SAWS: Reading Your Water Meter
Aquifer Beaker

Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 681.5'
6/13/19 - Official

The Edwards aquifer and its catchment area in the San Antonio region is about 8,000 square miles and includes all or part of 13 counties in south-central Texas.

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Year-Round Watering Hours

Watering with an irrigation system or sprinkler is allowed any day of the week before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

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Aquifer Level 681.5 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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Reading Your Water Meter

Reading Your Water Meter

Use Your Meter to
Find Leaks

When water is not being used, nothing on the meter should be moving.

Step 1
Turn off all inside and outside water faucets.

Step 2
Check the meter. Watch for 10 minutes. If the fine flow indicator moves clockwise, then leaks exist on your property and need to be located. In some cases, it may move back and forth slightly as water pressure in the street fluctuates. Check the main meter reading (numbers) and come back an hour later after you know no water has been used. If there is a higher reading, there is a leak.

Step 3
Locate the source of the leaks.

Your Water Meter

Your water meter tells you how much water you are using each month. You can monitor your meter yourself to check for leaks in your water system.

Locating Your Water Meter

Water meters are located underground beneath a round or oval lid. Your meter may be found in a variety of locations. The most common place is between the hose bib (faucet) at the front of your house in a direct line to the street. If the house is on a corner lot, the meter could be on the side of the house. Alley locations are common in certain parts of the city as well. Remember, this is South Texas so watch for spiders and ants when opening the lid.

Your water meter has a glass face with a sweep hand and a series of numbers similar to an odometer on a vehicle. When the sweep hand makes one complete circle, then the last number in the series turns over. (This represents 1 cubic foot of water or 748 gallons.) Your water is billed in 100 cubic foot increments and that is the number (consumption) that will be reflected on your monthly bill.

Read your meter from left to right. The numbers to the right with a black background are not used in the calculation and should be disregarded. Subtract the previous meter reading (for this example, 555) from your current reading (for this example, 570). The result indicates the amount of water used ( in hundreds of cubic feet) since the last meter reading. To convert this usage to gallons, multiply by 748.1.

When water is not being used, nothing on the meter should be moving. Most meters also have a fine flow indicator that senses the lower volumes of water common with leaks. The fine flow indicator is usually a small triangle or diamond the face of the meter. Follow the steps above to use your meter to help find leaks.

How to Find the Leak's Source

Check Your Toilets
Add food coloring or a dye tablet to water in the tank but don't flush. If coloring appears in the bowl, your toilet is leaking.

Check for Underground Leaks
Walk around your property to check for the following green patchy areas, moist areas or saturated areas on the ground. It is essential to check sprinkler valves, heads and the main line.

Check Your Water Heater
Look for standing water near water heater.

Check for Broken Pipes
Check these areas: ceiling, between walls and around the slab. If your walls, floor or ceiling have stains, mildew or moisture, you may have a water leak.

Check Your Faucets
Learn to repair your own faucets, so that drips can be repaired promptly. It's easy, costs very little and can help you save money in plumbing and your water bill.

Check Your Valves
Check the following valves for leaks: cut-off valves, sprinkler valves and valves under sinks.

Check Your Water Softener
Make sure your water softener works properly. Refer to the owner's manual or contact someone to verify if softener needs to be serviced.

Check Your Icemaker
Check to see if icemaker is dripping or look for water stains on the floor. Make sure icemaker is connected properly.

What to Do If You Find a Leak

SAWS is responsible for maintaining the water line from the main to your water meter. You are responsible for repairs to any part of the water system from the meter toward your home or business. If you find a leak, please repair it as quickly as possible to minimize water loss.

Under some circumstances, SAWS will provide a credit adjustment to your bill. Leak adjustments are applied once every 12 months.

Send a copy of the repair receipt and a brief explanation of the type of leak within 60 days of repair, the date of repairs, and the account number or service address to SAWS Account Review, P.O. Box 2449, San Antonio, TX, 78298, by fax to 210-233-4163 or email to Be sure to include your contact information.

Call 210-704-SAVE (7283) for any additional conservation tips or information, or if you think there is a leak between your water main and your house.