Commonly Asked Questions About Your Water Meter

Where is my meter located?

The common location would be at the corner of the lot. Fairwood residents should find their meter located behind the mailbox. If the meter is not on the corner of the lot, its location may be in the center of your lot. If you need any assistance locating your meter, please call the District office. Emerald Crest residents should contact your manager or Cedar River Water & Sewer District for location assistance.

How do I open my meter box?

Most meter boxes in our District have what is commonly known as a reader lid. These lids have a slot in them that you can use a screwdriver, as leverage, to open. This works on both concrete and plastic meter boxes. One other style of box has a solid top (some plastic – some metal) with a ¾” hole in it. With these you may also use a screwdriver, as leverage, to open.

How is the meter read?

All meters are read with an electronic reading system. The meter reader should in theory never have to open the meter box. The older style meter has a “pin” receptacle. These are located on a post near the meter. In Fairwood they are on the mail box post. Our reading system is called “pro-read”, this receptacle is a 6″ black disc on top of the meter box. The meter reader touches the “wand” to the center of the disk and the read is automatically taken by a small hand held computer. Eventually all meters will be updated to pro-read.

How do I verify meter readings?

Open the meter box, read the digits from left to right. We only read the first four numbers. Example: 049726 the 26 is not read. On the older meters if it is fogged over, give the register a light tap, (being careful not to break the meter register), with the handle of your screwdriver and the fog will condense and move out of the way. (May take more than just one tap).

How do I know if I have a leak?

Make sure all water is off in the house (such as dishwasher, washer, etc) and is not about to come on.

Advise other household members not to run water while checking the meter.

Open the meter box and look at the register. There are three different styles of registers you may be looking at, starting with the newest register:

A) this register has a leak detector built on – a small red triangle located between #7 & 8 on the dial. This dial turns counter clockwise (left) when water is passing through it. It is geared low enough to detect a leaking faucet.  The dial should not be turning at all.

B) this register is similar to A except has a diamond instead of a triangle.

C) this register has no leak detector. You will need to watch the big hand closely for a few minutes. It is suggested that you take a marking pen and put a dot where the dial indicator is, if the dial indicator moves, you may have a leak. If it does not move, there is no leak. Take at least five minutes to evaluate movement.

How do I turn off my water meter?

Lift top of box (lid) to expose dials. Looking directly down on the meter dials there will be a valve located on the side of the meter that is closest to your neighbor’s meter or closest to the street. The valve has built in stops. Using a “meter key” or crescent wrench, turn the valve right (clockwise) to turn meter off, and left (counter clockwise) to turn back on. This valve may be a little stiff to turn. If you are unable to turn the valve contact the District for assistance.


It is extremely beneficial to both you and the District to keep your meter clear of landscaping material. In the event of a possible leak, it is essential that the meter is accessible for shut off, maintenance, and reading efficiency. The District’s policy is to keep meters clear of trees, shrubs, etc. for up to a five-foot radius.