What We Do
The Meter Services Division is responsible for the installation and maintenance of all residential, commercial and landscape meters within the city of Buckeye’s service areas. The Meter Services Division also responds to requests for high water consumption investigations, low pressure inquiries and provides turn-on and turn-off services for residential and commercial customers.
To request installation of a water meter, please complete a building permit application first through the Development Services Department then complete the Meter Installation Application. Instructions can be found in the Meter Installation Process Guide.
NEW! Updated meter fees go into effect October 1, 2019.
How to Check for Meter Leaks
Higher Water Use – Troubleshooting Tips
There are numerous reasons why your water consumption may increase from one month to the next. A malfunctioning landscape sprinkler system (usually the most common cause) or a change in your landscape watering schedule. Aging or defective toilets, reverse osmosis units, water softeners and weather can also affect the amount of water you consume each month. Billing cycles can effect total consumption as well as the time of the month that the city reads the meters (28 day vs. 32 days cycle read). Discovering what is causing the additional consumption is the responsibility of the property owner or renter. The following information may help you discover the reason(s) for your increased usage.
Check Flow at the Meter
The meter can help you determine if you have on-going or continual water usage. Conducting a meter flow check is easy to do.
- Make sure everything that uses water in your home is off and not currently in use.
- Locate the water meter (usually located in the front of your property near the street or sidewalk) and lift the lid with a screwdriver to expose the water meter. Beware of insects or critters inside the meter box.
- Look for the odometer design register dial and sweep hand or triangle (the triangle is usually either black or red in color). Record the starting numbers and position of the sweep hand or triangle.
- Do not use any water for at least 20 minutes and then take a second reading.
- If the two sets of numbers are different or the sweep hand or triangle has moved, you have a leak and you’ll want to determine what is consuming the water. If you cannot tell that the sweep hand or triangle has moved, then a small amount of water is being consumed. Even the smallest amount of water can add up to a significant amount.
- If the two sets of numbers are the same, the sweep hand or triangle has not moved and the dial is not moving, go to Meter Flow Check Displays No Water Use section below.
Meter Flow Check Displays Water Use
Proceed by making sure your service line leaking. Go to the house shut off valve.This is either a ball valve or a gate valve usually located at the front or side of the house near the hose spigot. Turn the shut off valve to the “off” position. If landscape sprinkler valve or an automatic pool filler line are located before the house shut off valve, turn that shut off valve to the “off” position as well. The goal is to only allow the service line to receive water in order to verify a leak within the service line. Check the water meter to see if the water has stopped. If there is no movement or water use indicated at the water meter then your service line is in good shape. Water usage or movement on the water meter indicates a leak within the service line. Remember to turn the shut off valve(s) back on after the completion of the test.
Locating possible outdoor on-going or continual water use:
- Check for malfunctioning landscape sprinkler system control valves. Look for constantly “oozing” or dripping leaks in low lying areas within the landscaping. Check in and around irrigation valve boxes. Look for “soggy” of “soft” spots, dark soil or excessive plant growth.
- Check hose bibs or spigots to make sure they are completely turned off. (Spray triggers at the ends of hoses are notorious for leaks!)
- Automatic fills for pools, fountains, or pet troughs can also fail. Make sure these devices are working properly.
- If necessary, you can isolate either the landscape sprinkler system or automatic pool fill lines (one at a time) by turning off its individual water supply valve to the “off” position. Check the water meter to see if it has stopped moving and recording water use. If the consumption has stopped, you have generally located the area of the water use.
Locating possible indoor, on-going or continual water use
- Toilet leaks can be silent and can waste as much as 5,000 gallons per day! To identify if your toilet has a leak, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank, wait a few minutes (can be up to 20 minutes) and see if it seeps into the bowl. If it does, you have a leak. The most common cause of a toilet leak is a worn out flapper assembly.
- Look under sinks and check for damp or wet spots within the cabinet.
- Check faucets and shower-heads to make sure they are completely turned off and not leaking.
- Check water supply lines to appliances such as water heaters, water filters, refrigerator ice maker/water dispensers, and reverse osmosis systems.
Meter Flow Check Displays No Water Use
- If you have a landscape sprinkler system timer, check the programming. Sometimes a second start time gets added or a valve may have a run time on two different programs. Also, if a power outage occurs, the controller may have reverted back to a default program and needs to be reprogrammed.
- Landscape sprinkler system leaks may only display themselves when the system is running. Remember to turn on your landscape sprinkler system, run each individual station separately, and look for blown or damaged sprinkler heads or faulty drip emitters. A dark wet area (without a drip emitter) is a good indicator of a possible leak within the system.
- Turn on pool equipment, fountains and other appliances to check for leaks or malfunctions when they are in use.
- Automatic pool fill system can disguise issues within your pool. Occasionally, shut off the water supply line to the auto fill and see if the pool level drops during normal evaporation.
- Make sure appliances such as water softeners reverse osmosis units are cycling on and off appropriately according to the manufacturers recommendations.
Meter Bench Test
We recommend that you thoroughly inspect your property, both indoors and outdoors before you request to have your meter tested. Typically, water meters slow down and measure less as they wear out. The city’s Water Resources Department has an active meter replacement program based on age and overall usage. If you want to request a test of your meter there is a charge of $100.00 if the meter is found to measure accurately based on the American Water Works Associations (AWWA) standards for the size of meter being requested for testing.