Home > Departments > Water

Reading Your Meter


The Water Department reads both analog and digital meters at customer premises every month. This is a critical step in tracking and accurately billing for water that is used. Meters are read every business day in some part of the city, so your reading will not be calculated based on the calendar month.

See below for instructions on how to read your analog or digital meter. As you proceed, please note that all Fort Worth meters measure the amount of water used in cubic feet. The Water Department measures water use in CCF or hundred cubic feet. One hundred cubic feet is equal to 748.1 gallons. Be aware that the amount you are billed will not match the reading exactly unless you read the meter at the same time as the meter reader.

Analog Meter

Your analog water meter has a set of numbers similar to the odometer in your car, and the numbers spin as you use water. Simply read the numbers to know how many cubic feet of water you have used. In the illustrated example, the meter indicates that 7,896 cubic feet of water have been used. This number represents a starting point. At the end of the month, read the meter again. Subtract 7,896 from the end-of-the-month reading to find out how many cubic feet were used during the month.

The meter has a sweep hand and the numbers 0-9 arranged clockwise around the face, as shown in the illustration. One revolution of the sweep hand represents one cubic foot of water used. The meter face also has a leak indicator. This indicator may look like a triangle or gear on the left, or a two-color wheel in the center of the meter face. To determine a leak, turn off all water. If the indicator is moving, water is going through the meter, which means that a leak is possible.

Digital Meter

If your water meter was replaced recently, you received a digital meter. These water meters feature an electronic display and have a number of advancements including greater reliability and higher-resolution readings.

Digital meter display example

The numbers on the screen show your water usage. In the illustration, 7,896.011 is the amount of water that has passed through the meter. To calculate your usage for the month, take the value of your first reading for the month and then subtract that from the end of the month number.

There are other helpful indicators on your digital water meter display. The 5/8” in the example above represents the size of the meter. “CF” indicates the meter records water use in cubic feet. When the flag icon is lit, it means that there may be a leak on the customer’s side of the meter. Lastly, if the battery icon is on, the meter’s electronic register has a low battery. The Water Department is responsible for replacing the batteries, which are expected to last about 20 years. Also, please note the wires attached to the meter are not in use at this time.

Apartment Submetering

Apartment complexes, condominiums, multiple use facilities and manufactured home communities can submeter or allocate billing of water and wastewater rates to tenants. There are rules and regulatory practices established by the Public Utility Commission of Texas that must be follow.

The local utility is not directly involved in these matters and has no authority in dispute intervention or resolution. The Public Utility Commission of Texas has a consumer complaints hotlined: 1-888-782-8477.