How to Read Your Water Meter

Finding Your Water Meter
Most residences in Amherst have a water meter that is usually located on the basement floor along the wall closest to the street. It has a brass colored body with a plastic top, numbers arranged like the odometer on a car, and a clock face with a single needle that is divided in tenths.

Most of the meters have a small black box that is mounted on the outside of the house. This allows our meter reader to obtain the reading without entering your house.

Reading Your Water Meter
View a meter diagram (PDF) that shows how to read a water meter.

Checking for a Possible Leak
To check for leaking in your house, we offer the following suggestions:
  • When you are not using water, be sure the flowmeter is not moving.
  • Read your meter at night before you go to bed and again in the morning before you use any water. Has the register moved?
  • Most leaks are obvious and occur in the toilet. Turbulence in the bowl is a sign of leakage and should be checked by putting food coloring or dye tablets in the reservoir behind the toilet. If the color appears in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
Testing Meter Accuracy
A quick way to check the accuracy of your meter is to calibrate it with a known volume of water. Run the water somewhere in your house to bring the needle to zero on the dial. Fill a container of known volume and compare readings. Work sheet for testing your meters accuracy.

Daily Water Consumption
You can calculate your daily water consumption by subtracting your current reading from the previous day's reading. A good guide to use for water consumption is 60 gallons per day per person. You are billed on quarterly water usage; each unit of usage is 750 gallons.