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Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589

fax: 503-823-3596

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Traversing Portland, Meter Reader style

Ever wonder how the City records how much water you’re using?


Twelve Portland Water Bureau meter readers are out in the community each day, ensuring our public water system is running smoothly. Readers work Monday through Friday, through good weather and bad, to read meters across the city.  On an average day, a meter-reader reads 500 meters and walks seven miles!  In January alone, our 12 readers read 65,000 meters in Portland. 


By using small handheld computers, meter readers calculate the amount of water used in homes and businesses.  The handheld computers also compare your water usage from the same time last year.  If water usage has increased, our meters will leave a courtesy notice with common reasons for high water usage – such as additional people living in the home and using water, or possible underground leaks. Noticing changes in water use and catching leaks early can help save you money!


Next time you see a meter reader, say hi! They are an essential part the Water Bureau.  Visit the Water Bureau’s website to learn more about meter readers and other public services.