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Water System Division Information

The Water System Division is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the City’s water supply. The system consists of 22 active groundwater wells, with one additional well under construction, and 340 miles of distribution pipeline, as well as other related equipment, such as hydrants, meters, valves, fluoridation and chlorination systems, pumps, motors, 2 - 300,000 and 2 - 500,000 gallon above ground water tanks, supplying approximately seven billion gallons of water annually.

man in trench

Provide the City of Merced with a continuous supply of clean and safe drinking water while responding to customer requests in a timely manner.

* Ensure compliance with comprehensive water systems inspection, repair and preventive maintenance program.

* Ensure regulatory requirements from Federal, State, and Local agencies for providing safe drinking water are met.

* Continue to explore the feasibility of implementing new procedures and technologies to enhance the efficiency and productivity of the Division while providing the highest level of customer service.

The Water Division Hard at Work to Keep it Flowing:

Water Division at work

Men in Trench

How to Read Your 2015 Meter

 Your water meter can tell you a lot of useful information.  You can use your meter to monitor your water use and to check for leaks.  It’s a good idea to check around your property for any cracked pipes and leaky sprinklers.


First locate your water meter, which should be in the front yard, either in the grass or side walk.  The lid will say WATER on it and it will have a notch where you can insert a long screw driver to pop the lid up.  Be careful when removing and replacing the lid, you don’t want to drop the lid on your foot or on the top of the meter!  The top of your meter will look like the photo (if installed in 2015). 

Your meter is very sensitive it measures to the nearest hundredth of a cubic foot.  Each cubic foot is equal to 7.48 gallons.  In the City of Merced, your base water rate includes 30 HCF (hundred cubic feet) equal to 22,400 gallons of water per month. If you use more than 30 HCF it will cause your water bill to increase.  Each unit over 30 HCF cost $0.87 per HCF (748 gallons or fraction of that). 

The little blue dial is a low flow indicator and will move even when you have a small leak.  If all water inside and outside of your house is turned off completely, your meter should be perfectly still; unless you have a leak.  

The water odometer, records water use like a car odometer will record miles.  The odometer records water use in cubic feet.  The digits from the right represent 0.01 cubic foot, 0.10 cubic foot, 1 cubic foot, 10 cubic feet, and 100 cubic feet respectfully.  You can tell how much water is being used if you write down your meter odometer’s full number, then come back the next week or month later and record that number.  Subtract the first number recorded from the most recent and that will tell you how many cubic feet have been used during that time frame.  You can convert it to gallons by multiplying that number by 7.48; then you will know how many gallons that you used during that time frame.  You can divide that number by the amount of days in between your recordings to find out an average of how many gallons per day you are using. 

 And if you find that you have a leak, fix it right away.  Leaking pipes are like money down the drain and simply a waste of our precious resource. 

 If you are on a flat rate and have a pool, the flat rate charge of $7.80 will stop once you get a water meter because you only pay for the water used.

 For more information on how to read your water meter, you can contact the Public Works department at 385-6800. 

Leah Brown, Water Conservation Specialist

Photo of water box lid

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