Water Meters

You should know how to read your water meter so you can monitor your water use and detect water leaks. Your water meter is usually located in your basement.

How water meters measure water

Your water meter measures water in cubic metres and displays your total water use to the nearest tenth of a cubic metre.

Your water meter is similar to the odometer in your car:

  • Every 0.1 cubic metre (100 litres) of water consumed causes the sweep hand to make one complete turn and the total to increase by 0.1 cubic metres.
Water Meter illustration identifying low flow indicator, odometer, sweep hand and dial

Monitoring water use

To monitor your water consumption:

  • Check the odometer reading on your meter and write it down, along with the current time. Wait 24 hours and take the reading again. The difference in the readings is your consumption for that period. You can do this at any time to check your water usage for any amount of time.
  • To calculate how much water is used by household appliances or activity, record the odometer reading before and after that activity. The difference is your consumption. Make sure that water is not being used by any other activity while you complete this test.

If your water use changes suddenly for no obvious reason, report this directly to Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) billing office at 905-522-9200.

Check your plumbing fixtures for leaks before checking your water meter for a malfunction. Water meters may become less efficient in reading all water that goes through them as they get older. Water meters generally do not speed up and register extra water through them.

If you believe that the water meter may be the cause of your high water use readings, you can apply to have the meter tested for accuracy by filling out the Meter Testing Request Form. You can also obtain this form by contacting Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) at (905) 522-9200 or Toll free at 1-866-458-1236.

The water meter testing request form must be completed, signed and returned to Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) before the test is performed.  A water meter test fee will be added to your water bill prior to the test. The fees vary depending on the size of the water meter. These fees are indicated on the meter test request form. The size of your water meter can be found on the bottom of your water bill.

For more information regarding the water meter testing procedures and the current rate for testing, contact Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities)Utilities at 905-522-9200 or toll free at 1-866-458-1236.

Your water meter is designed to provide many years of reliable service. Most residential meters last about 20 years but can wear out over time. The City of Hamilton has a maintenance program to monitor the age of water meters.

If the City determines that your water meter needs to be replaced due to age you will be notified by a letter from the City and our current contractor Neptune Technology Group.

The letter will contain a reference number located under your address and advise you to book your appointment by calling 1-800-667-4387 or book online at watermeterappt.com.

Your Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) meter reader may also suspect a meter malfunction based on site findings or unusual water meter readings. Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) may contact you directly to discuss unusual  usage or notify the City to issue a work order to investigate further. If our investigation determines that your water meter needs to be repaired or replaced due to general wear and tear, you are not charged for the cost to repair or replace the meter.

Please note that the owner or occupant of the home or business in which the water meter is located is responsible for:

  • Providing at all times easy access to the water meter to City-authorized staff or contractors for meter reading, checking, repairing, installation, maintenance and removal.
  • Protection of the water meter from damage including freezing.
  • Payment of the cost of repairing a meter damaged by frost or otherwise, or the cost of replacing a meter that is lost or stolen.
  • Immediately notifying the City of any problems with the water meter which appear to require repair.

Water meter program

About 99.8% of homes in Hamilton have water meters.

If you did not permit the installation of a water meter and remote reading device, you will pay a double flat rate for water and sewer each year, in accordance with Hamilton’s Waterworks By-law No. R84-026.

Do you have questions about your water meter?

If you have questions about your water meter, call 905-546-4426.