Reading your Meter

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How to Read your Water Meter and Check for Leaks

The permit that the State of Colorado issued to you allows a certain amount of usage.  That usage is limited by your type of use and the amount of augmentation you purchased from the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District "UAWCD".  Most use includes normal in-house use and a limited amount of outside irrigation.  You may check with the UAWCD to determine that limitation.  The augmentation purchase was based upon a depletion amount or the amount consumed; that is the amount not returned to the system via your sewer system or not returned through the ground from irrigated landscape.  The amount consumed is less than the total amount pumped.  The meter reading tells us the total amount pumped since the meter was installed.  This is called a totalizing flow meter.

Water meters come in a variety of makes and models.  Likewise your meter may measure water in gallons, acre feet or in cubic feet.  For most well users the UAWCD requires you to report your meter reading once a year.  A request is sent to you by the UAWCD.  Once you receive this request the reading must be taken within 15 days after receipt of the request and returned to the UAWCD office by the due date listed on the request.  Include the following in the meter reading request:

  1. Date of the reading
  2. The reading in the unit of measure indicated on your meter (gallons, acre feet or cubic feet)
  3. Sign the report form
  4. Indicate any significant changes that would unduly affect the reading since the last reading; such as "new meter"

Most meters utilize gallons as the unit of measure.  However your meter could be in Acre feet or Cubic feet.  For your information here is a conversion table:

1 Acre Foot equals325,851 Gallons
1 Cubic Foot equals7.48 Gallons

Below are listed several figures picturing different styles of meters.

Figure 1 is a typical pressure tank with a water meter location depicted.

Figure 1 a. depicts a meter with the cover in place and Figure 1 b. with the cover in the open position.

Figure 2 is a Hays meter with multiple dials.

Figure 3 a typical meter with a sweep dial.

Figure 4 a meter with digits that are ready to change.

Figure 5 depicts a meter in cubic feet.

Finding your water meter

Water meters can be located in the mechanical room of your residence.  Normally, this will be an unfinished room in the basement probably where the furnace is located.  However, the pressure tank and water meter may also be found in the crawl space of the home when there is no basement.  Check around the bottom floor of your house and look for a cylindrical tank connected to copper pipe. (Figure 1) This tank keeps your water system pressurized when the well pump isn't running.  The water meter may be located on the copper pipe very close to the pressure tank.   It might have a protective plastic or bronze cover over the dial that you will have to lift to see the meter face.   The cover can be easily opened to expose the meter dial. (Figures 1a & 1b)

meter location
Figure 1.
meter cover closed
Figure 1a.
meter cover open
Figure 1b.

Meter Reading Example #2

Meter Reading Example #3

Meter Reading Example #4

meter figure 5
Figure 5
Figure 5  The correct reading for this meter is 81,710 cubic feet.

In the meter at the left, the reading is taken from the figures shown under the words CUBIC FEET.  The meter reads 81,710, which is the total number of cubic feet of water recorded since the meter was installed.  Report all numbers in the digital register.  Do not report the numbers on the sweep dial.


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