About the Meters

About the Meters

Your water meter can tell you how much water you’re using during a given time period, and can help you monitor the amount of water you use indoors and outdoors on a daily basis. It can also help you figure out if there’s a leak inside or outside the house.

Most meters in the Soquel Creek Water District system area are automatic meter read (AMR) meters. They measure water use mechanically and record the number of cubic feet of water used on a mechanical dial as well as a little hard drive in the meter. To read the meter, customer service field drives by the meters in the street with a radio receiver. This small radio signal (916 MHz) that is put out by the meter is picked up by the radio receiver and transferred to a computer to record the reading. Click here to read more about the AMR meters.

Most meters come with a leak detector—a small silver and black circle or red triangle in the center of the meter, which rotates when any amount of water is used. If the dial rotates even when all the water is turned off, there’s a leak somewhere in your water system.

Although the meter readings are mostly recorded electronically, all meters can be read manually. If you really want to know how much water you are using, try reading your own meter. Most water meters are located in in-ground concrete boxes near the street curb. To expose the gauge, carefully remove the cover and flip open the meter’s cap.  Black widow spiders sometimes inhabit these dark spaces so be cautious when reaching into the meter box.

See more about Reading your meter: How to Read Your Meter


Water meter facts

Each 10th on the meter = .748 gallons
One cubic foot = 7.48 gallons
Hundred cubic feet (ccf) or 1 unit = 748 gallons
One complete sweep of the dial indicator = 1 cubic foot or 7.48 gallons
One hundred sweeps of the dial = one billing unit, 748 gallons of water.

Conversion facts

1.00 gallon = 13 ticks on the meter
2.00 gallons = 27 ticks on the meter
4.00 gallons = 53 ticks on the meter
6.00 gallons = 80 ticks on the meter
7.48 gallons = 100 ticks or 1 complete sweep = 1 cubic foot