Water Meters

Important Winter Tips for Residents

  • Turn your water off using the stop valve in front of your water meter when you leave your house for more than 24 hours. Also, drain your pipes and turn off your water heater. This limits the water damage possible if your house loses heat (e.g. power outage) and the pipes freeze.
  • If you have an analog meter, maintain a clear path to the water meter remote box on the exterior wall at your property. This helps ensure your meter can be read and your bill is calculated using your actual consumption.

How to read your water meter

Meter reading is the only tool used to measure the quantity of water supplied to a property and to calculate a water and wastewater bill. Water meter technology is quite simple but extremely reliable. That's why the municipality relies on it as the sole billing method. Richmond Hill uses positive displacement flow meters, which means the water flow mechanically displaces components in the meter to measure the water. In a rare instance when a water meter malfunctions, it under-registers or stops registering water flow completely.

Reading the Odometer Style Water Meter

Odometer style water meterAs water passes through the water meter chamber the red hand moves clockwise. Each .01 represents 10 litres that passes through the meter. Once the hand has made one complete rotation, the meter reads 100 litres and the dial number will change accordingly (for example the white 4 with the black background will change to a 5).

As water passes through the meter, the low flow indicator moves. If all water is turned off, the low flow indicator will be completely still. The low flow indicator will either be a red triangle or a red diamond depending on the meter type installed at your property.








Reading the LCD Display Meters

Richmond Hill is currently installing new, LCD water meters. There are two different styles of meters being installed. As of now all new installs will have the meter shown below and the only difference is where the battery and antenna are placed. Reading the new meters is quite different compared to the old style shown above.

LCD Display water meter

Newer LCD water meter

















To activate the consumption screen on the new meters, you must point a flashlight directly at the light sensor. For the new meter 'A' point the flashlight at the circle beside the image of the flashlight to activate the screen. For new meter 'B' continually point the flashlight at the sensor bar at the top to show the screen. Once activated, the screen will show numbers, a leak indicator (tap icon on top left) and flow indicator (arrows on top right).

Explanation of the symbols on the new meter LCD screens

Leak indicator meaning

LEAK INDICATOR: If the image of the tap is not on the screen there are no leaks, flashing means there is a possibility of a leak and if it is a steady image, there is a high probability that there is a leak somewhere at the property.

FLOW INDICATOR: If the image with the arrows is displayed, that means that water is currently passing through the water meter. Typically you want the arrow to be pointing to the right to represent the flow of water is passing through the meter and to your property.

CONSUMPTION DIGITS: Currently Richmond Hill only uses the first six digits (ie. starting from the left) of the screen for meter reading. The chart below demonstrates what each column of numbers represents in litres.

Digit on Meter (m3)

In Litres (L)


10,000,000 L


1,000,000 L


100,000 L


10,000 L


1,000 L


100 L

To convert your reading to litres, take your meter reading and multiply by 1000.

Ex. Meter display shows 24.5000, therefore 24.5000 x 1000 = 24,500 litres.