Today's question: How does the water utility know how much water I use in my home?
Plain Talk answer: Most buildings are equipped with a water meter that measures the amount of water used. Some community water systems -- particularly in smaller communities -- are not metered, so households are charged the same flat rate each month. Financial experts consider this a less equitable and less conservative rate system. In communities with water meters, a water utility employee reads the meter on a regular schedule, either in person or electronically from a remote location or passing vehicle. The previous reading is subtracted from the current reading to determine the amount of water actually used. And in a few communities, the cost of water is covered by general taxes.