Sacramento County Water Agency

Water Metering

Sacramento County Water Agency has approximately 90% of our customers with water meters.  We are currently on our last phase of new meter installation in Laguna with plans for completion by the end of this year.  

The Agency’s billing department (CUBS) collects reads from your meter approximately every 60 days. If your meter is inaccessible for some reason, an estimated bill based on past consumption may be generated or no consumption is recorded until the meter is accessible again.  

Some of our customers now have Automatic meter reading, or AMR/AMI, which is technology of automatically collecting meter reads, consumption, diagnostic, and status data from water meter and transferring that data to a central database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyzing. This technology mainly saves utility providers the expense of periodic trips to each physical location to read a meter. Another advantage is that billing can be based on near real-time consumption rather than on estimates based on past or predicted consumption.

How to locate your water meter

Water meters are usually located in your front yard, near the curb or sidewalk. You’ll find it inside a rectangular box in the ground near your property line. It’s your responsibility to maintain full access by keeping your water meter box clear of landscaping and other obstructions so reading and any necessary maintenance and repair can be done by the Water Agency’s personnel. 

You can read your meter and check for potential leaks by following the instructions listed below:​

Information for Metered Customers

How to read your water meter

Water meters are precision instruments built to accurately measure both large and small amounts of water for many years. Although yours may look a little different, the picture below depicts a dial register which is typical for most residential water meters.

The dial registers are read in cubic feet (CF) but are billed in increments of 100 cubic feet. Always read your meter from left to right for cubic feet.

To calculate gallons used, multiply the number of CF by 7.48. This will tell you how many gallons you’ve consumed:      1 CF = 7.48 gallons = 62.4 Pounds of water.

(Note: some older meters are only made to read in 100 CF, so they must be multiplied by 748 to calculate the gallons used.)

Record the number and check your meter again in 30 days. Subtract the first reading from the second to determine your water consumption for the past month.

The picture at the right depicts our newest digital registers for 1-inch to 1.5 inch meters. This new digital reads in Cubic Feet but billed in 100 Cubic Feet. It does not have a leak detection indicator; however, if the furthest digit to the right of the decimal place is moving there may be an indication of leaks if all water has been shut off.   

Leak Detection is recorded by the last digit on the right.

Check for leaks

The low-flow indicator on your meter rotates when you are using water. To check for a leak, turn off water using fixtures inside and outside your home. If the low-flow indicator is still turning, you most likely have a leak.

Not all meters have the low-flow indicator – you can also check for a leak by evaluating the round dial with a red hand. If movement is faster than any other dial, this would be a leak detection indicator.  If you have a leak, it should be investigated further. You may wish to hire a professional to help locate any “mystery leaks.” Water leaks beyond the water meter are the responsibility of the owner to make repairs as soon as possible.    

Save water, save money. By finding and fixing leaks, you can save thousands of gallons of water a year. If you’re paying a metered rate, it will help you save money, too.