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Water Meter (Read Meter)

Reading and understanding your water meter is an important part of using our water resource efficiently and effectively. Accurate readings will allow you to:

MONITOR water use as closely as you like; daily, monthly, seasonally
DETECT leaks that may be silent or invisible
JOIN all of Brentwood in using our water resource efficiently.

To read your water meter, follow these steps.....

Video: How to Read Your Meter
Locate your Meter

The water meter is usually located near the curb in front of the house or business. It is in the ground, housed in a concrete box marked WATER. Carefully remove the meter box lid using a tool such as a large screwdriver. Visually examine the area around the meter to ensure your safety (Black Widow Spiders are known to nest in meter boxes).

Read your Meter
Reading a water meter is similar to reading an automobile odometer. Most meters have a seven-digit number on the face called the readout. This shows the total of gallons used since the meter was installed. When water passes through the meter, all of the numbers revolve except the last one on the right which is fixed at zero. The large sweephand registers for this last increment - revolving one time for every ten gallons used.

Figure your Water Use
To calculate your water use, pick a starting point at which to read your meter; record the reading and date. A day or two later, read your meter again. Subtract the first reading from the second to find out how much water was used, for example:

  Second Reading
1168180 Gallons
  First Reading
1167150 Gallons
  Water Used
1030 Gallons

(Note: Brentwood charges for water by the 1000 gallon unit. 1030 gallons would be rounded off to 1 billing unit on your water bill).

To Monitor your water use, follow these steps...

Printable Meter Reading Log

Monitor your Water Use
Read your meter on a regular basis to track water use. Keep a record of all readings. You will be able to detect trends from season to season and year to year. If your household changes in any way that affects water use (e.g., new family member, plumbing upgrade, etc.), you will be able to determine the effect of the change.

Check for Household Leaks
The little triangle on the face of the meter is a low flow indicator. It will rotate with even a very low flow through the meter. To check for leaks, turn off all known water uses inside and outside the house. If you have an automatic ice maker, make sure it is not operating. When all water is turned off, the low flow indicator should not move.

If the low flow indicator is moving, there is water flowing somewhere on your property. Try turning off the house shut-off valve (usually located where the waterline enters the house). If the low flow indicator is still moving, there is water flowing outside the house (most likely on the irrigation system). If the low flow indicator stops moving with the house valve off, water was flowing inside the house (this could be a toilet leak, a leaky pipe, or any number of problems). See "Find and fix leaks" for tips.

When you have finished reading the meter, put the meter cap down and carefully replace the meter box cover.

How much water is used?
Inside the home...
Running the Tap
2 - 5 gallons per minute
Taking a Shower
2 - 7 gallons per minute
Taking a Bath
20 - 60 gallons per bath
Washing a full load of clothes
25 - 40 gallons per load
Flushing the Toilet
1.5 - 7 gallons per flush
Running an Automatic Dishwasher
10 - 20 gallons per load
Outside the home...
  Running the Garden Hose
5 - 10 gallons per minute
  Watering 1000 square feet of grass in the Summer
850 gallons per week
  Watering 1000 square feet of grass in the Fall
400 gallons per week
  Watering 1000 square feet of low-water use shrubs in the Summer
450 gallons per week
  Watering 1000 square feet of low-water use shrubs in the Fall
200 gallons per week
  Watering a mature fruit tree (15 foot diameter canopy) in the Summer
131 gallons per week
  Watering a mature fruit tree (15 foot diameter canopy) in the Fall
41 gallons per week
Frequently Asked Questions

Service Request
Report a Problem

Abandoned shopping carts garbage / recycle service, graffiti, potholes, street lights, traffic, water leak, etc.

After Hours Water or Sewer Emergency contact Police Dispatch (925) 778-2441

Quick Links

Other Resources

Key Personnel
Water Operations Manager
Eric Brennan

Water Production Supervisor
Richard Bloomfield

Water Distribution Supervisor
Gary Skym

Public Works Staff

Public Works Department
Water Division       (925) 516-6000
2201 Elkins Way       (925) 516-6001
Brentwood, CA 94513
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday       7:00 am - 3:30 pm