Water meters

The City Water Utility is making it easier for you to monitor your water usage by installing new water meter technology

Over the next five years, the City Water Utility is upgrading its water meter program in two phases:

 This is expected to be a four- to five-year project (2,000 to 3,000 meters per year) and will focus on older meters first. In general, water meters are expected to last 15 to 20 years. Many existing City meters are nearing the 25-year mark.

There are approximately 450 metered agricultural water connections in Southeast Kelowna. In 2021, we  plan to inspect these meters and pair them with an AMI endpoint to transmit usage data. Meters will be replaced as required if they’re aging or incompatible with AMI. Additionally, we plan to upgrade meter connections to a common standard in line with other irrigation water systems in the Okanagan. Properties must be defined as “farm status” to qualify for agricultural rates/service.

For more information, call 250-862-0409 or e-mail watermeters@kelowna.ca.

Water meter installations - former SEKID customers

We’re nearing the completion of the Kelowna Integrated Water Project – Phase 1 in Southeast Kelowna. The final step is the installation of water meters in homes by the end of 2020.

To get your water meter installed, schedule an appointment time that works for you and show the technicians your main shut-off valve. Meter installations typically take 90 minutes. We appreciate your patience and are working to make the installation process safe, easy and quick.

Starting in 2021, billing will be based on water usage (in addition to a fixed fee) at rates set out by the City.

COVID-19 precautions

We take safety seriously. The contractors installing your new water meter follow COVID-19 precautions to keep everyone safe.

  • Residents will be asked if they have any health concerns or are in isolation for any reason prior to technicians entering the home
  • Technicians carry masks and gloves, to be worn upon request from the resident
  • Technicians will respect social distancing guidelines when entering homes
  • After completing the job, the technician will wipe down any surfaces with which they had contact
Installation process

You will be contacted by City staff to set up an appointment to install your new water meter.

Wieners Plumbing and Irrigation has been contracted to assist with meter installation. In general, City Utility staff will replace existing meters in homes and Wieners Plumbing and Irrigation will install meters in homes that haven’t previously had a water meter. The work will take up to two hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the plumbing.

Contractors will need to enter your home to install your meter, typically just after the main shut-off valve. This appointment includes shutting off the water supply for a short period of time and making any plumbing modifications necessary for the installation.

Please ensure an adult over 18 is at home for meters being installed inside of the home. 

Benefits of water meters

Your new water meter is equipped with technology that provides 24-hour leak detection and lets you review your daily water usage. It does this using the same cellular technology used by your computer and phone.

Knowing how much water your home uses and changing your water usage habits can mean more money in your pocket.

Overview of AMI technology

The advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology on your water meter uses wireless cellular technology to communicate with data readers, the same way a cellphone works. It sends a signal with data gathered from the meter to a secure Canadian-based server.

Each meter has a unique identification number that is securely transmitted along with the meter reading. It’s linked to your utility bill account number and contains no personal information.

This signal differs from radio transmissions and won’t interfere with other household devices like cordless phones, garage doors or pacemakers, among others. The endpoints on the AMI technology operate at 1.4MHz, less than your television, mobile phone or baby monitor. Learn more about radio frequencies.

The new metering equipment is a battery powered device that transmits the meter reading data and has an expected battery life of 20 years. The new meter reading equipment replaces the current system of reading water meters manually via a touchpad.

What are the benefits of AMI?

The installation of new water meter technology is designed to help you save money. Early leak detection, as well as understanding and changing your water consumption, can lower your water bill.

Is the information secure?

The privacy of customers is a priority for the City. When the data is sent from the meter to the meter reader, there is no personal information connected to that data. The City’s Information Services department ensures security protocols are in place to protect the transmission of the data. 

Is this technology safe? What are the health risks?

We recognize some people may be worried about the technology used to read your water meter.

The meter reading equipment uses wireless cellular technology to communicate with data readers, the same way a cellphone works. Unlike a cellphone, these devices are not continuously transmitting and will only send a signal with the data gathered from the water meter.

Cellular transmissions use a radio frequency that must meet regulatory requirements in Canada.

Read more about radio frequency and safety on Government of Canada website.

How is the meter read by the utility?

For metered locations, the automated meter reading technology, also known as an endpoint, can be installed inside or outside the home. For meters installed inside the house or building, the endpoint is generally installed in the floor joist near an outside wall. For meters installed outside in a pit, the endpoint is usually mounted on the pit cover or to a fence post.

Previous technology required meter reading staff to walk to the touchpad to get a reading. The new meters will be read automatically using a network of cellular towers and antennae located throughout the service area. 

Can I have a new meter installed without AMI technology?

There is an option to have a water meter installed without AMI technology. Residents would have a separate meter touchpad installed outside their home and be charged a $40 manual read fee per billing period. They wouldn’t have the option of having high water bills adjusted in the event of a leak.

How can AMI leak alerts help me save money?

AMI technology allows you to understand your water usage and provides more tools for water conservation. Early leak detection, for example, can help you avoid costly water bills. 

Leak alert levels 
Sensitive - indicates leaky taps1 litres/hour
Moderate  - indicates leaky toilets 4 litres/hour4 litres/hour
High - indicates broken irrigation lines 10  litres/hour10  litres/hour
On average, you can save …Litres/year$/year
Installing a high-efficiency toilet7,000$
Taking shorter showers10,000$
Installing high-efficiency shower head20,000$$
Insulating water pipes20,000$$
Repairing dripping faucets21,000$$
Installing aerators on taps27,000$$$
Installing high-efficiency washer40,000$$$
Repairing a leaky toilet42,000$$$
Upgrading your irrigation controller/system900,000$$$$

About EyeOnWater

After your meter installation, you will receive a letter letting you know when you are able to create an EyeOnWater account. This secure website allows you to check your water usage and detect leaks earlier. Simply create an account from your computer or download the app on your smart phone to view hourly, daily and weekly water usage. 

Adding additional accounts
  1. Log onto www.eyeonwater.ca
  2. Click Link More Accounts above the consumption graph on the right side of the screen
  3. Enter your Account number, followed by a hyphen and your access code. These are listed on your utility bill. Example: 1234567-654321
  4. Enter your postal code 
  5. Click Next
  6. Confirm the account display belongs to you, then click Link Account
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 to link additional accounts
Instructions for Personal Computer (Desktop or Laptop)
Creating an account
  1. Log onto www.eyewater.ca (it is recommended you avoid using Microsoft Explorer)
  2. Click on Create Account
  3. Enter your postal code
  4. Enter your Account number, followed by a hyphen and your access code. These are listed on your utility bill. Example: 1234567-654321
  5. Click Next
  6. Enter your email address
  7. Create a password (8-16 characters)
  8. Click Next
  9. Check your email for a verification message
  10. Click on the link in the email to verify your address. This will send you back to the EyeonWater webpage
  11. Click Already have an account? Sign in here
Setting up Leak Alerts
  1. Click on the Edit Leak Alert tab on the main page
  2. Select the Intermittent Flow graph unless you anticipate that water will be running continuously every hour, in which case select Continuous Flow
  3. Click the next arrow
  4. Select the leak rate per hour level that you wish to get an alert. We recommend a rate of 4 liters/hr. This can be customized as per Leak Alert Table
     
    Leak alert levels 
    Sensitive - indicates leaky taps 1 litre/hour
    Moderate  - indicates leaky toilets4 litres/hour
    High - indicates broken irrigation lines 10  litres/hour
  5. Click the next arrow
  6. Add an email address to receive leak alerts. Up to 20 emails can be entered into this section by clicking on the + button.
  7. Select how the frequency of notifications – daily, every 2 days, or every 3 days.
  8. Click the next arrow
  9. Summary table will highlight the settings you selected. A test alert can be sent by moving the inactive slider to active and clicking on save to exit
How to navigate the water use graph
  • When logging onto your account, you will be presented with a graph showing your currently monthly usage in cubic meters (1,000 liters)
  • You can change the displayed water units or overlay additional information by clicking on the More Options tab
  • You have the ability to change your view to a yearly, monthly, daily, hourly, or by minute basis by clicking on the tabs above the graph. If there is nothing displayed under today’s date, the meter has not yet reported the data.
  • You can also select dates by clicking on the calendar icon and entering a specific date
Instructions for mobile
Mobile app sign-in
  1. Go to the App Store and search for EyeOnWater
  2. Download the free app
  3. Open the app
  4. Tap Sign Up
  5. Enter your postal code
  6. Enter your Account number, followed by a hyphen and your access code. These are listed on your utility bill. Example: 1234567-654321
  7. Tap Continue
  8. Review and verify your billing number
  9. Enter your email address
  10. Create a password (8-16 characters)
  11. Verify you have read and accepted the Terms of Service
  12. Tap Next
Setting up Leak Alerts
  1. Sign-in to EyeOnWater phone app and tap the Accounts tab
  2. Tap the water meter icon found under Location
  3. Tap the Alerts tab at the top right part of your screen
  4. Tap Configure to enter the leak rate per hour level that you wish to get an alert. We recommend 4 litres/hr, but can be as low as 1 litre/hr.
     
    Leak alert levels 
    Sensitive - indicates leaky taps1 litres/hour
    Moderate  - indicates leaky toilets4 litres/hour
    High - indicates broken irrigation lines10 litres/hour
  5. Tap Save
  6. Both the Alert Settings and Push Notifications need to be set in the On position. Note that Notification preferences can be configured separately in your phone settings
  7. You can add additional email addresses by tapping Add Email
  8. Tap the home icon at the bottom left of your screen to return to your home page
How to navigate the water usage graph
  • Once logged in you will see a graph showing your current and last week’s usage in litres
  • For a more detailed view of the current weekly use, tap the graph and a new window will open, displaying the current total water used. You can tap the individual bar graphs to display how much water was used on that particular day.
  • You have the ability to change your view to a yearly, monthly, daily, or hourly basis by tapping on the tabs below the graph. If there is nothing displayed under today’s date, it means the meter has not yet reported the data.

Water meter FAQ 

Purpose of water meters
Why do I need a water meter?

All residents receiving water from the City Utility are required to have a water meter. Water metering has been shown to reduce water consumption and help plan water upgrade projects, and is a sensible way to manage and pay for our water supply.

Can I opt out of having a new meter installed?

No. All residents receiving water from the City Water Utility are required to have a water meter.

There’s an option to have a meter installed without the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Residents choosing to opt out of having this technology will have a separate meter touchpad installed. This requires having a meter reader come onto the property six times a year, as well as a $40 manual read fee applied per billing period. Customers choosing to opt out will not have the option of having their high water bills adjusted in the event of a leak.

Construction & installation
Is this installation going to cost me money?

No. There’s no charge for the meter or installation as it’s part of the City Water system upgrades in your community. Remote water meter reading technology is an investment in the City’s utility infrastructure and will improve accuracy and customer service.

Can I install the new meter myself?

No. The City has contracted Wieners Plumbing and Irrigation for new installations requiring plumbing retrofits. Every installer is professionally trained to install the water metering equipment.

Who will repair damage done during the installation, such as drywall being cut?

The contractor will do their best to minimize the disruption to your home and restore it to its original condition. In some cases, they may need to access wall plumbing to install the water meter unit. Where appropriate, an access panel will be supplied and installed. Residents are reminded that the City requires unobstructed access to the water meter for future repairs and replacement.

We’ve had a lot of construction in Southeast Kelowna. Is there more to come?

Thank you for your patience. We know the improvements to your water service have been disruptive for many people. The project is nearing completion with the installation of water meters on properties.

Using water meters
Can I read my new water meter?

Yes! You can manually read the number on the face of your meter that records your water consumption. Later this year, the City will be launching and promoting a link to EyeOnWater. This is a secure, City sponsored website that can be accessed via your computer or an app on your phone. It allows you to:

  • See your water consumption on a yearly, monthly, daily, hourly or even down-to-the-minute basis
  • Compare your current water usage to past readings
  • Set your own alert levels that will notify you if you have exceeded a maximum volume or are below a certain threshold
  • Be notified if water has been continually used over the past 24 hours, which may indicate a leak that needs to be investigated on your property
Will there be any changes to my bill?

Starting in 2021, your bill will reflect your actual water usage, rather than an estimate. You will continue to receive your bill on your current bi-monthly schedule. The 2021 water rates can be found at kelowna.ca/utilities

Who do I call if I have problems with my new metering equipment?

If you detect a problem, please call the City of Kelowna at 250-862-0409 or email watermeters@kelowna.ca.

What if my home is rented out?

If you’re a tenant, you’ll be asked to provide access to the water meter and metering equipment. We also ask that you contact the property owner about the notification letter you received.

If you have tenants or if the property is vacant, you’re responsible for arranging an appointment time for the meter installation.