Reading Your Water Meter

Your water meter (usually located in the ground, at the front curb, or in the alley) measures the amount of water used in your household. Tucson Water takes the current reading and subtracts from it the previous reading to calculate your billing cycle water usage. Learning how to read your meter can help you verify the monthly reading on your water bill or determine if there is a leak on your property.Analog water meter

Understanding your water meter

The water meter measures water use in cubic feet (one cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons). Tucson Water calculates water usage per every 100cf which is equal to 1 Ccf (748 gallon). To read your water meter, first look to see if the meter register has an analog (dial) or digital (LCD) display.

How to read the analog display

Analog displays use straight-reading dials which are read the same way you read your vehicle odometer. The last two digits on the meter dial are dropped when the meter is read. In the example at upper right, the meter reads 9 CCFs.

How to read the digital display (LCD)

ultrasonic meterDigital displays also use straight-reading dials which are read the same way you read your vehicle odometer. The digital display cycles through four distinct screens. Two screens display the meter reading within indicator lines above and below the digits. The remaining digits are dropped when the meter is read. In the example at lower right, the meter reads 62 CCFs. Another display screen shows the rate of water flow in gallons per minute. The final display screen shows the water meter model and size which varies according to the needs of the property.

Using your water meter to detect leaks

Turn off all faucets and water-consuming appliances, including evaporative coolers and ice-makers in refrigerators.

For the meter with the analog display, check the needle’s position on the meter dial and note the time. Check the needle’s position again after 15-30 minutes. If the needle’s position has changed, you may have a leak. Analog meters have low flow indicators represented by a white triangle or blue star located on the dial face, which turns with low flow making it easier to detect when water is moving through the meter. For meters with a digital display, check the gallons per minute flow rate display screen.  Any flow rate other than zero may indicate a possible leak. The low flow indicator is displayed on the right side of the screen, represented by a series of dashes rotating clock wise forming a zero.

If you identify flow in the meter there is a leak inside the house or between the water meter and the house, turn off your house valve. If the needle on the water meter dial (or the blue triangle) continues to move or the flow rate is anything other than zero, you may have a leak between your house and the water meter. If the needle has not moved or the flow rate is zero, you may have a leak within your house.

The Customer Service Office can help you locate and read your meter. Call 520-791-3242 for more information or send an e-mail to Customer Service.