Wireless water meters on their way

New water meters, which will transmit water usage data wirelessly, are set to be installed in all Ward 32 homes. Beginning in July, meters will be replaced in already-metered homes or installed in homes where no meter currently exists, which means flat rate customers will now be on a measured system. To answer questions about the process, and address homeowners’ concerns, the city will hold a Water Meter Program Information Open House on Tuesday, June 26, at the Beaches Recreation Centre, 6 Williamson Rd., from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

A transmitter next to the meter will send data four times a day and the data will be gathered by the city. Billing will be based on that data. Homeowners who were paying a flat rate may be pleasantly surprised to find out their bill might actually lower under the new system.

“It will be more equitable for everyone,” said Carlo Casale, Manager, Water Meter Program with the City of Toronto. “The flat rate was based on how many faucets and toilets you had in your home. This system is based on what you are using. We’re finding people are paying less than what they were on the flat rate.”

Casale said rates will not go up as a result of this program, but until 2014 they will be going up an alread-scheduled nine per cent each year, which has been part of the Toronto Water Plan for the last nine years.

In order to install the new meters, homeowners will be asked to locate the shut-off valve, which is normally near the front of the building, and make sure there is enough access, approximately 60 centimetres, for technicians to work.

Casale said any pipes that are leaking or in disprepair will need to be fixed prior to installing the new meter and transmitter.

“We can’t install a meter on a leaking pipe because it will break,” said Casale.

The program was begun in 2010 and so far 90,000 meters in 13 wards have been installed. The program is slated to be completed in 2015.

For more information visit toronto.ca/watermeterprogram/

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