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How to Read Your Water Meter

To help you understand how much water your home or business uses, you will want to know how to read your meter. This also will help you to identify leaks and discover ways to conserve water.

Step 1: Find your meter box, which is typically located in the front of the property near the street. Often the box is in a direct line with the main outside faucet. It is housed in a plastic box usually marked "water” on the lid. Carefully remove the lid by using a tool such as a large screwdriver. Insert the tool into the hole and remove.

Step 2: Once you open the meter box lid, lift the protective cap on the meter. On the face of the meter there is a digital display of numbers.

Read the number display from left to right. Be sure and include all numbers. This is your current meter reading. All meters in the City of Austell measure water in gallons. Charges for the amount of water consumed are based on the number of gallons you use during a billing period.

Next steps
Keep in mind that you might be checking your meter on a date different from the one used for billing. This could result in a difference in the amount you find, compared with the amount on which your bill is based. However, if your reading is considerably higher than what is on your bill, check for a leak or try to determine the source of large water use. If your reading is significantly lower than the reading on your bill, please contact our billing department at (770) 944-4300 to request a meter re-read. Charges may apply.

To Check a Toilet for a Leak

Flush the toilet and while the reservoir is still filling, add two or three drops of food coloring to the water in the reservoir (back of toilet).

Wait 15 to 30 minutes. If the water in the bowl changes colors, the flapper valve needs to be replaced. In leaky toilets, the flapper valve often needs to be replaced.

If the water in the tank is running over the overflow tube, the valve is not shutting off when the water in the tank returns to normal and the valve assembly may need to be replaced.

How to Check for a Water Leak

Follow these steps to find out if your system has sprung a leak

Finding water leaks can save you water, which means saving money on water and sewer bills. Follow these easy steps to determine if you have a leak in a domestic or a sprinkler irrigation system.

Step 1: Turn all water-using appliances off so that no water is being used. This means turning off all water inside and outside the house including showers, sinks, washing machines and any appliance that uses water. If you have a sprinkler irrigation system, turn off the controller and manually shut off the valves at the double check valve assembly to isolate the irrigation system.

Step 2: Take the lid off the meter box and lift the protective cover.

Watch the meter. Watch the meter for a change in the digital number display.

If the numbers are increasing, water is running somewhere in your system and you have a leak.

If the numbers are not increasing, wait ten minutes and check the meter again, if numbers have changed, you have a slow leak. If not, you do not have a leak.

Note: Your meter registers only when water goes through your meter. If, after following the above steps, the leak indicator moves, there is a leak between the meter and your house. This is the customers’ responsibility and you should contact a plumber.