Read Your Water Meter and Using the Leak Detector

Reading your Water Meter

Your water meter(s) are ALWAYS located inside
to protect from freezing. 

Typically water meters are located in the basement.
      water meter back
Reading your water meter

Calculating Your Use
The water meter reading is on the white circular face of the water meter. It looks similar to a car odometer (see images below). 
Subtract a prior reading from the current reading to calculate water use.
The meter reads used to calculate your bill are printed on your bill. Use is billed as increments of 100 cubic feet. 

                                                   1 cf = 7.48 gallons   
                                              100 cf = 748 gallons   

Checking for leaks

Leak Indicator
The water meters are equipped a leak indicator that is located on the white circular face of the meter (see images below).
A leak indicator moves when there is water being pulled through the water meter. 

Checking for Leaks
  1. Begin by making sure that there aren't any fixtures or appliances using water. REMINDER: a humidifier on the furnace uses water.
  2. Look at the leak indicator on the water meter (see images below).
  3. If the leak indicator is completely still and motionless, then there is no water being used at this time. 
  4. If the leak indicator is moving, water is flowing through the meter.  Go to the toilet you use least offer and turn off the water supply valve under the tank. Return to the water meter and see if the leak indicator is still moving.
    • If the leak indicator is now completely still and motionless, you have likely found the issue. If possible, leave the water shut off until you can repair the toilet.
    • If the leak indicator is still moving, leave the first toilet off, and turn off another toilet. Return to the water meter and see if the leak indicator is still moving. Repeat until the leak indicator completely stops. 
  5. Repeat periodically or as needed.
Track Your Use
Some issues might be intermittent. For example, toilets can phantom flush, meaning they periodically flush on its own due to a malfunction.
You may be able to identify if you have an intermittent issue by tracking your water use.
  1. Write down your water meter reading before bed at night or before leaving for the day.
  2. Check your water meter reading when you wake up in the morning or return.
If there was a change in the water meter reading you may have an intermittent issue. REMINDER: a humidifier on the furnace uses water. 

Reducing my Water Bill
For more information on water use, the most common leaks, and other ways to check for leaks 

Water meters
The water meters in use in Washington Township measure use in cubic feet.

                                                  1 cf = 7.48 gallons   
                                              100 cf = 748 gallons   

The water meters can differ slightly in appearance but they all function the same way. Below are images of the most common water meters.
t10-300x295 procoder-290x300
t10_reading-300x39 procoder_reading-300x39

To check for leaks, make sure no water is on or in use,
then watch for movement in the "leak indicator" on the water meter. 

For this type of water meter,                        For this type of water meter, 

     the Leak Indicator  is the small red triangle

the Leak Indicator is the red sweep needle on the dial


Washington Township's Department of Public Works is responsible for maintenance of the water mains in the streets and in easements, and for the service lines from the water main to the stop box (water shut-off valve), and for the water meter and reading equipment.  

The Township has upgraded the water meter reading technology to radio remote reading (MTU / MIU).  The Department of Public Works typically receives your water meter reading every day. 

For additional assistance, contact  Heather Berger in the Department of Public Works:
                                                                         (586) 786-0010 press 1211 or by email.

 Return to Department of Public Works main page