How To Read Your Water Meter

The City receives regular calls regarding high water/sewer bills from its water customers. We have noticed that the owners do not regularly check their meters, and many do not even know where their meters are.

This issue can be greatly alleviated if customers develop a practice of checking their own water meter(s) regularly. It helps each of us to fix any un-noticed leakage(s) triggering high consumption before it becomes a huge financial burden. We have developed this information sheet for customers so that they can easily read their meter, and closely watch their consumption, which takes minimal time.

A residential water meter, which is the City’s property, is generally located in the basement (if you have one) and every owner should know its location. Both the water meter and adjoining shut-off valve must be kept easily accessible at all times. The water meters have an outside water-meter reading device called a “remote-reader” which enables the meter reader to obtain the reading without entering the house. It is important that the remote reader be kept accessible at all times, especially winter months, for regular meter reading. Water meter reads in cubic meters (m3 ), and similar to a vehicle odometer displays the total consumption to the nearest tenth of a cubic meter.

City’s Average Residential Water Meter

Commonly Asked Questions

  1. How is water consumption measured? The amount on your water bill is based on your water consumption, which is measured in cubic meters (m3 ) as it flows through the water meter. Two most significant reasons to read a meter, which takes no time, are to:
    • Monitor daily/monthly consumptions; and
    • Detect leaks and save money.
  2. How do they Calculate my water rates? The City of Kenora’s combined water and sewer costs are based on your water consumption plus a flat meter charge (depending on meter size). We take your amount of consumption, times a per cubic meter amount, plus the flat monthly meter charge, times 100 % of your water cost for your sewer charges. This rate ensures enough funding for:
    • Production of treated water (Water Treatment), and wastewater treatment; and
    • Operation and maintenance of City’s water and wastewater systems, which includes water quality testing, fire hydrant maintenance, system repairs, upgrades and replacements.
  3. How do I read my water meter?
    • The sweep hand (shown in the picture) measures water use in cubic meters (odometer readings are to the nearest tenth of a cubic meter);
    • One complete rotation of the sweep hand is equal to 0.1 m3 (100 L) of water used; therefore, an odometer reading of 23.1 m3 is equal to 23,000 L; and
    • The flow indicator spins when water is flowing through the meter.
  4. How do I track my water consumption?
    • Record your initial reading by writing down the number displayed on the odometer display at time t1;
    • To calculate the consumption over a set period of time, return to the meter and write down the final reading at t2; and
    • Subtract the final meter reading from the initial reading to determine how much water your household has used during the time. For example: 1 cubic meter (m3 ) = 1,000 litres (L)
  5. What if I suspect a water leak?
    • Turn off all appliances that use water in your household, including automatic devices like humidifiers and ice machines;
    • Take a water meter reading at night followed by another reading in the morning; and
    • If the number has changed, you likely have a leak. You will need to hire a plumber immediately to have the leak fixed as the water consumption is the homeowners responsibility even in the event of a leak. We encourage you to keep the item off as to not draw any water until it can be repaired which will minimize the amount of additional consumption.

We encourage our customers to familiarize themselves with their water meters and ensure they check them regularly to avoid surprises when they receive their water billing.