About Your Meter

Meters are read approximately every 30 days. The majority of meters are read by the District’s meter reader. 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.


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 picture below, the meter reading shown on this customer's water bill would be 2416.


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                    =             325,851 Gals       =             Cover's one acre of land, one foot deep


Knowing how to read your water meter allows you to easily and quickly track water usage on your property, including usage trends and potential spikes due to leaks.

Water meters are precision instruments built to accurately measure both 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.


The number furthest to the right equals one cubic foot. When this dial moves up one digit that means the water meter has registered 7.48 gallons of water. The second number to the left of it represents 10 cubic feet. When this dial moves up one digit that means your water meter has registered 74.8 gallons of water. SLVWD discards these two numbers which will normally appear with a black background (as in the example). The third digit from the right (appearing with a white background) represents 100 cubic feet.  When this dial moves up one digit this mean that your water meter has registered 748 gallons of water and you will now be billed for 1 unit (100 cubic feet).

The water meter shown in the picture above reads 2416.99. SLVWD discards the last two digits (which appear with a black background) so your starting read would be 2416. Notice in the example above that the first three digits are in between numbers. When the water meter register goes from 2416.99 to 2417.00 this means your water meter has registered 100 cubic feet and you will now be billed for 1 unit. 


A leak indicator is a dial 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 dial 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 dial and waiting about five minutes to see if it moves off your pencil mark. If the dial turns when all water is off in the house (faucets, sprinklers, dish washer, etc), 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.

If you have a Badger meter that is equipped with an LTE or Cellular endpoint, you have the ability to create an Eye On Water account to track and monitor your daily usage and set leak alerts. To figure out if you have a Badger meter that is compatible with Eye On Water, please call Customer Service at 831-338-2153, during regular business hours.

If you do have a Badger meter, CLICK HERE for the instructions on how to sign up for Eye On Water. If you need any assistance setting up your account, please do not hesitate to call us.


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 Customer Service at 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.