Water Meter Basics
The pictures above are of a typical water meter. The important information is all listed or shown on the face of the meter. There are two main types of meters, CUBIC FOOT and GALLON. The meter on the left is clearly labeled a CUBIC FOOT meter, the meter on the right is gallon.
What do the numbers on a water meter mean?
On the cubic foot meter one full turn of the red dial is one hundredth of a cubic foot, each number is .1 of a cubic foot. The “read” on this meter is one hundred ten and two tenths cubic feet.
The way to convert cubic feet to gallons is really quite simple. There are 7.48 gallons per cubic foot, so simply multiply cubic feet times 7.48 and you will have gallons. Therefore the read above would be 824.296 gallons.
The meter on the right would “read” ninety three thousand three hundred nine and four tenths. The “read” as per the City would be 93 as they are only concerned with 1000 gallon increments.
Most Cities, Water Districts or Water Providers bill in “UNITS”. If your meter is a cubic foot meter, one unit is equal to one hundred cubic feet or 748 gallons. if you check your bill and it states 15 units of usage this would indicate usage of 11,220 gallons. Since the other type of meter is a gallon meter, cities, water districts, and providers will call a unit 1,000 gallons.
Current “read” on the cubic foot meter would be 1. The reason for this is the City is only concerned with full “units”, as a unit is 100 cubic feet the meter is only read to the one hundred slot. A meter check is easily performed knowing your previous read. If your previous read was 0, you have used 1 units. Generally, the city will also put the date of the read on your bill. Knowing your previous read on your latest bill will help you determine usage.