Water Conservation FAQs

Water Conservation FAQs


What is the average water use for residential customers?

Your meter size information can be found on your water bill.

  • Our customers with 5/8 inch and 3/4 inch meters average approximately 5,000-7,000 gallons per month
  • Our customers with 1 inch meters average approximately 16,000 gallons per month

Water use varies significantly and depends on many factors, such as the number of family members, water use practices, pools, and landscaping.


How do I read my water meter?

meter picutures.PNG

 Most meters are located underground in boxes found near the curb along the street. Open the box carefully (watch for insects and/or animals) and inside you will find the water meter.

The meter display may be found under the small, hinged cover. The meters used in Oro Valley measure water in gallons.

Your water meter is much like your car’s odometer, showing the cumulative total of water that has run through your meter. The last 2 digits on the far right are decimal numbers and register 10ths and 100ths of a gallon. For example, the meter pictured reads 187,191.33 gallons. For billing purposes, this would be rounded down to 187,000 recorded as 187 in the “Present Reading” box on your bill. On the digital meters there is a “+” symbol present when water is flowing through the meter. You may also notice the numbers changing to the right of the decimal place. This means a low flow is occurring.  This can also be used as a leak indicator if no water is being used in the home. 

Click here for a video on how to read your water meter.


Does Oro Valley Water Utility have any rebates?

At this time the Oro Valley Water Utility does not collect fees from water utility customers to fund a water harvesting rebate program.  We are aware that some water districts and municipal water providers charge their customers a water conservation fee or include subsidy costs in their water rates to fund subsidies to customers who choose to install water harvesting or greywater technologies.

Oro Valley Water Utility has implemented programs that assist all customers with water conservation.  The Oro Valley Water Utility employs a full-time Water Conservation Specialist and utilizes smart meter technology. Together, trained staff using the latest technology has saved our water customers thousands of dollars with early leak detection notification and individual water audits.

Please visit our conservation page for more information on how the Oro Valley Water Utility can assist you with water conservation


How can I save water in my home or business?

▪ Choose water and energy efficient appliances
▪ Install low flow fixtures – faucets and showerheads (2.5 gpm or less)
▪ Fix leaks, the silent but significant water wasters
▪ Manage your water use and water bill with the free WaterSmart program at orovalley.watersmart.com
▪ Save water and money on your Pima County sewer bill.  Keep your overall water use low in December, January, and February.
▪ Adjust your irrigation settings.  Plants don’t require as much water during winter.
▪ Go low outdoors
     Choose native or low water use plants and limit water features.  Beautiful outdoor spaces can be created with visual interest and a variety of     
     plant choices that work well in our area.  


How do I schedule a water audit in my home, business, or HOA?

A water audit allows us to evaluate water use both inside and outside your home or property and make water saving recommendations.  For more information, please contact Customer Service at (520) 229-5000 to schedule a one-time free water audit.   


How much water does my pool use?

How much water your pool uses depends on size, design, weather, activity, and condition of the pool and equipment.  A general estimation is that a 14,000 gallon sized pool uses about 2,000 gallons per month and can use more in the summer and less in the winter.  You basically drain your pool every year from water lost to evaporation and back-flushing.

Looking to drain your pool? Please view the Draining Your Swimming Pools & Spas Guidelines. For questions or further information, please contact the Oro Valley Stormwater Utility at 520-229-4850.


Where can you drain your pool?

Oro Valley Stormwater Utility handles all questions regarding pool discharge. You can reach them at 229-4850. https://www.orovalleyaz.gov/files/assets/public/documents/public-works/stormwater-utility/manuals-guides-reports/guidelines-for-swimming-pool-or-spa-drainage.pdf


What is WaterSmart?

WaterSmart is a free online program that allows you to see a display of your water use over the year, month and day.  You can receive email leak alerts and set your daily use thresholds so you can be notified of high water use.  Opt in for text and phone alerts.  WaterSmart goes with you and can be viewed on any mobile device or desktop.  Save water and money at orovalley.watersmart.com.


How can I get WaterSmart for my business or HOA?

Simply go to orovalley.watersmart.com Property managers can link several accounts with only one login for those properties with multiple meters.  Commercial and Multi-Family customers must set daily use thresholds to receive alerts.  Catch leaks faster before you get the bill.

Please contact Customer Service at (520) 229-5000.

Why is WaterSmart not up to date with my hourly water use?

We have over 20,000 metered connections in our water service areas.  Due to the large amounts of hourly data being transferred, there will always be a latency between the time the meter records your water use and when you can view it on the WaterSmart portal.  Typically, there is about a 6-8 hour delay but may be more in some situations.

Did you know?  You have access to your water meter which records your water use in real time!  It’s generally located to the right or left of your driveway near the street.  You can read your meter and check for leaks at any time. Check out our videos on how to read your meter and locate leaks.




Why did I receive a leak alert or abnormal use notification?

WaterSmart sends automated email alerts known as "continuous water use alerts" or abnormal use alerts” to residents if your household water use:

  • Is at least 10 gallons per hour or more continuously for a long-period of time (at least 72 hours).  


  • Is at least 75 gallons per hour for a short time (at least 8 hours)

Although they may be called "leak alerts," it does NOT necessarily mean that you have a leak. Many customers are filling pools or forget they left a garden hose running. This alert is courtesy to let you know that your water use is not typical for the history of the account.  You can opt out of leak alerts at any time.


What is a Daily Use Notification?

In addition to setting leak alerts in WaterSmart, customers can set their own daily use notifications or thresholds for up to 5x their normal use.  Daily use notifications can be found under “settings” and “communication preferences”.  Common causes of higher than expected water use are filling a pool, house guests and irrigation.


What should I do if I receive an alert?

  1. Go through the Leak Check process using the WaterSmart links provided in the alert.  Or go to orovalley.watersmart.com
  2. Check your water meter to determine if the problem is still occurring.  You can also view how to find leaks from the Smart Home Water Guide

What else can I do?

  • Sign up on WaterSmart for free so you can track your water usage and view recommendations for conservation.
  • Periodically check for leaks in your home and irrigation system.
  • Know where your house shut-off is located, so you can shut the water off to your home and irrigation, in the event of an emergency.