Water meter reading

Just got an email from SAUR letting us know that the water meter had been read by “one of our agents” - plausible figures.

The catch is that I’m in the UK and the house is, or should be, locked up.

Anyone have any theories? I’m hoping that we do not go over to find the front door swinging open but even if it were surely the SAUR guy would not enter the house?

Can they do it without accessing the cellar? I have to say I can’t recall seeing anything about the meter which would suggest this is possible.

Can they estimate the reading (but there is no hint in the email this is an estimated reading).

It’s possible that your water meter is located outside your house under a trap that a water engineer can access if you’re not at home. This would perhaps explain why your email from the water board stated that it had been read, not estimated.

Our meter was located in the cellar until all the water mains were replaced, and the meters relocated to the street for the convenience of the water authority.

If you telephone (or email) your local water board they will be able to reassure you the house hasn’t been broken into, at least I hope so!

Your meter should be outside the house, close to it and relatively frostproofed eg in a concrete box underground with insulation in it. The mains may come in via the cellar and there may be a stopcock there but the meter itself should be outside the building, I’m not sure if I’m being very clear here…

The only meter I’m aware of is in the cellar.

Then mystère et boule de gomme. Ring them and ask?

It’s not impossible that there is a separate meter that I haven’t found yet, of course.

I’ll email them when I have a free moment - that probably won’t be before Friday though

Hi Paul… do you have a neighbour who keeps an eye on your place ?? They could at least make sure the door is still closed… :wink:

I hold the keys for several holiday properties and SAUR and I do the rounds at about this time of year for their annual reading…(the summer one is usually estimated). But, if they have not been able to enter your premises, they will do an estimate based on your previous “water” history…

As Veronique says… SAUR are gradually moving meters outside … which does/will make things easier for everyone…

Just a thought… I presume this is a “real” message from SAUR… ??? :wink:

and (my final edit)… if the bill does prove to be very much out of kilter with your actual useage… when you come back to France, you can get the reading corrected…and future bills will be nearer the mark… :relaxed:

Don’t worry about the plausible figures that could indicate an estimate. I keep records of my electricity usage and my water bills have comparative graphs and the figures for each period are amazingly close making an accurate estimate straightforward.
In my experience when the utility companies visit to make a reading but are unable to do so they leave a card asking the owner to forward the current reading. If that doesn’t happen they send an estimate.
There is no way any meter reader would have entered your unoccupied house.


We haven’t formally asked a neighbour to keep an eye out although we are on good terms, especially with the neighbour opposite who has our contact details (but they don’t have keys unless the previous owner gave them a set and did not tell us) - I’m sure that they would get in touch if anything were very wrong.

Yes, the email is genuine and I know that we can enter a reading on the Saur website - in fact this is what I normally do although I forgot to make a note the last time that we left.


Yes they usually leave the card, they have been “lucky” on some occasions and we have been there but mostly I enter the reading on the website.

As you say I can’t see a Saur employee entering the house unaccompanied which is why I’m a bit puzzled by the whole thing. Not worried, just puzzled.

Have you actually seen the meter? As distinct from being aware of it? Might seem a silly question but caves are dark and things can be deceptive if you are not sure what a meter looks like. Only trying to help!

As Paul has often sent the current meter reading to the water company he must know where the meter is. If his bills are based on those readings there cannot be a second meter anywhere that’s more accessible.

Hi Paul.
When our meter was replaced in our secondaire (about 4-5 years ago) they replaced it with what looked like a new normal meter but it was a bit bulbous at one side. The meter was located inside the kitchen, under the sink.This meant that you had to be inside the house to see the reading on it. But the lump on the side was a tiny transmitter that allowed it (and all the others in the village that had been replaced) to be read from the street outside. Therefore after that time and until we sold that house, our bills were all up to date and accurate.

Hope this helps.

That makes sense, David Martin, apologies Paul!