AMI Meters and Leak Detection

Smart meters using AMI technology help SWDC and our customers better track and understand where water is used. The built-in wireless communication allows us to read water usage remotely, and alert customers if there’s a spike in water use which may indicate a leak.  Smart meter data is available to customers through an online portal and may include:

  • View hourly and daily usage
  • Self-service leak resolution workflows

Depending on the model of smart meter, customers can log in to these online portals to gain more insight into their household water use:
Badger Meters

Detecting a Water Loss

You may receive an email or phone message notifying you about a potential leak. Our meter technology notifies us if water continuously flows through the meter for 24 hours, this indicates the possibility of a leak. If you receive this notification please follow the steps below to determine if you have a leak.

A simple procedure can be used to detect water loss that may exist anywhere in your home or business.

    • Turn off all water inside and outside, making sure that no one uses water during the test period.
    • Read your meter. Mark where the sweep hand is located on your meter.
    • Wait 15 to 20 minutes and see if the hand has moved.
    • If the hand has moved, there is a water loss somewhere.
    • In order to detect small leaks the triangle or 6-point star may also be used. If this indicator is moving water is flowing through the meter.

Water loss inside your home or business can be very expensive and cause property damage. The customer is responsible for everything from the connection of their service line to SWDC’s service valve.

Reading Your Meter

If you understand the language of your water meter, it can tell you a great deal about water usage in your household. For instance, it can indicate if you have a leak.

Most meters are located in the mechanical room or crawlspace of your home. Resembling a car odometer, they are called “straight read” meters. The digits are read left to right. The static 0 represent the position of the sweep hand. The sweep hand represents water being used.  One revolution of the sweep hand equals 10 gallons in 3/4″-1″ meters and 100 gallons in 1 1/2 – 2″ meters. The small triangle or 6-sided star detects small amounts of water. It is extremely useful in detecting small leaks.
By reading your water meter, you can determine how much water you have used over a period of time. The meter below shows reading of 161427, which is the total number of gallons of water recorded since the meter was installed. If the meter shows 166427 one month later, you used 5000 gallons of water during the one-month period.


In order to keep water use within your allotted water share and to avoid costly overuse charges, we recommend reviewing your water consumption monthly during non-irrigation times and weekly during the irrigation season. As a rule of thumb we recommend keeping usage below 350 gallons per day when not irrigating and below 1200 gallons per day when irrigating.