City Utility Water Meter Services

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Over the next five years, the City utility will be upgrading its water meter program in two phases. The program includes installing water meters in Southeast Kelowna (former SEKID customers) as well as equipping new and existing meters with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). This technology helps you understand your water usage, eliminates manual reading (less people at your home), and provides more tools for water conservation.

Later this year, the City will be launching EyeOnWater, a secure website, that will provide customers the potential to detect water leaks and review your daily water usage.

The water meter program will be rolled out in two phases.

  • Phase 1 – July to December 2020
    Installation of water meters equipped with AMI to former SEKID customers in Southeast Kelowna

  • Phase 2 – 2021 to 2025
    Replacement of aging water meters and installation of AMI on new and existing water meters to City utility customers

About Water Meter installations

Former SEKID customer installations

The City of Kelowna is 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.

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 of Kelowna.

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 have not previously had a water meter. The work will take up to 2 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. 

4 easy steps to getting your water meter installed
  1. Schedule an appointment
  2. Pick the time that works for you
  3. Show the technicians your main shut-off valve
  4. Meter is installed in 90 minutes

Safe, quick and easy.

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
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. 

Water meter FAQ
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.

Can I read my new water meter?

Yes! You can manually read the number on the face of your meter which 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 the minute basis
  • Review water usage to see if you are using more or less water than historical
  • 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
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, help plan water upgrade projects and is a sensible way to manage and pay for our water supply.

Can I opt out?

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

There is 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 also not have the option of having their high-water bills adjusted in the event of a leak.

Is this installation going to cost me money?

No. There is no charge for the meter or installation as it is part of the City of Kelowna’s 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.

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.  

Can I install the new meter myself?

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

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.

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

The contractor will do his/her 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.

What if my home is rented out?

If you are a tenant, you will 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 are responsible for arranging an appointment time to allow for access to the home for the meter installation.

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 which is securely transmitted along with the meter reading. It is linked to your utility bill account number and contains no personal information.

This signal differs from radio transmissions and will not 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

The new metering equipment is a battery powered device that transmits the meter reading data and has an expected battery life of 20 years. Currently, water meters are read manually via a touchpad; the new meter reading equipment replaces the need to read this 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 of Kelowna. 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 radiofrequency 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 opt out?

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 would not have the option of having high water bills adjusted in the event of a leak.

Agricultural Metering information

There are approximately 450 metered agricultural water connections in Southeast Kelowna. In 2021, the City plans to inspect these meters and pair them with an AMI endpoint to transmit usage data. Meters will be replaced as required – aging or incompatible with AMI. Additionally, the City plans 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.

City wide meter replacement program

Later in 2020, the City of Kelowna plans to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a qualified firm to supply and replace existing water meters throughout the City. This is expected to be a 4-5-year project (2,000 to 3,000 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.

Further information to follow once a contractor is on board.

Contact
250 862-0409
watermeters@kelowna.ca