Automated Meter Readings

The City is rolling out new, automated water meter readers across St. Catharines.

The new readers transmit water usage information directly to the City's billing system. Not only is this easier for residents, but more frequent readings could help find potential problems in advance. Such as leaking taps and toilets.

Difference between a Smart Meter and the AMR program

A smart meter is an electronic device used by Electricity Distribution Companies to record the consumption of electric power at a customer's home or business.

The City's new Automatic Meter Reading program (AMR), uses wireless technology to automatically collect water consumption, diagnostic and status data from the City's water meters and transfer that data to a database for billing, troubleshooting and analysis.

The battery operated AMR transmitter is wired directly to the water meter inside the home and wirelessly communicates with mobile reading equipment installed in City owned meter reading vehicles. The AMR transmitter sends wireless signals to the mobile reading equipment three times a year currently and operate on Industry Canada licensed 900 MHz spectrum. These transmissions last for less than 1/8th of a second at power levels less than 2 watts.

All new water meters and AMR transmitters have been installed inside the customers property and to ensure integrity and accuracy, the water meter and AMR transmitters electronic components are hermetically sealed to protect the unit from moisture, dust, contaminants and mechanical damage. These devices have an exceptional in-service record in North America and are not subject to the same failure modes as Electricity Smart Meters. 

  1. All Sensus wireless devices are tested to comply to Industry Canada health and safety guidelines
  2. The transmitter only transmits when requested. For the City of St Catharines, regular billing is currently 3 times per year 
  3. The transmission lasts less than ½ second
  4. The transmitter operates at a power level under 2 watts
  5. The transmitter operates in the 900 MHz bandwidth (same as a garage door, cordless phone or baby monitor)

How the water meters work

The new meters automatically record and store your water consumption information. Once the meter is installed you will no longer have to read the meter and send in your readings.

The water meters will have transmitters attached to the meter and GPS coordinates. The city will be able to drive along the street and obtain the water readings using a dedicated, safe radio frequency. Meters only transmit information upon request. Transmitters are idle, and only 'wake up and read the meter' when told to do so.

Only the meter's register number and water consumption information is transmitted.

When will the meter be upgraded

Water meters will be upgraded based on section. As this is a multi-year program, it could be months or even years before your home is eligible for the upgrade.

Detailed information on the upgrade process is included below.

Sections scheduled for water meter upgrades in 2020:

  1. Section H

Your section can be found in the upper-right hand area of your meter card and water bill.

Visits will always be preceeded by a letter.

The upgrade process

  1. Residents will receive a letter informing them their section of the city is scheduled to be upgraded from manual read water meters to automated water meters.
  2. Upon receipt of the letter, residents are to contact ICONIX Waterworks to arrange for an appointment for the water meter upgrade. ICONIX's phone number is 1-877-256-4763
    • The upgrade normally takes 30 minutes to complete.
    • Note: Please do not call for an appointment until you have received a letter from the City of St. Catharines

During the installation

  • Restrain and control any pets on your premises during the installation process.
  • Ensure an adult (18+ years) is present during the installation to provide access and sign-off on the work.
  • Make sure the path to the meter, the area surrounding your incoming water service and the shut-off valve are easily accessible and free from obstruction.

Who is performing the upgrades

Corix UniformICONIX Waterworks has been contracted by the City of St. Catharines to upgrade the water meters. During the upgrade your home will be visited by an employee of ICONIX, who will perform the water meter upgrade.

How to identify an ICONIX employee

  • The standard ICONIX uniform is a blue collared shirt with a ICONIX  logo on the left chest, a cap with the ICONIX  logo and appropriate outerwear with the ICONIX logo.
  • Employees are required to maintain a workmanlike appearance in accordance with ICONIX's dresscode.
  • Corix Work VehicleICONIX employees will have picture identification badges stating they are an employee of ICONIX and an installation technician. All ICONIX employees are required to wear a picture identification badge at all times.
  • All ICONIX employees/sub-contractors will be supplied with vehicles clearly marked with Approved Contractor identification.
  • Vehicles used for all projects are affixed with pre-approved identification and also carry a "How's My Driving" sticker with a 1-800 phone number for customers to call. All calls are documented and reported to the City.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact ICONIX to schedule my appointment?

Call 1-877-256-4763. Please note: appointments can only be made AFTER you've received a letter from the City stating that the meter is due to be upgraded.

Do I have to upgrade the meter?

Yes, all water meters are being upgraded.

When will the meter be replaced?

If the meter was installed more than five years ago, it will be exchanged for a new meter and transmitter. If the meter was installed within the past five years, only a transmitter will be required.

What is the radio frequency (RF) output of the transmitter?

Please see our Sensus for information on the radio frequency output.

Once the new meter is installed will people still have to come into my house?

Yes, the City will still need to inspect water meters from time to time.

Is there a cost for the upgrade?

There is no extra cost to have the meter installed, as per the program. However, transmitters can be installed ahead of schedule at the expense of the homeowner. Email Water Services or call 905.688.5605 for details. 

When will I get my next water bill?

Please see our Bills and Meter Readings webpage for information on billing.

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines