Water abstraction: how to make sure your meter is accurate
Where to install your meter, checking it's accurate, how often to check it and the records you must keep.
Where to install your meter
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for where to install your meter. Depending on the conditions of your licence, don’t put it:
- where you can’t see it
- where it will get very hot or very cold
- where vibrations or electrical interference could affect it
- where it could become corroded
- right next to a pump
- on the suction side of a pump
- near any bends or joins in a pipe
- near any changes in the width of a pipe
- near any valves or other parts that change the way that water flows in the pipe
- where the pipe will only partly fill with water
If you’re not sure which of these applies to you, contact the Environment Agency.
Check your meter is accurate
Your meter must give a reading that is accurate to within 5% of the real amount of water that it’s measuring. For example, if you’re measuring 1,000 litres of water, you’re allowed readings between 950 litres and 1,050 litres.
You must check your meter to make sure that it stays accurate. This is called flow checking. You can use either of the following methods:
- send the meter to a specialist laboratory for testing
- compare your meter’s readings with those from another meter that you know is accurate
If your meter is inaccurate, you must either send it to a specialist laboratory to be adjusted or install a new meter.
You must install a temporary meter if you need to carry on abstracting while your meter is away being adjusted.
How often to flow check your meter
Contact the Environment Agency to find out how often you must flow check your meter. They’ll ask you:
- what type of meter you have
- whether you use the meter continuously, intermittently or seasonally
- whether your water source is clean or contains sand, grit or weeds
You’ll have to flow check your meter between once a year and once every 7 years depending on the combination of these factors.
You must keep records of all your flow checks. Include:
- the date
- the method you used
- the results
Your meter’s manufacturer and any laboratory that adjusts your meter should send you a certificate that states the accuracy of your meter.
You must show your records, the manufacturer’s certificate and any laboratory certificates to an Environment Agency inspector if you’re asked to.
Published: 2 June 2015