Canadian cities to spend $16M replacing analogue water meters


The Public Utilities Commission in the municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, has selected Neptune Technology to upgrade its analogue meters with smart water meters. The municipality is set to begin implementing its $10 million project to replace existing 36,000 analogue meters with smart water meters.

Tim Sutherland, general manager at Chatham-Kent, commented: “Currently we have manual reads, which means someone has to walk up to the house and put a reader against the adapter on the side of the house to read the meter. We’re moving to a system where a person can drive through that neighborhood in a car and it automatically downloads the readings into the computer in the car.

“Instead of somebody walking the neighbourhood, we’ll be able to drive the neighbourhood and pick up thousands of readings at a time. The meter reading costs should be reduced for the PUC.”

The smart meters will ensure consumers are accurately billed through the elimination of estimated billing.

Over the past 15 years, the municipality has been implementing quarterly meter reads. The project will allow monthly meter reading and consumer billing, a development which will help improve revenue collection.

The project will be complete by 2019 and is expected to help customers to improve their water efficiency and reduce monthly bills.

Smart meters and efficiency in Canada

Meanwhile, in the province of Alberta, the city of St Albert has kickstarted a $6.4 million initiative to replace 21,292 analogue meters with digital water meters.

The programme is expected to be completed by March 2019, ensuring consumers are accurately billed and reducing non-revenue expenses for the city resulting from inaccurate billing, water leaks and theft.

The new system will also reduce operational costs, and help improve water efficiency by providing water consumption data after every 15 minutes.

The city and consumers will use the data to design programmes and implement measures to improve water efficiency.

According to a study conducted in 2016, the average daily water usage per person in St Albert is 247 liters – the city wants to reduce the daily usage to 200 liters.

The meters being replaced have been in use for the past 30 years.