Water Meter - AMI Project
Changes are coming to water meter billing! Is your meter ready?
The City of Saskatoon began operating a new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system in July of 2016. With AMI, the City’s water meters are read remotely to provide accurate billing based on how much water you use. Water meter upgrades are necessary to enable wireless communication between your meter and the City’s data management system and is mandatory for all City of Saskatoon water meters.
Appointments are made only in locations where teams are working. Book today for homes in Sutherland, Greystone Heights, Brevoort Park, and Nutana Suburban Centre. To see when teams will be in your area, check the Deployment Schedules listed below. Any neighbourhoods not listed will be completed in 2019.
|Nutana Sub Centre|
|College Park East|
|Hudson Bay Park|
More neighbourhoods will be added once installation speeds are determined
What do I need to know about booking an appointment?
Appointments will only be made for residential customers within the current neighbourhoods, as indicated above. Make a booking with a one hour time slot that the technicians will show up in. When you book an appointment you will need to provide the following information:
- Your name and address and a phone number.
- The date and an hour time slot you prefer for your appointment
- Your email to send a confirmation.
Module installation work will be done Monday to Saturday with some time slots in the evenings. Water meter exchanges will be done during the day from Monday through Friday.
If an appointment is not made, Saskatoon Water will try to contact you to make a booking. This could include phone calls or a staff member coming to your door while crews are working is the area.
If you are not home when crews knock on your door, or you are unable to have the work completed when they visit, they will leave a door hanger containing project information and instructions to book and appointment.
How will the AMI system benefit me?
- Improved monthly billing: Bills are based on actual usage, not estimates. Having actual meter reads each month will allow you to adjust your water consumption habits, to see how it affects your bills.
- You can be notified if you have a water leak: Save money by fixing issues.
- Meters are read automatically: Meter readers no longer visit your property.
- Savings: Less manual meter readings for City staff reduces an estimated 35 tonnes of carbon dioxide tied to vehicle use each year, and an estimated 3,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide from less water used. That’s equal to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved if we removed 685 vehicles from Saskatoon roads each year.
What's involved in the conversion?
Water meters older than 1994 need to be replaced with a new meter (only 16% of meters).
- The new meter will have a communication module added to the outside of your home and updated wiring that allows the meter to work with the AMI system.
- There are only 16% of meters that are older than 1994 which will be changed as part of the regular water meter maintenance program. When you book an appointment the appropriate crew will be sent to your house. Water meter replacements appointments are 30-60 minutes on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Look under "AMI Water Meter Project" below to see what older and newer water meters look like).
Water meters newer than 1994 require a conversion that takes about 30 minutes total.
- The scan pad (small black puck) on the outside of your home will be replaced with a communication module.
- Inside your home, a wire is connected from the communication module to your water meter.
- Book your appointment online
AMI Water Meter Project
The meter replacement and conversion began in May 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020. Approximately 72,000 water meters need to be converted and another 10,000 water meters need to be replaced with newer models. There are two categories of water meters in Saskatoon:
Newer than 1994
- It has a wire connected to a black scan pad on the outside of the building.
- It is manually scanned about every three months to obtain an actual water meter reading.
- There are about 62,000 of this type of water meter.
Older than 1994 (non AMI compatible)
- There are about 10,000 of the older meters left in the city.
- It has no wires connected to it and therefore is non-AMI compatible.
- Water meter is now read visually by City staff.
- This picture is just one of many types of pre-1994 meters left to replace.
- The water meter shop routinely replaces older meters because they can become inaccurate over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is AMI?
Advanced Metering Infrastructure is the equipment which allows utility meters to be read remotely. The first generation meters had to be read visually by a person. After 1994 a scan pad was added to the outside of homes to allow meter readers to read a meter from outside the house. With AMI, the readings will be done automatically. Many utilities are moving forward with an AMI system.
How long will it take to convert all of Saskatoon’s water meters so they are compatible with the AMI system?
Based on the amount of time it takes to complete the conversions, we expect the project to be completed by the end of 2020. However, that will depend on customers contacting us to make appointments to have their conversions completed as crews need access to the inside of homes to complete the work.
Is this work being done alongside the electricity meter AMI upgrades being completed by Saskatoon Light & Power?
We will begin with the Saskatoon Light and Power (SL&P) service area because meter readers read both electricity and water meters at the same time. SL&P is a few years ahead of Saskatoon Water in deploying their AMI upgrades. The plan is to then fan outward to the remaining parts of the City from the core areas to the newer neighbourhoods.
What is the installation process for businesses?
Saskatoon Water is currently working to upgrade commercial meters at the same time as residences. One neighbourhood at a time will be converted to AMI.
Do I need to be home for this work to be done?
Yes, installers need to get access to the home to attach a wire for the communication module. It is a quick job and usually takes about 10 minutes inside the home. They will replace the scan pad (small black puck) with a communication module (grey box) on the outside of your house.
Will my water be turned off?
No there will be no disruption of water services while a communication module is being added. If the water meter needs to be replaced then there will be less than an hour the water needs to be turned off.
Once you complete the work, does this mean my meter will be read remotely?
Yes, once this work is done, and the AMI infrastructure is deployed, your meter will automatically give readings for your water usage bill.
During what hours will the installation work be done?
Saskatoon Water will try to accommodate all communication module installations Monday to Saturday. The number of bookings after 5:00 p.m. will be limited. Water meter replacements are completed between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays.
Is AMI safe?
Radio frequency (RF) emissions related to AMI and smart meters are well below Health Canada and Industry Canada regulations. The RF exposure from AMI is no different than for cellular telephones and other common household appliances, except they are generated at lower levels and only for short periods throughout the day.
Will my water bill be higher as a result of AMI?
Some people have a higher water bill after AMI is installed because an actual meter reading is being used. If previous estimates were below actual usage, then a catch-up bill is needed. AMI will eliminate estimates and be able to detect problems before they become bigger issues.
Will my billing data be safe if it's being transmitted wirelessly?
The City would apply the same privacy protection standards as the current system has in place. All data collected would be used only to ensure accurate billing. Only encrypted meter readings and meter identification are transmitted through smart meters, not your personal information. Saskatoon Water and the City of Saskatoon comply with Saskatchewan's privacy legislation.
How much will this new system cost me?
There will be no additional cost on your water bill for the AMI system. The city has budgeted for this project and will recover costs through fuel and labour savings.
What will happen if I don't make an appointment?
The City will be contacting residents in various ways to complete the work. Houses without AMI will require a meter reader to be sent to the home for readings.
How do I get this work done?
Bookings are made online using the following website. Follow the link and enter the required information.
If a person doesn’t have web access or are having issues, they can contact Saskatoon Water using the following methods:
Phone: (306) 986-1731 (Mon-Fri from 8AM to 5PM) Answering machine after hours.
Text: (306) 250-6008