Meter reading essential step in determining leak detection


Meter reading may seem like a daunting task, but it is a simple procedure, especially when it comes to water efficiency in your household.

In most cases, the water meter is located at the front of the property in the ground and covered with a lid that reads “water”.  The vast majority of CUDRC’s water meters are located outside of the physical structure they serve and along the front of the property. However, some are located in side or rear yards or even inside the building. The shut off valve is located on the meter unit and may resemble a stove knob.

At some homes, meters are located at the front of the property or in the driveway near the street. They may also be located in the common grassy area between driveways if the home is in a subdivision.

CUDRC has many new, accurate meters that detect small usages that older meters may miss. The AMR meters also have a leak indicator that informs CUDRC if there has not been a one-hour period of zero consumption within the 24 hours prior to the meter being read.

By understanding how meters are read, you’ve started an education process that can help you not only know how much water you are using, but also aid in determining and fixing leaks.

Water leaks can make your water bill jump significantly if they are not detected. For example, if you have a water leak which has a rate of 60 drops per minute, that will equal 192 gallons per month.

If your bill is higher than normal, be sure to check routine places such as faucets for small drips and listen to toilet valves to see if they run unexpectedly.

Another method of testing is to check your toilet flapper valve for a leak by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank itself. If the water in the bowl changes color prior to flushing, a leak is present. Also, it is also not uncommon to find leaks in service lines entering your home.

Below are a few numbers to help understand leak detection and its magnitude along with the overall effect it may have on a water bill.

By the Numbers: Faucet Leakage Rates


60 drops per minute = 192 gallons per month
90 drops per minute = 310 gallons per month
120 drops per minute = 429 gallons per month

3″ stream = 1,095 gallons per month
6″ stream = 2,190 gallons per month
9″ stream = 3,290 gallons per month

For leak detection purposes, Consolidated Utility District has contracted with EnTech Engineering to employ military grade technology to combat background leakage. This technology uses an infrared camera to locate surface temperature variations, which are indicative of problematic leaks.

CUDRC is at the leading edge of water conservation management, and is one of the few utility districts in the nation to utilize infrared leak detection technology.