Have a look at your meter. The units will be listed there on the dial
plate. Cubic ft, I believe is what you may find if you're in the US.
Your usage, barring the subject period being only a few days, was
likely very low because prior bills were estimated and not based on
actual meter readings, and the water usage over the prior months was
lower than the estimate.
Water is usually measured by volume such as cubic feet, cubic meters,
gallons, liters etc. "units" are just an invention of suppliers. This
reminds me of that sleezy life insurance company that is always
advertising "you can get coverage for only $10/unit"
But you are aware a gallon is simply a unit of volume though, right?
Approximately equal to .1336 cubic feet?
Just ran down and checked my meter since this has all gotten
interesting... my meter is a speedometer typer and reads in cubic
My municipality's bill though doesn't indicate starting and ending
readings though like electric and gas bills do, just dimensionless
usage numbers. For 61 days, I used 21 somethings.
On the back of the bill, it explains "Water volume is billed in units
of 100cubic feet (HCFT). One unit of HCFT equals seven hundred
forty-eight (748)gallons of water."
Which matches what tnom very nicely said.
FWIW, we pay 2.57/unit for the water, plus 1.20/unit sewer
maintenance, and 1.17/unit for sewer treatment.
You need to get out a little more and expand your horizons. The quantity being
measured has a great deal to do with the units of measure. For example, time can
be measured in years, months, days, hours, minutes or seconds...
In the case of residential water, many water systems use "units". A common
conversion for residential water units is 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons.
To the OP who was billed for 2 units (presumably in a month), that equates to
1498 gallons, or around 50 gallons a day. Pretty much the average per person
usage in the US.
Because a 'unit' is a much more useable measure for that much volume.
Much easier to look at a bill and see "oh, I used 3 units this month
instead of the usual 1' rather than seeing the volume in thousands of
Same reason some items are measured/sold by 'hundred weight' or 'tons'
Not so much dumbing down, but ease of reading/billing. My home meter
registers hundreds of gallons. Our meters at work read cubic feet. You
need less space to print out in hundreds rather than individual cubic feet.
Many items I buy are priced by the thousand, but most of these are items
that cost pennies and bought in large quantities or we'd be into four to six
My meter reads down to the gallon. Charged by the thousand. However,
there is a little pointed dial that turns about 20 times per gallon.
Very handy if you are trying to verify a leak.
It has a little round flat antenna mounted on the metal cover. The
meterreader reads the usage while driving by at 30 mph!
I think if this were designed for single family homes, it would be
better to use an average of 30 units, for example. So one wouldn't
have to cut or increase his usage by a whole third to see the number
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