Each household’s water meter measures water use in “cubic feet.” A cubic foot of water equals 7.48 gallons.

If you look closely at your utility bill, you’ll see that you are billed for water by the “unit.” Each unit is 748 gallons, or 100 cubic feet (the equivalent of a foot of water in a 10’ by 10’ room). The majority of water meters have a sweep hand (like the seconds hand on a clock) as well as a display that looks like a car speedometer.

How to read your meter

To read your meter, ignore the last two digits on the right and record the remaining numbers (you will be left with either a three or a four digit number). If you’d like to know how much water your household is using, select a time of day and read your meter, then read it again at the same time the next day. Subtract the smaller number from the larger and the remainder is the amount of water (expressed in units) used in that 24-hour period.

To check for a leak, turn off all the water in your home, then write down all the numbers (including the last two) on your meter. Also note the position of the red sweep dial on your meter. Leave your water off for several hours, then check your meter again. None of the numbers or dials should have moved. If they have, you very likely have a leak. A qualified plumber can help you figure out where the leak is coming from, or call SUB’s billing department at 541-744-3795 for additional assistance.

For more information on accessing your water meter, please see the water meter access page.

SUB’s electric and water meters

SUB uses automated electric and water meters that allow staff to accurately record usage using a handheld device.

Unlike smart meters, which generally use active two-way communication via a network connection between the meter and the utility, SUB’s automated meters emit a one-way, low-power, intermittent radio frequency (RF) pulse that communicates with the handheld device via a short radio frequency (RF) pulse. The meters transmit a total of about 20 seconds each day at RF energies far lower than levels emitted by other common household devices, such as cell phones, baby monitors, satellite TVs and microwave ovens.

SUB meters meet all local, state and federal health and safety requirements.