see your meter.  The face of the meter may be covered by a hinged circular lid.  Lift this to expose the register. 

    If there is more than one meter in the box and you are unsure which one belongs to you, please write down the meter numbers on the register lid and call the District at (425) 398-4403.

  2. Find your starting number.  The register will show either a five or six digit number.  Write down the black numbers on the white background.  (Ignore the last two digits on the right - the white numbers on a black background.)  This is your starting number.

  3. After a period of time, take another reading, then calculate the difference.  The next time you read your meter, subtract the starting number from the new number shown on your register, remembering to ignore the last two digits.  The difference between the two numbers is your household water consumption in 100's of cubic feet (ccf) units.

    The meter measures in units of 100 cubic feet.  One hundred cubic feet of water, or one unit, equals 748 gallonsTo find the number of gallons used during the period between readings, multiply your household water consumption in 100 ccf units by 748.

    Example: Your meter reading on the first day of the month is 030000 (meaning, 300 units of water have been used since the meter was installed).  Twenty days later the reading is 031500.  Your household consumption was 15 units, or 11,220 gallons of water (15 units x 748 gallons).  To determine your average daily consumption, divide the number of gallons by the number of days between the meter reads (11,220 gallons / 20 days = 561 gallons per day).

  4. Use your meter to check for over-usage and possible leaks.  Once you understand how to read your meter, it is very easy to check for leaks in your home. 
  • First, make sure no water is running anywhere in your home, inside or outside. 
  • Check your meter.  There is a blue "snowflake" dial on the register face that moves when water is passing through the meter.  If the dial is moving or spinning, there is a leak somewhere on your side of the meter, and it should immediately be repaired.

Find more tips on conserving water and troubleshooting for leaks.