High Reads, Leaks and Meter Replacement

The "High Read" Notification Program

Automated Meter Reading (AMR) allows real time readings 4 times a day of our customer’s meters and lead to more accurate billing and an early notification of potential leaks. The Cambridge Water Department’s "High Read" notification program allows the Water Department to contact property owners soon after an incident of high usage is detected. Speedy notification will allow property owners to repair any leaks that may be causing the high read thus minimizing the impact on the Water and Sewer Bill.  

It is important that the Water Department has current customer contact information so that we are able to contact property owners as soon as a "high read" is detected. Please email us at waterbill@cambridgema.gov and provide a contact person, account number, phone number and email address. 


How I check for leaks?

Did you know that a running toilet is the leading cause of wasted water? 

Call 617-349-4737 or email us to request a Leak Detection Kit. 

The test is simple to find out if your toilet has a water-wasting leak:
Step 1: Add dye tablet(s) to the toilet tank (not the bowl) and allow to dissolve.
Step 2: Wait ten to fifteen minutes.
Step 3: If you see colored water in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. This could mean that your toilet has a damaged flapper valve. Your local hardware store, home center or a licensed plumber can give you advice on proper replacement.

Also check all faucets and piping for leaks by monitoring for drips of water under sinks and from exposed pipes. Perform an inspection with the water on and off, as some leaks only occur when the water is on.

A continuous leak from a hole the sizes below over a three month period will waste water in the mounts shown below:

Diameter of Stream  Cubic Feet  Estimated Cost
 1/4 inch  158,000  $ 21,048
 3/16 inch  89,031  $ 11,615
 1/8 inch  39,400  $   4,933
 1/16 inch  9,850  $   1,166

based on 60PSi water pressure


Meter Replacement

The Cambridge Water Department is committed to replacing old meters. Replacing old meters with new meters, increases the accuracy of readings and further ensures the citizens of Cambridge an accurate and fair water and sewer Bill.

If you have received a notice that it is time to replace you meter, appointments for a new meter will be made at the customers convenience, by calling  617-349-4737 or by emailing us

My Water Meter

Locate your meter. It is probably in the basement. Clean off the top of the meter(dust) so that you can read the numbers. It may have a cover, if so flip it open. We bill for each 100 cubic feet(CcF). Your reading will be rounded to the nearest 100 CcF. You can use this number to compare to your water bill if you wish. You can use these numbers to determine if you have a leak. By reading your meter, you can determine how much water you use in a day,  if you have a leak or how much water it took to fill your pool. By reading all digits prior to leaving in the morning, and when you return home for the day, you can see if any water is leaking through a faucet or down your toilet. Also, when you receive your bill, you can verify that the meter was correctly read. You may be surprised at how much water you use in a day.