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My Meter

Most people know that the water we consume is measured by a meter. What many people don’t know is how meters work and why they’re important.

As an FGUA customer, it’s helpful to know about your meter, so that you can monitor your usage habits and be able to troubleshoot any problems with leaks or plumbing before they become major headaches.

Meters measure the flow of water (typically in gallons) through a service line before it enters the home or business. In many ways, meters are very similar to an odometer that measures miles on a car. In some instances, newer meter models might come with a radio transmitter. This transmitter relays information to a receiver, which makes the meter reading process more efficient.

Locating My Meter

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While it’s permissible for customers to observe their usage and inspect their meter, it’s important to note that any modifications, tampering, or theft of a water meter is considered a punishable criminal offense under Florida law.

Locating your meter can be a bit of a challenge since locations will vary based upon how the home or business was constructed. Here are a few tips and clues that can help you to find your meter:

1) Look outside near the curb of your home.

  • Meters will often be located in a box in your front yard near the curb of a house or as part of the sidewalk outside of your place of business.

 

2) Look around your yard or garage.

  • Depending upon how your home was constructed, sometimes meters can be found in unusual places like in a backyard or in the garage.

 

3) Use a hose bib for guidance.

  • Often, meters are directly connected via a service line to an outdoor hose bib, since this is typically the first place that water makes its way into the home.

 

4) Talk to your realtor or landlord.

  • A realtor or landlord may have useful information about your utility provider as part of due diligence they have conducted. This could include the meter location and equally important, shut off valve.

 

5) Give us a call.

  • If we’re currently reading a meter at your property, chances are one of our technicians knows its location.

 

meter box

Reading My Meter

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While it’s permissible for customers to observe their usage and inspect their meter, it’s important to note that any modifications, tampering, or theft of a water meter is considered a punishable criminal offense under Florida law.

While the FGUA uses a variety of meter models, you’ll find that each meter has common characteristics. Usually, each meter will include a register, a leak/flow detector, and a dial. Here is a quick explanation of each of the components, so that you can better understand how to read your meter:

Components

1) Register.

  • The register keeps track of your cumulative usage. When a meter reader takes a read, this register is what is recorded. Your bill is then calculated by subtracting your previous read from the current read.

 

2) Leak/Flow Detector.

  • This part of the meter gives an indication of leaks and usage. Usually, this will be a small red wheel or triangle device. Whenever water is flowing through the meter, this part of the meter will spin. If there is no water being used in the home or by any appliances, and this part of the meter is spinning, it could be an indication of a leak that’s causing water to flow through the meter.

 

3) Dial.

  • The dial registers usage on a gallon basis. You’ll note that with some models the last digit on the register is painted black. This is because the dial is used to determine the last digit of a meter read instead of the register.

 

Example

Let’s say your meter is read on January 1st. The meter register reads 0010000 or 10,000 gallons. On February 1st, the meter now reads 0013000 or 13,000 gallons. The usage between January 1st and February 1st would be calculated at 3,000 gallons.

To learn more about Water Saving Tips or Leak Detection, please check out our “Sustainability” session.

Water meter face

Meter Responsibilities

When it comes to your meter, there is a shared responsibility between the FGUA and its customers. This section focuses on education about those important differences such as meter reading policies, access to the meter, and important information regarding tampering or theft of meter devices.

Meter Reading and Maintenance

The FGUA owns and is responsible for the maintenance and reading of each customer’s meter. Florida State Law requires the FGUA read each meter for billing purposes. Meters are frequently located in a meter box that is flush to the ground, in a utility right-of-way in the front or back yard, or above ground, located on the side of the house. Meters may be replaced due to regular wear and tear and age, as meters slow down and become less accurate over time. If you suspect a meter or meter box requires maintenance, please contact your local FGUA Customer Service Office.

Meter Access

It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure the utility’s access to the meter. The FGUA requests assistance in maintaining access to the meter, with extra care taken to protect the meter or meter box from overgrown vegetation, damage caused by landscape maintenance, vehicles, and unauthorized access or use of the meters. Access issues could include a locked gate, unrestrained animal or other barrier or hazard that prevents the meter reader from safely getting to your meter.

In the event that the meter is not accessible, a door tag will be left, or a letter will be sent to arrange for access to the meter. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure meter reading for billing. In instances where the meter is not read, the FGUA will provide an estimated reading based upon the customer’s historic consumption. Meter estimation is rare, and is limited to no more than three consecutive months. If all other reasonable efforts have been made, and the meter remains inaccessible, the FGUA may work with local law enforcement to gain access to the meter.

Meter Tampering/Theft

Any unauthorized connection or tampering with a water meter is against the law.  Upon first incident, a Representative will take a photograph with proof of the tampered meter and will place a door tag with a Meter Tampering Letter attached advising the customer that only FGUA and its representatives may operate meters, and a $100 first time meter tampering fee will be assessed. The letter will also advise the next unauthorized tampering of the meter will lead to removal of the meter, and a minimum $300 tampering fee, or the total costs to repair the service connection will be billed to the customer.  Customers suspecting possible utility theft from their meter are encouraged to report incidents to their local Customer Service Office and/or law enforcement.

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