How To Read Your Water Meter

Your water meter can be a useful tool in the effort to increase water efficiency in your home. You can use your water meter to determine how much water you are using on a daily basis and to detect slow leaks.

The meter shown to the right reads 6,791,384 gallons. On this meter the last zero is fixed (does not move). The dial above the zero is the measurement in single gallons. On this meter the dial indicator is on the number 4, which means 4 gallons.

For more on reading your meter, print and complete the Meet Your Meter Every Drop Counts (PDF).
Water Meter Diagram
The triangular dial in the middle indicates whether water is being used. If you think all of the water is off in your house, and the triangle is still spinning, check your plumbing, you might have a leak.

Reading your meter is easy. It’s like the odometer of your car, except it measures gallons of water instead of miles per hour. This is a typical meter. Your meter might look slightly different, but all meters work in the same general way.

To find the amount of water used between any two periods of time, like 1 day or 1 week, always read the meter at the same time of day. Record the meter readings. Subtract the first meter reading from the second meter reading. This difference between the second reading and the first reading will be the number of gallons used during that period of time.


  • Sunday, February 2, 2002, 8 p.m. 6,791,384 gallons
  • Monday, February 3, 2002, 8 p.m. 6,792,284 gallons
6,792,284 - 6,791,384 = 900 gallons

Your water meter in Montville is generally located inside your home, usually in the basement.