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City of Lake Wales, Florida Utilities Department
Lake Wales Utilities
Reading Your Water Meter

All customers within the City of Lake Wales Utility Service Area have their water use measured by a meter. This results in each customer paying their share of operating the system based upon the amount of water used.

There are several reasons why you'd want to be able to locate and read your water meter.

First, you might be interested in just how much water you use in a day. By reading your meter at the beginning and the end of the day, you can compare the two totals to learn how much water you and your family used. Multiply this number by 7, and you can estimate your household consumption during a typical week. The second reason to read your meter is to check for leaks. If you turn off all the taps in your house and your meter is still turning, chances are that you have a leak somewhere.

Here are some hints to help you find and read your water meter:


Locate Your Meter

Your water meter is generally located near the curb in front of your home or place of business in a direct line with the main outside faucet. It is housed in a concrete, plastic or metal box depending on the surrounding area. Should you need assistance in locating your meter, please call Customer Service at 678-4196.

After locating your meter, carefully remove the lid by using a tool such as a large screwdriver. Please, do not use your fingers. Insert the tool into one of the holes and pry the lid off. Visually examine the area around the meter to make sure there are no harmful insects or other animals.



What Your Meter Measures

All City of Lake Wales meters measure water in gallons. Charges for the amount of water consumed are based on the number of units of 1,000 gallons you use during a billing period.

There are two basic types of water meters -- the straight-reading meter which resembles the odometer in a car, and the round-reading meter which has several separate dials. The City of Lake Wales uses a straight-reading meter.



How to Read a Straight-Reading Meter

In the meter at the right, the reading is taken from the figures shown over the word "Gallons". The meter reads 18,630 which is the total number of gallons of water recorded since the meter was installed.

Because our charge is based on units of 1,000 gallons, the meter reader discards the last three numbers (the ones with the black background). So, this reading would actually be 18.

So, if by the time the we read your meter the next time you've used 8,320 gallons of water, the new reading will be 26,950 (18,630 plus 8,320). Again, we'd drop the last three numbers and your official reading would be 26. Your bill would be figured by subtracting the old number (18) from the new number (26). You would then be billed for 8 units (8,000 gallons).

It's important to note that the large sweep hand is used for testing purposes and to measure a more exact amount of usage for the customer's information.

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