13060 Highway 9
Boulder Creek, CA 95006
831-338-2153

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Meter Reading / Access to Meter / Leak Detection

The District meter reader reads your meter approximately every 30 days. You will be able to recognize the District meter reader by his or her uniform and the District vehicle parked nearby. If your meter is inaccessible for some reason, an estimated bill based on past consumption will be generated. As a customer of San Lorenzo Valley Water District, it is your responsibility to maintain full access to your water meter for reading and any necessary maintenance and repair by District personnel. You can read your meter and check for potential leaks by following the instructions listed below.

How to Read My Meter
 

Where Is My Water Meter ? Do I Have A Leak ?          What's is a Unit of Water?

How is Our Water Measured?


How to read your water meter                                                                        

Water meters are precision instruments built to accurately measure both MeterDial.jpg (6294 bytes) large and small amounts of water for many years. Although yours may look a little different, the dial pictured here is typical of most residential water meters.

Meter Location

In order to read your water meter first you must locate the correct water meter to your home. You may already know it's location. If you don't, call the District's Administrative Office, 831-338-2153, during regular business hours to request a meter location and serial number. In addition have a pencil and paper ready, as you will be given the meter serial number so you can be sure you are at your water meter and not your neighbors.

Locating your meter may be difficult, as the meter box can be hidden fairly well with brush and weeds. Your meter should be located in a concrete meter box with a concrete lid. Always use caution in locating and working in the meter box. Watch for traffic and other safety concerns. To open the lid you will need a large screwdriver or a tire iron works well to gain access. In opening the lid use caution as the meter box provides a cozy hideaway for spiders and snakes and are found routinely inside. The meter may not be in plain sight as gophers continually fill the boxes with dirt. A small garden trowel works great for removing the dirt from a meter box. Once you locate the meter there is a long serial number that should match the number that the District's Customer Service Staff has supplied for you. The serial number is located on the meter. The location is on the outlet side of the meter base. If it is difficult to read, a flashlight might help. Removal of the meter box is not recommended as damage to plumbing or the box is likely to occur. If the lid to the meter box is not present, call the District.

Leak Detector: Triangle in Picture

A triangle that rotates even with very small amounts of water moving through the meter. If the leak is large it will be easy to see the triangle move, however if it is a small leak it can be difficult. We recommend that you place a pencil line marking a point of the triangle and waiting about five minutes to see if it moves off your pencil mark. If the triangle turns when all water is off in the house, you have a leak that should be investigated further. You may wish to hire a professional to help you find "mystery leaks". Or you can contact the District for some general information and help on how to find a leak. You will find that District Staff can offer some of the best free service offered.

The Sweep Hand: Red Dial in Picture

Each full rotation of the sweep hand indicates one cubic foot, or 7.48 gallons of water, has passed through the meter. The marking around the outside of the dial indicate tenths and hundredths of one cubic foot.

The Register: Below Triangle in Picture

Just like the mileage odometer on your car, these numbers keep a running total of all water that has passed through the meter since it was new(this one shows 36,810 cubic feet total). Subtract the last read from your water bill, from these numbers will tell you how many cubic feet of water have register. Multiply by 7.48 to get gallons.

What's in a unit of water?

Water charges are based on increments of 100 cubic feet of water delivered, or what we call a billing unit. One unit equals 748 gallons of water. When the meter reader records the numbers on your meter, they disregard the numbers in black, recording only the numbers in white (multiples of 100). In the example above, the meter reading shown on this customer's water bill would be 368.

Water Equivalents Table

1 Cubic Foot   = 7.48 Gallons  = 62.4 Pounds of water
100 Cubic Feet =  748 Gallons     =  One billing unit
1 Million Gallons = 3.07 Acre Feet = 1,337 Units
1 Acre Foot*  = 325,872 Gallons = Cover's one acre of land, one foot deep
* the average family of four will use about half an acre foot in a typical year
 
The water meter pictured above is the new "Touch Read" type that we are installing throught the District. Other water meters may look like the one shown below (lower left). If your meter looks like the one on the lower left, you may be on the list for replacement with a new "Touch Read" meter that enables the reader to more accuratly record your usage. The meter shown in the lower right is a "RadioRead" meter and we install these in places where pulling over to gain access to the meter is more dagerous or the meter is less accessable.