Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Spring is here. Keep your meter clear.

Blog Post
Man in orange safety vest holds an electronic device over an open water meter box.
Water meter readers walk far and near,
to read each meter four times a year.
If your meter's blocked, they'll have to reappear.
So help them out and keep your meter clear!
Close up of a gray box embedded in the earth; the box lid reads "city water meter". The box list is mostly unobstructed, with a small amount of dirt on the bottom left corner.
Water meter readers
walk 11+ kilometers
each day to read your meters.
But they aren't also meter cleaners,
so be good water meter keepers
and keep your boxes free of creatures!

While it seemed like the rain might never stop this year, it’s finally starting to look like spring! And that means grass and plants are growing fast. With all the yard work this time of year, people sometimes forget to maintain the planting area between the sidewalk and the street, which is usually the responsibility of the owner of the closest bordering property.

When the planting area is overgrown, it can be hard for Water Bureau field staff to locate and read your water meter.

In general, water meters are located:

  • In front of your house or business on the street side of the sidewalk
  • Inside a meter box that is set into the sidewalk or flush to the ground
Diagram showing how to keep a water meter accessible
Make sure our meter readers have nothing to fear,
and keep your water meters clear.
Yes, just like this one here!

Here are our recommendations for keeping your meter clear:

  • Keep grass trimmed to the edge of the meter box.
  • Remove all branches hanging lower than 6 feet over the meter box. 
  • Keep everything off of the meter box, including trash cans and recycling bins. 

Remember, parked vehicles, overgrown plants, yard debris, and construction materials prevent meter readers and maintenance crews from doing their jobs. If a blocked meter requires another trip to your property, we’ll notify you with a tag on your door.

Questions? Call Customer Service at 503-823-7770 or email us at

Here’s to an abundant spring, with plenty of time in the sun, a little yard work, and some poems about water meters too!

Feeling inspired by our cool poems? Share your water themed poems with us on twitter @portlandwater!