Columbia County Weights and Measures

Arnold Schneider, Director

Phone/Fax: (518) 758-7233

In Accordance with Article 16 and related New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, the department promotes equity and fairness in all consumer transactions involving weight, measure, count or pricing. The Weights & Measures program is important to ensure confidence and fairness in the marketplace. The old Latin saying 'caveat emptor' ~or~ 'let the buyer beware' needs the effort of the Weights & Measures Department to protect both the buyer and the business owner. The buyer is assured that they get what they pay for and the business owner is assured of a marketplace based on fair competition.

Weights & Measures annually inspects and tests all commercially used weighing and measuring devices for both accuracy and proper operation. NYS certified weights and measuring devices are used during these testing procedures.

Some examples of inspections and tested commercial devices include:

  • Computing, and pre-pack scales at supermarkets, bakeries, delis, and fish/butcher shops
  • Petroleum pumps at gas stations, convenience stores, truck stops, and marinas
  • Heavy-duty vehicle scales at sand/gravel yards, recycling centers, salt plants,  and salvage yards
  • Fuel oil, gas, diesel, and kerosene meters.
  • Propane delivery vehicle tank meters which are tested by NYS Weights and Measures
  • Platform/Hopper scales at wineries, coal yards, salt plants, propane sales, and farm/produce locations
  • Scales used for buying gold, silver, precious metals, coins, and jewelry
  • Farm bulk milk tanks
  • Devices used to measure the length of hardware goods; rope, chain, and wire
  • Timing devices
  • "Courtesy" inspections; non-commercial devices for institutions such as schools
  • Inspections for accuracy in pricing
  • Inspections and testing packaged commodities

Consumer Guide to Better Buying

  • Look for the official seal on weighing and measuring devices. It indicates that the device has been tested and approved
  • Make sure the scale reads zero before the commodity is placed on the scale and watch the indicator when the weight is being determined
  • Commodities sold by weight must be sold by net weight. Net weight is the actual weight of the commodity, exclusive of the weight of the wrapper or container
  • If you have reason to believe you did not get correct weight or measure, contact the Weights and Measures Department immediately

Columbia County Weights & Measures also participates in the New York State Petroleum Quality Program. This involves collecting gasoline and diesel fuel samples yearly, on a random basis, throughout Columbia County. These samples are then sent to an independent contract laboratory for chemical testing and analysis. These tests assure that the fuel purchased by the consumer meets all appropriate quality/octane standards and that fuel dispensers are properly labeled.


NYS Weights & Measures