Water meters

All properties with water service have meters to measure consumption. For questions about your meter, contact customer service at 519-886-2310 or utilities@waterloo.ca

From 2020 to 2023 we are installing new devices that automatically read your meter. We refer to this as 'advanced metering infrastructure' or AMI.

Use this page to find out how it works and when your property will get a new meter reader.

On this page

  1. How advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) works
  2. Reader installation process
  3. Reader installation schedule
  4. AMI pilot project and costs

How advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) works

Most properties in Waterloo currently have water meters that require a city employee to manually scan a reader once every two months. These small black devices are located outside your property, wired to the water meter inside.

A 'smart' water reader, a small white box that fits over the existing readerNew water meter readers will be installed

In June 2020 we will start installing new readers that fit over top of the existing devices. The new readers are distinctly larger and lighter in colour, as pictured. They are sometimes referred to as 'smart' water readers.

Usage data is automatically sent to us

New readers will automatically send water usage data to the city through using a wireless network that's already in use by Waterloo North Hydro. 

Usage data will be measured hourly and customers will be contacted if abnormal usage is detected.

You will have access to consumption data online

Along with new meters, the city is also creating a website where you will be able to monitor your own consumption history and trends, along with billing and account changes. It's scheduled to launch in 2021.

Reader installation process

City employees will install smart meter readers across the city in stages from 2020 to 2023.

When a worker arrives at your property, they will:

  • be clearly identified as a city employee - look for an official uniform and vehicle
  • locate the existing reading device, usually at the side of the property
  • take 5 to 10 minutes to install the new device
  • leave an official letter in your mailbox or front door area once complete

We do not require access to the inside of your building or home. There is no cost to the property owner or disruption of water service.

Installation schedule

Installation will proceed by water billing zones, starting in June 2020.

Find your zone by viewing this map 

If you can't find your zone, call 519-886-2310 during business hours or email utilities@waterloo.ca with your street address.

ZoneInstallationsCompletion date
102 7,800+ Mid 2021
103 4,900+ End of 2021
104 2,200+ End of 2021
105 400+ End of 2022
106 3500+ End of 2022
108 4,300+ End of 2022
107 8,100+ End of 2023

AMI pilot project and costs

In 2015 the city launched a pilot project to explore the benefits of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. Smart meters were installed in 400 homes in Waterloo and monitored for accuracy, durability and other quality issues.

The pilot project report recommended moving forward with exploring the costs and timeline for city-wide implementation. Starting in 2020, up to $4.89M was approved to cover the capital costs of installing smart meters.

The net ongoing cost of operating the smart meters is expected to be $54,000/year.