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Answering your water meter questions

We've gathered the most popular questions we get about water meters. Our handy guide covers everything from installing your meter to submitting a reading.

Locating your water meter

Where to find your water meter will determine if its outside or inside your property.

Photograph of a technician looking at a water meter

Outside your property

Most water meters are fitted near your outside stop valve. It will be under a small metal or plastic cover in your driveway, garden, or nearby footpath. These can be a bit further down the road or in a shared pit. 

An image of an internal smart meter

Inside your property

If your meter is indoors it can usually be found under the kitchen sink by your inside stop valve. Sometimes meters are fitted in basements and garages, also.

You’ll need to check you have the right meter by matching the serial number to the one on your bill. If your meter appears broken or damaged, please contact us.

Taking meter readings 

We go through how you can submit a meter reading and what readings we take. 

A customer looking at Thames Water account on mobile phone

How to submit a meter reading

You can submit a meter reading online. This helps to ensure that customers with mechanical meters have an accurate bill. In your online account, you can also view your water usage, bills and set up and change how you pay. If you need to lift a cover to provide a meter reading, please be careful as they can be heavy. 

Please wait for your scheduled reading or contact us if you have concerns about your bill.

staff checking a meter

What meter readings we take

We aim to read your meter once a year. This is unless you have a smart meter that sends us readings each hour electronically. We can then bill you based on your true usage. It’s likely you’ll receive each year one estimated bill and one bill based on a reading. Unless you provide us with your own reading. It’s easy to do and will keep your bills as accurate as they can be.

We're required to take our own meter readings at at least once every two years. This is to check for leaks and that we're not overcharging you.

If you're unsure how to read your water meter, our how to read your water meter video goes through what to do. 

How you're billed on a meter

We’ll send you a bill every six months that covers the supply of clean water and the treatment of wastewater. Your bill will show charges for every cubic meter (m3) of water that’s used. This is calculated between the two most recent meter readings, or between a reading and an estimate. 

For more information on how metered customers are billed, visit our metered charges page. 

Smart meter safety and data

We go through safety regulations for smart meters and what we do with the data we collect from your smart meter. 


Our meters comply with all UK and EU safety regulations. They use low-powered radio waves similar to a TV remote control. Public Health England confirms they pose no risk to health.

Data collected from smart meters

We take data protection very seriously. All data collected from your meter will be kept on our secure database. This is in compliance with the Data Protection Act. You can learn more on our privacy notice web page.

Financial support available

We understand that, despite best efforts to use less water, for some customers, their bill will go up. We have a range of financial support options to help.