Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- News 19 has received a number of emails and messages from viewers questioning why their water bills are inconsistent. There may be a leak in your home that you're unaware of or it's that time of where you use an irrigation system.

If you want to keep track of how much water you are using, you can check the water meter outside your home. There are 748 gallons in every 1 unit that a customer is billed.

News 19 caught up with Joey Jaco, the director of utilities and engineering for the city of Columbia, to get a demonstration on how to read a water meter.

"When we're reading the meters, we are looking at the white dials," said Jaco.

As water goes through the water meter, the red dial turns clockwise. There is also a triangle on the water meter, which could be either red or blue. That is called the leak indicator. To test for a possible leak, which could increase your bill, make sure no water in the house is running.

"Let's say you have a little bit of a leak. Even with a little bit of water coming through, the triangle is turning," said Jaco.

As the triangle is turning, it's driving up your water bill. As the water leaves the water meter, it comes the customer's responsibility.

News 19 reached out to the Mayor's office, who has listened to the complaints we've ben getting. This is what you can do if you're a customer of the city and have issues with your water bill. You should always call Customer Care at 803-545-3300 or e-mail at Residents can also call the City Ombudsman with concerns at 803-545-3546.

The city will also be installing new water meters, which will notify customers automatically if there's a leak. That project is expected to start net year.