Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Natalie Lamb and the Discovery of the Water Meter

I participated in a Smarter Drop Challenge with Anglian Water in February, where I completed a daily water diary and a weekly water meter reading in an attempt to see if I could get my daily water usage to be under 80l/person/day. However, my first hurdle in the challenge wasn't remembering to turn off the tap, it was to try and find out where our water meter was because I had no idea.

1. Have a quick look around the outside of the building and know what you are looking for. In the new builds that I live in, the outside of the water meter looks like this:

2. Contact Anglian Water (or your water company). I rang up the call centre and within a few minutes I had been given a few notes on where the meter was located. However, I was told that it was located in a small garden near the property. The problem was, there are about 8 small gardens around our property, like the one in the below image:

3. Have a dig around. And by dig, I really mean dig. Or at least, that's what I felt like I was doing trying to look for ours. The first image is a birds eye view of the location of the water meter and the second image is when you are restraining all of the plants that were planted around it (not by me, by the people who manage the estate).

4. To get the reading, you have to pry the lid open with a flat-bladed screw driver or a butter knife. This is what I saw when I opened mine. The plot number was written as an identifier, rather than the building number, which was a little confusing.

5. Once the lid was open, it was very easy to flip up the lid for the water meter, although long arms were needed.

My water meter was a Type 2 with a digital display. The below image from Anglian Water is a good diagram of what it should look like. The first number is the meter reading, so in this case it would be 000189m3 (you have to include the 0s in a meter reading). 1 cubic meter = 1000l. The smaller numbers are the lowest units, so actually the full reading would be 189.44559m3 but you shouldn't need this level of detail. The serial number on the unit will match the one in your online Anglian Water account, so you know you are taking a reading from the correct meter.

Anglian Water Diagram of a Water Meter

What Didn't Help

  • I tried logging in to my Anglian Water online account. I could see that my meter readings were taken every 3 months but there was no information about where it was
  • Looking on the plan of the building. With our house only being 2-3 years old, the building plans were easy enough to find but the meter wasn't on it. It did, however, tell us the "plot number" of our flat, not the building number, which we used to help identify if the water meter was the right one.

Anglian water (2018), Tips to Read your Meter, http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/household/water-meters/how-to-read.aspx (Accessed: 24/04/18)