Water Meter Replacement Program Frequently Asked Questions

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395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
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905-895-5193

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Water Meter Replacement Program Frequently Asked Questions 

Learn more about the water meter replacement program by viewing the frequently asked questions below. If you have any further questions, please reach out us by emailing info@newmarket.ca or calling 905-895-5193. Please note that having a working water meter is mandatory under the Town's Water Meter By-law 2017-49. 

What is the water meter replacement program?

The water meter replacement program was approved by Newmarket Council in 2016. The program's goal is to replace or upgrade water meters for approximately 25,000 households and 1,000 businesses. At this time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town will only be conducting work that does not require the installer to enter the home. Approximately 7,000 households will be eligible for a water meter upgrade.

The new/upgraded water meters will allow for wireless two-way communication between the Town and the water meter to help ensure increased accuracy when it comes to water meter readings, eliminate the need to have staff read water meters manually, assist the Town in analyzing trends in water usage, and help the Town to better identify leaks and losses due to flow issues before they become a larger issue, which can lead to higher water bill costs.

How will I be affected?
Water Meter Upgrades 
If your property is eligible for a water meter upgrade (approximately 7,000 households and businesses), you will receive a letter in the mail indicating your eligibility. No action is required on your end as the WAMCO installer will be visiting your property on the indicated week to complete the upgrade. You do not need to be home during this time as all work will be completed outside of your home. Eligible properties for a water meter upgrade are generally water meters that are less than 10 years old. 

There are no service disruptions when this work is being completed. The upgraded water meter will remain on the same account number with Newmarket Hydro.

Water Meter Replacements
 
Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Newmarket will not be conducting water meter replacements at this time as this type of work involves entering a resident's home. When the Town resumes this portion of the project, we will notify the public. This will affect approximately 18,000 households. 

When will my water meter be upgraded?
Households will be chosen on an area-by-area basis. Once your area has been chosen, you will receive a letter in the mail indicating your eligibility. You do not need to be home during this time as all work will be completed outside of your home. Eligible properties for a water meter upgrade are generally water meters that are less than 10 years old.  

There are no service disruptions when this work is being completed. The upgraded water meter will remain on thsame account number with Newmarket Hydro.
What are the benefits an upgraded new water meter?
This water meter replacement program is necessary to ensure improved remote communication between your water meter and the Town’s water meter infrastructure. Other benefits of this Program include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to conduct remote water meter readings. No physical visits will be required to obtain water meter readings which will result saved time and improved efficiencies.
  • Improved water meter reading accuracy. If your water meter was previously over-registering or under-registering, the new water meter will now measure the water usage accurately.
  • Providing the Town with the future ability to identify leaks and losses within the system before they become a larger issue. 
  • Providing residents with the future ability to track water usage through an online portal. 

Does this program cost me anything?
There is no cost for residents to have their water meter upgraded or replaced.
Will my water bill go up because of the new water meter?

Water meter upgrades may result in a change in your water bill due to water usage being measured more accurately. If your meter was previously under registering usage, you may see a slight increase.

If your water meter readings were previously estimated, you may see an increase or decrease to your water bill. 

Who do I call if I have billing inquiries?
Please call Newmarket Hydro at 905-895-2309 if you have inquiries related to water billing.
What health and safety protocols are in place during COVID-19 for WAMCO installers?
WAMCO installers are required to participate in a daily health screening before heading for work. If they develop any symptoms of COVID-19, as set out by the Province of Ontario, they are required to stay home to self-isolate. If the symptoms last more than two days, they will be required to get tested for COVID-19 and are not permitted to return to work until they receive a negative test.
Can I refuse to have my water meter upgraded/replaced during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Water Meter Replacement Program is a mandatory Program that requires all households in Newmarket to participate. Having a working water meter is mandatory under the Town's Water Meter By-law 2017-49. 

To ensure the safety of both the installer and resident, WAMCO installers will be following strict health and safety protocols set out by Public Health authorities and will be subject to a daily health and safety protocols set out by Public Health authorities and will be subject to daily health screening before reporting to work.

How do I identify a WAMCO employee?
WAMCO installers will be carrying photo ID with both WAMCO and the Town of Newmarket logos, be in uniform with the WAMCO logo (hat and shirt) and Image of WAMCO installer with their black truck be travelling in a vehicle with both WAMCO and Town of Newmarket logos. Please see the image as reference.

WAMCO employees do not need to enter your home when conducting a water meter upgrade. The Town is aware of sales people going door-to-door to offer water, hydro or other in-home services. If you suspect fraud, please call York Regional Police's non-emergency line at 1-866-876-5423. 



Why is the Town conducting the water meter replacement program?
Existing water meters are reaching end of their lifecycle and are using outdated technology to measure and communicate water usage. The new water meters will result in increased measurement accuracy and automatically communicate water usage to the Town without sending water meter operators to read the water meters. The new water meters have the ability to communicate how they are functioning (low battery, stale meter, communication issues), which will allow the Town to perform desk investigations before requesting field investigations. This will provide the Town the ability to be aware of potential issues before calls come in.

Are there any privacy concerns over the collection of data through the new water meters?
The new water meters will not interfere with your privacy. The wireless portion of the system will be operated in accordance with Federal Communications Commission standards and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. No personal information is collected through the water meters.
How long will it take to complete the water meter upgrades?
In most cases, a water meter upgrade will take less than five minutes to complete. One staff member will upgrade the existing meter. After some time has passed, a second installer will come to conduct a check to ensure the new upgraded water meter is communicating properly. 
Will the WAMCO installer need to enter my home during the outdoor retrofits / upgrades?
The WAMCO installer will not be required to enter your home during a water meter upgrade. In rare instances, if the current water meter has a broken wire, the WAMCO employee will place your home address on a list for the Town of Newmarket / WAMCO to revisit at a later date. Properties that cannot be upgraded will receive a letter in the mail indicating this. 

Who do I contact if I have issues with my water meter after it has been upgraded?
Please call WAMCO's Customer Service Centre at 1-833-926-2626.

You can also call the Town of Newmarket a call at 905-895-5193 or email info@newmarket.ca if you have issues with your water meter after it has been upgraded.
How is the water meter replacement program being funded?
This program was approved by Newmarket Council and will be fully funded through the Town's Asset Management Fund.