Water Payments Page
Richmond Hill has contracted Neptune Technology Group to replace and upgrade its water meters to the E-Coder R900i model. All Neptune Technology installers will be in Neptune uniforms with identification badges. Installers will not ask homeowners to sign a contract. They will ask homeowners to review a work order and confirm the meter reading for the removed meter. They will never ask for money. Other water-related companies may be selling their services in your area. Only Neptune Technology is affiliated with the Town of Richmond Hill. The responsibility for contracts signed by homeowners for third-party water services and equipment rests with the homeowner.
Projects like these are extremely important, as they help ensure Richmond Hill’s essential infrastructure is in good working condition, thereby reducing the need for ongoing maintenance and associated costs. The upgraded water meter helps Richmond Hill keep better track of water consumption and loss detection through increased readings and efficiencies. The new equipment will also assist with water conservation by providing more timely consumption information. There is no cost for the replacement of the water meter.
Benefits of New Water Meters
The typical life of a water meter is up to 20 years. Like most mechanical devices, they eventually need to be replaced as they slow down. In the rare instance when a water meter malfunctions, it under-registers or stops registering water flow completely. Also, advances in metering technology now make it easier and more efficient to obtain readings. The main benefits of the new water meters include:
Water Meter Upgrade Schedule
- We can communicate warnings of possible leaks sooner
- Help detect high water loss more quickly
- Ability for us to report on hourly and daily consumption for a rolling 96-day period
- We do not need to enter private property to obtain water reads
- Estimated bills are less common
Effective November 1, 2012, all newly constructed homes and businesses are supplied with the upgraded meter. Richmond Hill is upgrading meters installed prior to November 1, 2012 at a rate of approximately 3,000 units per year. Selection of properties for upgrade is made based on the average age of the existing meters in a specific neighbourhood. After this evaluation is complete, streets are chosen and all properties on the street will be required to change to the new meter at that time.
The attached map [PDF] shows locations of water meter upgrades to February 2016. Meter upgrades scheduled for 2016 will focus on areas south of Elgin Mills Road, including:
Booking your Appointment & Installation Requirements
- SW corner of Elgin Mills Road and Leslie Street
- areas south of Elgin Mills Road from Bathurst Street to Yonge Street
- areas south of Carville Road from Bathurst Street to Yonge Street
Once you have received your pamphlet, you are required to make an appointment with Neptune using your reference number. Appointments are available Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be made over the phone by contacting Neptune Technology Group at 1-800-667-4387 or by booking online at RichmondHill.watermeterappt.com. After booking your appointment with Neptune it is important that the following requirements are met:
The work, from start to finish, should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
- The meter needs to be accessible, therefore prior to the appointment, please ensure that an area at least 18” wide by 18” high has been cleared around your existing water meter.
- An adult (at least 18 years of age) must be home at all times during the appointment.
- This person will be asked to verify and sign the service order worksheet as confirmation of the completed work.
The meter replacement program is mandatory for all Richmond Hill residents. As stated in By-law No. 94-11, 7.2: “The Town and their Contractors shall be given free access, at all reasonable hours upon identifying himself, to all parts of every property to which the water is supplied, for the purpose of the installation, or maintenance of the Meter.”
All of our Neptune Technology installers will be in Neptune uniforms with identification badges that have both Neptune’s logo and the Town of Richmond Hill’s logo on it. You can ask to view the installers badge at any time and you can also call Neptune at 1-800-667-4387 to verify the identification of the installer. At no point will an installer ask for money and this installation will be completed with no charges to the property owner.
Health & Safety: Q & A
Q: For how long and how often does the water meter transmit data?
A: The duration of the message is 7mSec every 14 seconds this results in data being transmitted for less than 60seconds per day! Unlike other devices such as a smart phone or a wireless internet router that are continually transmitting signals.
Q: Can you compare the R900i Transmitter to another device?
A: In this example we will compare the R900I transmitter to a common device found in today’s society, a cellphone. The R900i transmits 1/3 less output when compared to a cell phone. The R900i transmitters only transmit data out, never is there data being transmitted to the meters. Lastly, a cell phone is usually kept close to the body, whether it is in your bag, your pocket or held to your ear to make phone calls, the R900i is installed in your basement and is unlikely to ever be directly beside your body for any long period of time.
Q: Where do the R900i compare with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 (Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency)?
A: According to the manufacturers documents the meters radiate at a 0.0143% which is well below the guidelines stated in Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 document. [Link to http://www.radiationsafety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Safety-Code-6.pdf ]
Q: Does any personal information get transmitted from the meter?
A: Each meter has a serial number which corresponds to a specific property. That serial number is transmitted with the consumption totals at the time we collect data. At no point does any personal information such as address, account number or names ever get transmitted via the meter.
Q: Have these water meters been tested and installed in other areas?
A: Neptune Technology has installed over 4 million of these water meters across North America. There have been no reports of interference due to the frequencies.
Q: Are there any health hazards associated with this technology?
A: The World Health Organization (WHO) notes in its Fact Sheet 304: “To date, the only health effect from RF fields identified in scientific reviews has been related to an increase in body temperature (> 1° C) from exposure at very high field intensity found only in certain industrial facilities, such as RF heaters. The levels of RF exposure from base stations and wireless networks are so low that the temperature increase is insignificant and does not affect human health.”
WHO Fact Sheet 304 may be found at http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/factsheets/en/
Neptune’s frequently asked questions about the R900 Radio Frequency Emissions: R900 Radio Frequency Emissions - Frequently Asked Questions [PDF]