Contact 15: Getting What You Pay for at the Pump

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

Tracking every cent is important since gas prices statewide have reached a $1.98 per gallon on average, that's almost 30 cents more than what Wisconsin drivers were paying a year ago. That's why Weights and Measures Inspectors do surprise check ups at gas stations annually.

When Inspector Rachelle Miller opens up the pump, she's looking for accuracy.

She says, "I check that all parts of the pump are working properly, that the indications are reading right, that it starts on zero and doesn't advance, when it shuts off it shuts off soundly, it doesn't keep on flowing afterwards."

To check all that she pours five gallons of gasoline into a measuring tank. If the pump measures out it gets the seal of approval.

"As long as we're inspecting and out there the rates seem to be higher. If we slack off and don't check as often compliance rates seem to go down a little bit," says Miller.

The inspections seem to be paying off. In 2004 more than 37,000 pumps were inspected, about 3,000 were incorrect, giving a 92% compliance rate.

If there is a gasoline pump you're concerned about you can let Weights and Measures Inspectors know by calling 1-800-422-7128.

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