Thursday, September 7, 2017

Questions about your water meter? We’ve got answers.

In most homes, there is a water meter that measures how much water is used each month, and the homeowner is then charged for the water used, as reported by the water meter.

How do I know my meter is accurate?

Water meters are mechanical devices – water needs to pass through the meter in order to record consumption. The City uses water meters that meet industry standards. Before The City receives meters, all meters are tested by the manufacturer at three different flow rates before distribution to certify the meter’s accuracy. The City also owns a state-of-the-art Water Meter Test Bench manufactured by MARS Company, an industry leader in meter testing technology. Calgary is one of a few municipalities to have that technology, and while other municipalities also test their meters, The City also measures the weight of the water passing through to further verify the accuracy of the meter.

In rare cases, meters can register slightly higher volumes at certain flows than what is flowing through. In that rare event it would be a negligible increase, and it would be much more likely for a meter to register lower water consumption, as water meters tend to slow down as they age. This would result in a lower bill for the customer, not higher. Also, in this case it would not likely be a one-month error but rather show as a continuing pattern.

It’s important to know that about 99.5 per cent of our over 350,000 customers receive monthly bills that reflect regular water consumption levels within their average range.

Here is Chris Huston, Manager of Drinking Water Distribution, explaining how The City manages and maintains water meters for citizens.

How can I check to see if my meter is operating properly?

Your meter is typically located in the basement where your water service enters the home. The meter has numbers (looks similar to an odometer on a car) and a dial called a flow register. The dial and numbers shows water consumption. It’s easy to check if your meter is registering flow: have someone turn water on in the house, and watch as the flow register turns and registers consumption. If the flow register is turning and all fixtures are off, this could indicate that you have a leak. Use the high consumption checklist on to help troubleshoot the cause.

Who can I contact if my water bill is much higher than usual?

Every situation is unique, but it's not unheard of to see an increase in your water use from one bill to the other. You can visit for more information or visit for a high consumption checklist that is an easy guide to help determine higher than usual water use.

What can I do to make sure I don’t experience an unintentionally high spike in my water bill?

Checking for leaks in and around your home will help ensure that you aren’t unintentionally consuming water. If you do find a leak or issue, it is important to fix it as soon as possible to avoid a high water bill associated with higher water use. Visit for a high consumption checklist, and for ways that you can save water. There are even more tips and ideas on how to save water around your home at

Do you have more questions about your water meter or billing? Visit our FAQ here.

1 comment:

  1. The above doesn't provide much in the way of answers. The primary device I don't have a concern with. Your data collection, on-site memory and office analysis, re-read policies etc would help. How about even having data on an hourly or daily peak basis to provide some assistance on when (or whether) a leak did or could occur to justify the volumes calculated. I look forward to the 3rd party review.