Water meters

The water meter is a tool that tells us how much water you use.

How you can find and read your meter

Finding the meter

Every property in Minneapolis has an indoor water meter. It sits on the main water pipe that comes in through the floor of your property. You will find it:

  • In your basement, if you have one
  • If you don't have a basement, look on the first floor of your property — on the street side of the property

Prevent your water meter and pipes from freezing in the winter

  • Make sure the area around your water meter is heated and warm air can circulate in the space around it.
  • If your meter is in a separate room or cabinet, leave the door to the room open to aid air flow.
  • See tips about your water lines

Reading the meter

The meter measures and reports how many units of water you are using. 

Learn about water units and consumption.

Older odometer-style meters

  • Find the head of the meter.
    • It is about three inches in diameter
    • It has a large hand and a small red diamond or triangle.
  • Read the numbers from left to right where it says "cubic feet". 
  • Don't worry if you see what looks like water on the face of the dial. 
    • It is oil that prevents corrosion and helps the dial mechanism last longer
    • It does not enter the water supply or affect the quality of your water.

New high-resolution meters

  • Activate the display with a very bright light like an LED or cellphone flashlight.
  • Read the numbers from left to right where it says "cubic feet". 

How the City reads water meters

We read water meters once a month in one of two ways.

  • From our office, using the remote reading device. 
  • At your property, looking at the meter.

Most of the water meters in Minneapolis have a remote reading device.


A unit of water

We measure your water usage in units of consumption.

  • One unit is 100 cubic feet, or about 748 gallons.
  • A container 5-feet long by 5-feet wide by 4-feet high holds one consumption unit.

If your water consumption seems high

Your bill will show higher than usual water consumption if you:

  • Have leaky plumbing
  • Bring more people in your home
  • Forget to turn off your outdoor hoses
  • Experience business growth or change

It will be higher in the summer months if you:

  • Water your lawn or garden
  • Your business has water-cooled air conditioning

Sometimes we:

  • Estimate your consumption too low for too long and need to adjust your bill to reflect the amount of water you've actually used.

Use water wisely and look for leaks

Easy ways to waste less water include finding and fixing leaks. Your meter can help you detect the leaky spots.

Contact us

Utility Billing Customer Service




Minneapolis Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 620B
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1345

Office hours

8 a.m – 4 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Closed on City Holidays

See list of City holidays