Checking Your Consumption

Once you know how to read your water meter, it's time to put that knowledge to work for you. Finding water leaks can save you water, which means you save money on your water and sewer bills. Also, you can figure out how much water various appliances are using.

Checking For Leaks

For leak detection, turn all water-using appliances off so that no water is being used anywhere in the house. Then check the position of the leak detection indicator. If the indicator is not moving, congratulations! You have a relatively water-tight home. But, if the indicator is moving, start checking hose connections, faucets and the toilets for water leaks.

If you have everything turned off and are sure the toilets and connections aren't leaking and yet the indicator is still turning, you may have a hidden leak in an underground pipe. If you believe this is the case, you may need to call a plumber for assistance.

Checking Your Irrigation System
Turn on the lawn sprinkler and watch the meter dial move for exactly 1 minute. One complete revolution of the sweep hand on a 3/4" and 1" meter represents 10 gallons and on a 1-1/2" and 2" meter represents 100 gallons. Count the number of revolutions and multiply it by 10 or 100 depending on your meter size to get the amount of gallons used per minute.

Now estimate how long you usually leave the sprinkler running. The thousands of gallons of water going into your lawn and garden each week may come as a surprise to you. (Want to find out how much water your lawn and garden really need? Contact the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) at 800-423-1476.

Checking Your Household Consumption

Wait for a member of the family to step into the shower and follow the same timing routine. Check the volume of water used and multiply it by the number of minutes a normal shower takes in your family. If you're shocked at how much water is used in the shower, maybe you need a low-flow shower head.

This procedure can be used to check the consumption of your toilets, faucets, washing machine and other water-using appliances.For more information contact the Utilities Department at 863-678-4182.