Water Conservation
Flowmeter Assistance Program

Key activities to conserve groundwater includes improving water management practices that reduce the use or enhance the beneficial use of water. This includes a robust water flowmeter assistance program that has reduced water use by 20 to 24 percent since 1992.

Groundwater Management District No. 3 has an array of resources for water metering within our district, including a service tag program.

All wells located within the boundary of the SW KS Groundwater Management District No.3, which withdraw water from any aquifer, other than domestic, shall be equipped with an acceptable metering device.

The information below highlights our service tag program, and covers common flowmeter problems.  If you have additional questions, please contact our office at 620-275-7147.



The district uses these tags to show a visit and communicate the result of the visit. There are five sections to the tag:

HEADING – Identifies the district and informs you of our contact information.

FIVE DIGIT TAG NUMBER – Unique to each tag, this number helps to identify the inspection you have contacted us about.

LOCATION – Information here includes the water right number and the well location.

FLOWMETER PERFORMANCE INFORMATION – What is the flowmeter reading and registering?

These three items are the most important.

Meter Reading: This is what the meter read when we were there and when added to your beginning reading for the year equals your metered use year-to-date.

Timed Meter gpm: If the well is running we will time the totalizer.  This number is calculated by timing the six digit totalizer to see at what rate the flowmeter is registering water use and is the rate you are registering water use regardless of what you are actually flowing.  If it is not close to what you are nozzled or think you are flowing then further consideration should be given to this flowmeter.



Needle gpm:  This is what the needle or instantaneous indicator is showing for flow.  Please be aware that on some flowmeters the instantaneous indicator can show an incorrect number.  While this number can be useful the totalizer should be checked regularly to see at what rate it is actually registering use.

It is not uncommon for the totalizer rate to be higher than the needle.  If you only watch the needle and the totalizer is registering higher you could end up registering more than you intended, including showing an over pump which may not have actually occurred but must be reported or possibly, with the assistance of DWR, corrected.

RESULT OF THE INSPECTION – Most meters are found to be in good working order.  In this case the service tag is just an indication of the visit, and the operator need only confirm rate and use year–to-date.

If there is an issue with the flow meter then that is communicated on the tag and the operator can proceed to address it.  Because of the limited space on the tags the message may not be as complete as we, or you, would like.  Also, despite our attempts to find an ink that will last, some tags fade and are hard to read.  These and any other questions can easily be addressed by contacting GMD3 to discuss the specific issues and remedies.

[ ] Non Compliance: If this is checked then there is an issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The issue is further described below.

Reason:  Reason for non-compliance or any other issue that needs to be communicated is briefly described here.  If the brief explanation is not clear please call GMD3 for further explanation and assistance.

Action Required:If there was a problem described above the best course of action will be briefly explained here.  Often there is no issue and “None” will be written here. If the brief explanation is not clear please call GMD3 for further explanation and assistance.

[ ] Contact GMD3 within 5 days:If this is checked, GMD3 is requesting you contact us to confirm you are aware of the issue.  Contact can be in person, by telephone or by email.  GMD3 contact information is at the top of the Service Tag.



If this is written on the tag then the well was pumping and the flowmeter was not working at the time the district checked it. This means the totalizer was not turning and therefore not registering water use. A flowmeter that is not working should be checked and usually sent in for repair as soon as possible. An exception to this may be if the operator discovers debris interfering with the propeller and after cleaning and reinstalling the flowmeter the register begins to totalize at the expected rate. All water use while the flowmeter wasn’t working, and while it is off for repair, must be accounted for. Hours of operation and rate of flow (nozzle package) are a good start.


If a flowmeter has a cracked glass or moisture it may be currently working but will begin to fail and must be monitored closely until it is sent for repair. If the cracking or moisture is currently preventing proper operation or making the flowmeter difficult to read then it should be sent for repair immediately.


As a requirement of state regulations flowmeters come with a tamper seal that is removed prior to accessing the part of the meter that houses the register. For several reasons this seal may be missing and if so the flowmeter is considered non-compliant by state regs. This can be addressed one of two ways.

GMD3 staff can come to the site and conduct a flow test and determine accuracy of the installed flowmeter. If the test results in accuracy within +/- 6% then we are authorized to place a seal on the meter and follow up with a report to the owner and state or;

If the meter has another problem (moisture, cracked glass, totalizer numbers out of alignment, etc.) besides a missing seal then it should be sent to an authorized service person for repair and a seal will be placed on the flowmeter at that time.


In this case a flowmeter was not found. Usually this is a result of the meter being off for repair. Another reason may be the flowmeter is located somewhere besides the well such as a sprinkler pivot. If either of these is the case then a quick call to report such and provide the necessary information should remedy the situation.


If a flowmeter is not installed according to the regulations in place at the time of the installation then you may receive a letter from the State requiring one of two actions on your part:

1) The installation be brought up to current standards, or 2) Arrange a flow verification to show the current installation and flowmeter meet the +/- 6% accuracy requirement.


A report to the State is required after a meter is repaired or replaced. You can complete the state form or the GMD3 form. GMD3 will send the state a copy for you.

For a list of Kansas dealers with McCrometer Flowmeter repair training click here.


Online Resources