How to read your water meter

The City of Helena uses radio frequency meters, which are read by equipment from outside your home. Most meters are read by simply driving by your home or building. Meters are read every month. Your water meter is normally located in the basement or crawl space of your home or building.

How To Read Your Own Meter:
Your meter was made by Neptune. It is equipped with a solar cell, which supplies power for the LCD panel. In order to activate the panel you will need a high-powered flashlight. We have found the 3-inch camping flashlights work great. Just hold your flashlight over the solar cell(1) and within a few seconds you will begin seeing the reading in the LCD display box(5) located just below the solar cell. Continue holding the flashlight over the solar panel. The average rate of flow (4) is displayed every 6 seconds alternating with the reading. All meters started at zero (0). To get the reading, begin from the left and write down the numbers. The meter reading is shown in units. One unit=100 cubic feet or 748 gallons. For residential customers you will need to read the first four (4) numbers. The number of digits to read varies on commercial accounts depending on the size of the meter, so please feel free to call our office if you have questions.

The meter is also equipped with a leak indicator(2). If you see a water faucet above the numbers on the left hand side, this could indicate a possible leak. The meter monitors a 24-hour period in fifteen-minute intervals. If the faucet is flashing, this indicates that water has been used for at least 50 of the 96 15-minute intervals during a 24-hour period. If the faucet is showing continuously, this indicates that water was on for all of the 96 15-minute intervals during a 24-hour period.

The flow indicator(3) arrow shows the direction of flow through the meter. If you do not see the arrow, then water is not in use. If the arrow is flashing, then water is running slowly.

If you still have problems reading your meter, please feel free to stop at our office and we would be happy to give you a demonstration.

See diagram below.