Your Water Meter Readings Explained

Most modern water meters have a similar layout, recording in cubic metres (m³) equivalent to 1,000 litres of water, or approximately 220 gallons.

Your meter will look something like the photo below, with the black and white digits recording full units and red digits recording down as low as a single litre. Since water is charged in in full units, meter readings for your bill refer only to the black and white digits.

water meter

Water meters normally have an indicator that will rotate even when small amounts of water are passing through. If this indicator or the dials continue to rotate even when all your water appliance are switched off, then you have a water leak somewhere after the water meter.

water meter explained

Transponders attached to your meter

Your meter may be fitted with a remote reading unit, also known as a transponder. Reading water meters can be a dirty and difficult job, and this transponder allows meter readers to read your meter remotely using a handheld computer, by coming close by, but without the need to locate and clean out the meter chamber.

Water meter with RF transponder RF transponder with cover closed

You should not remove the transponder, since it means the meter reader will need to read the meter visually, and you will lose valuable usage information recorded by the transponder. Removal and later replacement of the transponder is recorded, so the meter reader will still need to read the meter visually.

Even with the transponder attached, it's still possible to read your meter normally, since the transponder does not obscure the dials. There may however, be a small door covering your dials and keeping them clean. The door can be opened with the transponder still in place, allowing you to read your meter without removing the transponder.

RF transponder with cover open