How to Read your Water Meter

The City of Auburn Hills reads your water meter every month to determine your water use and water bill.  We use an external reading device, called an MIU or "meter interface unit" to transmit the read from your meter to our equipment, without requiring us to enter your premise and read the face of the meter each month.

 Meter A

You can also use the meter to:

Monitor your water use
Watch for water leaks

Locate Your Water Meter

Locate the water meter for your property, usually in a basement or crawl space, near the water heater or where the water line comes into your house from the ground.

Anatomy of the Water Meter

Most meters look like the one pictured to the right.  (If your meter has been replaced in the past 2-3 years, you have meter (B) pictured below)

Red Dial: the red dial will rotate when water passes through the meter. One full rotation of the dial equals 1 cubic foot of water or 7.48 gallons.

Leak Detector: the Leak Detector (black triangle) will rotate with very little water movement. Any water moving through the meter is detected so even small leaks will register.


The odometer records total water use in a similar way as the odometer in your car records miles driven.
 Meter B
The water meter odometer records water use in cubic feet and displays as follows: The digits from right to left represent 1 cubic foot, 10 cubic feet, 100 cubic feet and so on. Like a car odometer, the water meter odometer cannot be altered.  On Meter A, the black dials cannot be read; therefore you will be billed in 100 cf increments.

The newer meter (B) has more dials which allows us to read in decimals (two right dials) and also allows us to bill in 1 cf increments.  The red dial on this meter reads in .001 cf per revolution.

How to Monitor Your Water Use

The following steps will show you how to determine how much water you use over a period of time.

1. Read the odometer and write it down completely. Then write down the date you read it. After a period of days (we suggest 7 days) read the odometer again and write down the date.

2. Subtract the first reading from the second reading. This is your water use in cubic feet during the period.

3. Multiply the water use by 7.48. This is your water use in gallons during the period.

4. Divide the water use in gallons by the number of days between readings. This is your average gallons per day during the period.

(Water meters measure cubic feet of water used. To convert cubic feet to gallons, multiply the number of cubic feet by 7.48.)

How to Watch for Leaks

Turn off all water indoors and outdoors including sprinklers, ice maker, etc... If the low flow indicator moves, this may indicate a leak in an appliance or pipe. If the meter shows no obvious movement, note the reading on the meter and return in 4 hours to see if there is any change. Note: if you use water during that time, the meter reading will change. If you do notice movement, check all appliances, faucets, toilets and other water sources for drips or leaks.