How to read your water meter

New York City properties are assessed for
water and sewer services based upon the
amount of water consumed between the
prior and current meter readings. Since
customers may want, or need, to occasionally
read their own meter, the following
information is provided to assist you.
All water meters approved for use by the
New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) read much like a car’s
odometer. Older meters may have several
dials and pointers, but they are generally
considered obsolete and, in most cases,
should be replaced based on age alone. This
brochure deals only with odometer-type
meters whose basic usage measurements
are shown below:
The three key parts of
your water meter’s register head
1) Flow Indicator
The flow indicator rotates whenever water
flows through the meter. If the triangle
turns when all water is turned off on the
property, you may have a leak, which
should be investigated.
2) Sweep Arm
Each full revolution of the sweep arm
indicates that one cubic foot of water
(about 7.48 gallons) has passed through
the meter. The markings at the dial’s
outer edge indicate tenths
and hundredths of one cubic foot.
3) The Register
The water meter register is a lot like the
mileage odometer on your car. It keeps a
running total of all the water that has
passed through the meter. The register
shown here indicates that 345,710 cubic
feet of water has passed through this

For the full specifications on how to read a DEP approved water meter, please click on the Department of Environmental Protection link below.