Water meter reading

The City of Hayward Water Distribution Division reads your water meter every other month to determine your water usage. You can also read your meter to track your water use.

Meter Reading

Reading your meter

Find the water meter on your property, usually located in the ground in a concrete box near the curb. To read the meter, remove the lid of the water meter box. Be very careful as lids can be heavy and sometimes insects and small animals hide inside the meter boxes. Use two large screwdrivers, one to stick in the hole in the meter box lid and one to lift up the outer edge. Replace the lid by sliding it back into place, taking care not to drop the lid on the meter.

There are two types of water meters

Both straight-reading meters and round-reading meters measure cubic feet of water consumed. To convert cubic feet to gallons, multiply the number of cubic feet by 7.48. Hayward Water System measures water by units for billing purposes. 1 unit of water billed equals 100 cubic feet, or 748 gallons.


Straight-Reading Meter
Odometer: the odometer records total water usage in the same way mileage is read on your car’s odometer. The water meter odometer records water use in cubic feet and displays as flows: from right to left, the digits represent 1 cubic foot, 10 cubic feet, 100 cubic feet and so on.

Round-Reading Meter
Round-reading meters have six or seven dials. To read, start with the dial measuring the greatest volume, 100,000 cubic feet in the example, and then read the dials in descending order. If the hand on any dial is between two numbers, record the lower number. The hands on individual dials may rotate either clockwise or counter clockwise. Remember that meter readers disregard the ten and one foot dials and that one unit of water is equal to 100 cubic feet.

Use Your Low Flow Indicator to detect leaks

The low flow indicator on a straight -reading meter or the hand on the one foot dial on a round-reading meter will rotate with very little water consumption. Any amount of water moving through the meter will be detected so even small water leaks will register. If you see movement on this dial while your water is turned off, you have a leak somewhere on your property.