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The passing of water rotates the internal mechanism that changes the odometer. If there is no water movement through the meter body, the odometer will not change. The odometers capture the amount of water used citywide as every customer has at least one water meter on their property. The unit of measure used by the City’s water meters is cubic feet. There are 7.48 gallons in one cubic foot. The meter dial is like the odometer on a car. It continually reads the water consumption and is a cumulative total of the water that has run through that meter since it was installed.
There is no need to be concerned if your meter readings are somewhat inconsistent. It is common for your water bill to fluctuate a little from month to month.
You can do a quick check to determine if you may have a leak by doing the following:• Go to the meter, if the meter is registering usage, you have a leak• If you have a shut off valve at the house, turn the water off at the shut off value• Go to the meter….if the meter is moving, that would indicate the leak is outside. If the meter has stopped moving, that would indicate the leak is inside
Toilet LeaksThe most common leak is a toilet leak. Toilets can run without visible or audible evidence. A malfunctioning toilet can cause your water to continually run into the bowl and, if undetected, it can cause a high water bill. Replacing your internal toilet mechanisms annually can help prevent this type of leak.
To help detect a toilet leak, you can do the following test.1. Remove the tank lid of the toilet.2. Flush your toilet as usual.3. Drop about 4 to 5 food coloring drops in the toilet tank.4. Replace the toilet lid and wait 30 minutes.5. Survey the toilet bowl, if the water is colored, there is a leak.
Sprinkler SystemsSprinkler systems are another common source of a leak. The system may have a malfunctioning sprinkler timer that is running your system longer than you planned or for more days than you intended. Or there is an underground leak in sprinkler system that is not visible above ground and would only affect your usage during the time the sprinkler system is being used.
Monitoring your meter readings daily for a period of time may help you determine if the leak is in your irrigation system. Keep track of your readings and calculate your usage on days you use the sprinkler system versus those days your do not use the system. You can also do a meter reading before and after running your sprinkler system to get a clearer picture of your water usage for the sprinkler system alone.
Underground LeaksMany leaks occur underground and can leak thousands of gallons without visible evidence. Some companies or plumbers have underground leak detection devices.
When consumption is higher than normal, the City does a re-read of the meter. When the rereads is done, a visual check for evidence of leakage as indicated on the meter is also done.
1/16” 25,000 gallons1/8” 100,000 gallons3/16” 220,000 gallons1/4" 400,000 gallons
It is to your advantage to repair all leaks and drips as soon as detected.
It is the resident’s responsibility to keep the meter box free of garbage cans, boxes, piles of yard waste, parked vehicles or anything else that would cause a meter to be inaccessible. Please do not install fences, lawn decorations, or plant trees or shrubs which restrict access to the meter.