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Galen Mercer
Phone (706) 863-6928

The main objective of the Meter Department is to read and record water consumption accurately for the water meters of the residents of Columbia County.  Due to the rapid growth of Columbia County, we have divided the county into forty-nine routes.  A route size can vary from a minimum of 500 meters up to a maximum of 1500 meters.  Some routes are manually read, some are touch read, while others are radio read.  Radio read accounts are recorded into a laptop computer by radio frequency as the meter drivers pass by the meter box.  We currently have one radio-read route that contains 2300 meters. 

 Job Tasks

 Leak Information

 Helpful Tips

 How to Read Your Meter

Reading Touch Read Meters


Performing Accuracy Test



Related Job Tasks of the Meter Department:

  • New Service
  • Disconnects
  • Consumption Complaints
  • Delinquent Accounts
  • Replacing broken meter boxes and tops
  • Replacing broken and non-registering meters
  • Rebuilding meters and returning to service
  • Meter installations for new construction
Leak Information:
  • A leak indicator on the face of the meter is used to check for the presence of leaks.  The leak indicator should not be moving clockwise unless water is being used.  If there is no obvious water use and the leak indicator is moving, then there is water escaping on the customer's side of the meter.
  • Leak adjustments can ONLY be given if the leak is in the main line from the meter to the home.  A copy of the receipt for cost or a written letter from the customer must be given before an adjustment can be given.
  • Common causes of leaks are leaking toilets, leaking faucets, and sprinkler heads.
  • A sprinkler system can produce up to 15-25 gallons of water per minute depending on the size of the water meter, the amount of time each zone runs, and the pressure in the area.

 Got Drips?


Helpful Tips for the Customer:

  • Beware of the amount of time a sprinkler system runs
  • Keep all grass, trees, flowers, and shrubs away from the meter box (the County is not responsible for upkeep)
  • Never park a vehicle or heavy equipment on top of a meter box (can cause damage to service line)
  • Keep all animals restrained from the meter box (see animal ordinance)
  • High pressure can be reduced by placing a pressure reducer behind the meter (at the customer's cost)

How to Read Your Meter

To determine how much water you have used since your last meter reading:

  1. Read the first four digits on your meter from left to right (see diagram below).
  2. Subtract the four-digit meter reading from your bill from the number you obtained in step 1.
  3. The answer from step 2 is how many thousand gallons used since the last meter reading.

Meter Diagram:



If you have any questions about our department, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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