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Learning to read your water meter can help you discover water leaks, monitor your usage, and double-check your water bill.
Water meters are typically located in your basement. Call the water department office at 508-255-1200 for assistance in locating your water meter.
Once you have located your meter, you will notice a glass dial similar to a car's odometer (example below). The sweep hand measures each gallon of water up to 10 gallons. The first number on the right is called the "stationary zero." It represents one's place. There is no need for it to move because the sweep hand does its work. The movable dials on the left of the "stationary zero" represent the 10's, 100's, and 1,000's of gallons and so on.
Now that you know how to read your water meter, use this knowledge to locate leaks in your home:
To find out how much water (and money) is required to run your sprinkler system, dishwasher, shower, washing machine and so on:
If it is not an emergency, call the water department number 508-255-1200 and leave your message on the answering machine. If you have an emergency, contact the Orleans Police Department at 508-255-0117.
They will phone the on-call water department employee who will respond to your emergency as soon as possible.
The hardness of water is primarily due to the presence of calcium and magnesium in the water and is expressed as calcium carbonate (CACO3). Our average hardness is 16 milligrams per liter or 0.93 grains per gallon.
The average residential usage in Orleans is approximately 65 gallons per person per day.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as an agent for the Environmental Protection Agency requires that the Orleans Water department test for certain contaminants. Each year results from these tests are published in our Water Quality Report copies.
The Orleans Water Department flushes its fire hydrants to improve water quality annually the last three weeks of April and into the first week of May.
Flushing is done to eliminate the natural iron that precipitates out of the water and accumulates on the bottom of the water mains. With the addition of the state-of-the-art Iron and Manganese Plant, our goal is to decrease the need to flush the mains in the future.
The Orleans Water Department is available to answer any questions about flushing. Please call 508-255-1200 between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.