Water Meter Installation and Replacement

Richmond Hill co-ordinates the installation of water meters to newly built properties and the replacement of older meters with the E-Coder R900i model.

Richmond Hill does not conduct door-to-door sales and does not sell or endorse water filtration systems. Other water-related companies may be selling their services in your area. Please exercise caution when solicited for a water test and with sharing personal information with people you don't know.  Only Neptune Technology is affiliated with the City of Richmond Hill. You are responsible if you sign a contract  for third-party water services and equipment.  

If you suspect fraud, please contact Consumer Protection Ontario at 416-326-8800. 

Installation of water meters to newly built properties

Installing residential meters

Builders need to call the Meter Analyst at 905-747-6424 at least three to five business days before the date a water meter installation is required. If the plumbing for your building is not ready on the installation date, the builder will be charged a $93 fee.

Complete the Residential Meter Install Form.

Installing non-residential meters

Builders of non-residential properties are required to pay for a water meter and installation when they apply for a building permit.

Contractors need to call the Meter Analyst at 905-747-6424 at least six weeks before the planned installation date to ensure a meter is available. They also have the option to email us.

If your site's plumbing is not complete according to the approved site service drawings and your water is not turned on when we come to install your water meter, the builder will be charged a $114 fee.

Water meter replacement program

Richmond Hill is replacing its water meters with the E-Coder R900i model. This is a mandatory upgrade at no cost to residents. Richmond Hill contracted Neptune Technology Group to handle the replacement program.

Benefits

The typical life of a water meter is 15 to 20 years. Like most mechanical devices, they eventually need to be replaced as they slow down. The upgraded water meters help Richmond Hill have many benefits including:

  • Communicating possible leaks sooner
  • The ability to detect high water loss more quickly
  • Access to hourly and daily water usage over a 96-day period
  • Getting water meter readings without entering private property
  • Sending fewer estimated bills

Schedule

As of November 1, 2012 all new homes and businesses built include the new meters.

Commencing March 1, 2019 we are replacing all remaining analog-style water meters in Richmond Hill.

Installation appointments

You will get a pamphlet when the meters in your area are scheduled to be replaced. You need to make an appointment with Neptune Technology Group using the reference number on the pamphlet. The work will take 30 minutes. Call 1-800-667-4387 to make an appointment or book your appointment online. You can book an appointment during the following times:

8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday to Friday

9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday

All Richmond Hill residents must take part in the water meter replacement program according to By-law No. 94-11, 7.2.

Prepare for the appointment

Neptune workers require access to your existing water meter including an area of at least 46 cm by 46 cm around the water meter. An adult (at least 18 years old) needs to be home during the appointment and will be asked to sign the worksheet to confirm that work is completed.

Security

Neptune Technology Group workers will be in Neptune uniforms with an identification badge. These badges have the Neptune Technology Group logo. Ask to see the worker's badge at any time. You can also call 1-800-667-4387 to confirm the worker's identification. The workers don't ask for money at any time.

Health and safety

Here are some frequently asked questions about the health and safety of the water meter replacement program:

Are there any health hazards associated with this technology?

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."
View the WHO Fact Sheet 304.

Are there RF exposure standards for the R900 devices?

The FCC has established rules requiring transmitting facilities to comply with RF exposure guidelines. The limits established in the guidelines are designed to protect the public health with a very large margin of safety. These limits have been endorsed by federal health and safety agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the FDA.
The FCC has established exposure guidelines for RF devices operating in the 300 kHz to 100 GHz range. These safety guidelines are outlined in the publication, OET Bulletin 65 Edition 91-01, "Evaluating Compliance with the FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field", and can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/radio-frequency-safety.
The general-population exposure limits set by the FCC for the frequency range utilized by the meters/radios and other devices such as cordless phones and baby monitors is 0.6 milliwatts per centimetre squared (mW/cm2) at 902 MHz.
R900 device transmits for less than one minute total per day and for 7 milliseconds at a time. The exposure to radio frequency energy at a distance of 1 foot from the meter is never more than 0.08 mW/cm2 for the Fixed Network Messages. This is approximately 8 times lower than the exposure limit set by the FCC. Standard Mobile Messages are an order of magnitude lower.


For more information on the effects of RF energy exposure, please visit:

Does any personal information get transmitted from the meter?

Personal information such as an address, account number or name is never transmitted through the meter. A serial number is assigned to each property to track the water usage data coming from the meter.

Does Health Canada have RF exposure standards for the R900 devices?

Health Canada's Safety Code 6 outlines and specifies maximum levels of human exposure to RF energy at frequencies between 3 kHz and 300 GHz, to prevent adverse human health effects. Safety Code 6 also specifies maximum allowable RF contact and induced body currents to prevent the physical perception of internal currents resulting from RF energy in uncontrolled environments, and to prevent RF shock or burns to personnel in controlled environments. The code also serves to provide guidance for evaluating RF exposure levels, to ensure that personnel in controlled and uncontrolled environments are not exposed at levels greater than the limits specified in this code.
For more information on Health Canada's Safety Code 6, please visit: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/consult/_2014/safety_code_6-code_securite_6/final_finale-eng.php

Have the meters/radios been certified by the FCC and Industry Canada?

Yes. Radio endpoints being installed have been tested in accordance with Title 47, Part 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations and have been certified by the FCC.
The R900 is also certified by Industry Canada who has adopted Health Canada's "Safety Code 6: Limits of Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range of 3KHz to 300GHz".

How long has this meter/radio equipment been manufactured?
The R900 radio devices have been in production since 1999.
How many radio devices have been installed in residential applications?
Over 9.0 million Neptune R900 radio devices are deployed on water meters today throughout North America. In addition, over 100 million 900 MHz radio devices are deployed on water, gas, and electric meters across North America.
Over the past 13 years, have there been any cases of interference caused by the R900 radio devices?
There have been no documented cases where the R900 devices have interfered with third-party devices.
What frequencies are used by the meter/radio equipment being installed?

R900 wireless communication equipment operates within the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band which includes frequencies from 902 MHz to 928 MHz.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDR) have classified radiation emitted by devices operating at these RF frequencies as "non-ionizing." Other types of non-ionizing radiation devices include televisions, radios, remote controls, and other devices that use visible light and infrared light.

What is the power output from the R900 devices when they are transmitting data?
The effective radiated output power (ERP) for the R900 devices is less than 100 milliwatts (mW) for Standard Mobile Messages sent every 14 seconds. Fixed Network Messages are transmitted at just under 1 Watt every 7½ minutes. In comparison, portable transmitters used by consumers typically operate over this output power range, and in fact may operate with output power up to several thousand milliwatts.
Where can I go to learn more about regulatory compliance?

The FCCs document OET Bulletin 65 Edition 97-01, "Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields", details how to measure or calculate levels of RF radiation and to determine compliance of RF facilities with exposure limits.
Additionally, FCC OET Bulletin 65 Supplement C Edition 01-01 provides further guidance on determining compliance for portable and mobile devices.
These documents may be found at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/radio-frequency-safety.

Will installation of the new meter/radio interfere with my security systems, pacemaker, cell phones, or other RF electronics?

The transmitting devices operate in compliance with FCC 47 CFR Part 15 regulations, which require coexistence with other Part 15 certified devices. Within the 902-928 MHz frequency band, operation is limited to frequency-hopping, direct sequence spread-spectrum, and digital modulation intentional radiators. This rule facilitates multiple devices operating in the same location. This includes devices such as security systems, pacemakers, cell phones, and cordless phones. The meter/radio's transmit signal is of very short duration (7 milliseconds), which further decreases the potential for interference with other devices. For comparison, 7 milliseconds equates to approximately one minute total transmission time per day.