BOISE -- With the high price of gas, a lot of us are counting our pennies when we fill up our tanks.

But what about counting the gallons of gasoline?

For a handful of people across the state, it's their job to make sure you get what you pay for at the pump.

The Bureau of Weights and Measures, a part of the Idaho Department of Agriculture, tests to make sure weights and measures are correctly, and fairly, labeled. Part of the bureau's job is to test every gas pump in the state once a year to make sure the pump is reading the accurate amount.

With almost 20,000 pumps across Idaho, it is no easy task.

Our measuring can says we've delivered five gallons, our counter or our meter says we've delivered five gallons. So we would mark that one as zero error, said Wes Oswald, an investigator of the Bureau of Weights and Measures. This one is within the legal limits.

Most of the 2,000 pumps Oswald tests in the Treasure Valley pass inspection. Each year, about 120 fail. About half of those in favor of the customer.

A majority of the time the gas pump has the tendency to give gas away, said Oswald.

Statewide only six percent of the gas pumps fail their initial inspection - approximately 1,080.

It is very important that every penny, every dime is accounted for, said Kevin Merritt, the section manager for the Bureau of Weights and Measures.

To make sure your money counts look for inspection stickers at gas stations. Each passing pump has one. If a pump fails a rejection sticker will be placed on it.

If it is a substantial error, then we have the ability to take that device out of service until it is repaired, said Merritt.

Inspectors say pumps rarely have to be shut down. Usually, gas stations have 30 days to fix their pumps.

The majority of the time, it is going to give us the correct amount , said Oswald.

Pumps are allowed a little wiggle room in the inspection test. A pump can be plus or minus 6 cubic inches and still pass.

If you ever feel a pump is off, you can call the Bureau of Weights and Measures at 332-8690.

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