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About the program

 

​Water meters typically have a lifespan of 30 years. We're now installing new meters with radio frequency (RF) and smart meter technology for customers in Okotoks whose water meters are due for replacement.

These new wireless devices ensure more accurate billing, reflect real-time water consumption and can provide you better insight into your consumption habits. RF and smart meter technology also helps us to identify leaks and store readings for a 45 day-period.

How the new meters work

These new devices transmit information using RF signals to let us know how much water is being consumed in a household or building. Typically installed in the basement, these meters and radio transceivers allow us to take a wireless reading of your water meter from up to 800 metres away.

RF energy is only transmitted when we read your meter, which happens on a bi-monthly basis. Apart from then, the device tracks your water consumption without transmitting RF energy.

About radio frequency energy

Radio frequency energy is used in many common household devices – radios, TV remotes, garage door openers, cordless telephones, microwaves, and wireless routers. These new meters emit a signal similar to a radio and generate less RF energy than a cell phone.

These devices also meet all federal regulations and safety standards, including Federal Communication Commission, Industry Canada, and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers standards. Also Health Canada has concluded that exposure to RF energy from smart meters does not pose a public health risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

 
What is the Water Conservation and Leak Detection Program?

The Water Conservation and Leak Detection Program will provide state of the art water meters to:

  • Detect low flows and notify customers of potential leaks via the consumer portal
  • Analyze data to spot trends, troubleshoot and assist with future planning

With this new program, the Town will receive water consumption data without the need to travel on Town streets, reducing the Town's carbon footprint. The technology allows crews to focus on stopping leaks and customer service.

Why does my meter need to be upgraded?

If you do not currently have an advanced meter installed in your home, you will be required to have it upgraded. This is a continuation of the Town's water metering program which contributes to the Town's goals for water conservation and efficiency. The program also supports the Town's objective to improve utility infrastructure and reduce operating expenses.

The new meters will allow for enhanced and efficient meter reading and data analysis of residential and commercial water use. The information will help the Town budget more effectively for operating and maintenance of the water system and make better decisions designed to reduce water consumption.

When will installations take place?
The water meters will be installed on an area-by-area basis beginning in August 2016.
Where will the meter be installed?

Your new meter will be installed in the same place as your old meter. Prior to your meter installer's arrival, please ensure this area is clear of obstructions and debris to provide adequate working space.

Some customers with compatible meters and touchpads on the outside of their homes will have radios installed over the touchpads.  Their existing meter will not be exchanged.

Customers who have compatible meters, but no touchpads will have the radio installed inside near their water meter.  Their existing meter will not be exchanged.

Do I need to be home for the meter installation?

Customers with meters that need to be exchanged or radios that need to be installed inside must be at home. An adult, at least 18 years old, must be home during the installation. The installation will take approximately 30 minutes.

Customers who are receiving a radio upgrade on the outside of their home do not need to be home at the time of the installation.

Corix Utilities will be mailing a letter indicating the type of install required at your home and whether you require an appointment.

Your new meter is read remotely, so once installation is complete, no one will need to enter your home or property going forward. The only exception will be if the meter requires maintenance.

Can I install the meter myself?
No. Corix Water Products has a contract to supply and install the water meters and the reading equipment device. Every installer is specially trained to install water meters.
Who will pay for my new water meter?
The Town is responsible for the cost of the meter equipment and installation.
How will my new advanced meter be read?

The advanced water meter will be read remotely.

We no longer need to visit your property every other month to read your meter.

What is an AMI / advanced meter and how is it different from the meter used now?

AMI stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure.  AMI technology enables two-way communication over a fixed network between the utility system and the metering endpoints. AMI water meters remotely transmit water-consumption information for individual water accounts.

Water meters have been read via radio frequency for more than 10 years in Okotoks. We are simply upgrading the current radios so they can be read remotely from a tower based system.

Will there be any changes to my bill?
There will be no changes to the billing process and no additional charges will be added to customer bills for this program. Customers will continue to receive their water bills in the same schedule as prior to the upgrade.
What are the benefits of the Water Conservation and Leak Detection Program?

Benefits of the Water Conservation and Leak Detection program include:

  • Detailed historical usage information 
    The AMI system includes access to detailed historical use data to help troubleshoot for water leaks on your property. 
  • Water usage monitoring
    You will have access to a consumer portal where you can  monitor your water usage and discover possible low-flow leaks that need to be addressed. It will give you the data to support your conservation efforts at home.
  • System-wide efficiency and cost savings
    The system reduces the Town's operating expenses.
  • Increased Privacy
    The Town can read your water meter without entering your property.
  • No additional cost to you
    There are no additional charges for installation or use associated with these new meters.
How do I know when the installation has been completed?
Our installers will speak with you upon completion. They will also leave behind an informational pamphlet with meter specific information.
How do I know if there are problems with my meter?
For the 24 hours following installation, it is recommended that the customer check the meter for leaks. Beyond this, no additional maintenance or inspections are required.
How is the Town protecting my personal data and water usage data with these new meters?

Identifiable customer information is never stored or transmitted by the advanced meters.

Your meter reading data is encrypted with the same technology many Canadian financial institutions use. In addition to the encryption, only a unique code that identifies the transmitter in the advanced meter and your read will be sent to the Town of Okotoks.

How do I schedule my installation?
Some Okotoks customers will require an appointment for their meter upgrade/replacement. There are two types of installations in this program. Those customers that require an installation inside their home and those customers whose installation will be outside of their home. Corix will provide each customer with a letter outlining which installation is required. All installations inside the home will require an appointment. Information on how to arrange your appointment will be provided at that time.