Project overview

Updated Sept. 1, 2022

The City of Cambridge launched a smart water meter project to install or retrofit smart water meters in homes throughout the city to improve the efficiency and reliability of the water system.

The new smart meters will utilize an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system to provide remote meter reading, data analysis and alerts for possible leak or flow problems. This real- time data will help ensure bill accuracy, and allows City staff and residents the ability to detect potential issues and avoid unnecessary water costs.

The management of the installation process of the smart water meter project was contracted to ICONIX Waterworks.  ICONIX Waterworks began installations October 2021 and completed the project July 2022.  Approximately 1200 residences and businesses still require a new water meter install or retrofit.  The City of Cambridge is working with our supplier to obtain the water meters and transmitters to complete the remaining installations.  Upon delivery of the new water meters and transmitters, the City of Cambridge will contact Customers to schedule an appointment to replace or retrofit the water meter.  We thank you for your patience and understanding and look forward to your cooperation.

Smart meter  Smart meter

Timeline

October 2019 to August 2020

  • Section 60 and Section 80

July 2020 to December 2020

  • Section 85 and Section 70

December 2020 to December 2021

  • Section 55 and Section 65

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Project progress

  • Completion of phase one installations - February 2019
  • Testing of AMI system within phase one – Spring 2019
  • Begin city-wide smart water meter installation – October 2019
  • Implementation of a customer portal with smart water meter data – October 2021

Frequently asked questions

Why smart water meters?
New smart meters utilize an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system to provide remote meter reading, data analysis and alerts for possible leaks or flow problems. This real- time data will help ensure bill accuracy, and allows City staff and residents the ability to detect potential issues and avoid unnecessary water costs.
How many smart water meters are being installed? How long will my installation take and will there be a disruption in my water service?

The City will be replacing approximately 39,000 residential and commercial water meters with new advanced meters and registers that will communicate usage data via wireless technology directly to the City.

All meters in Cambridge’s utility service area, including domestic water, irrigation and reclaimed water, will be read using the advanced metering system.

Installation of a new meter and communication module is expected to take approximately 30-60 minutes, with a short water service interruption for about 15 minutes. The City of Cambridge is committed to as minimal disruption as possible and will work according to reliable, updated schedules to ensure that interruptions in water service are kept to no more than 15 minutes. To ensure that the installation is properly complete, workers will briefly test the new meter.

I’ve booked my installation, do I need to do anything to prepare for the installation?
To help keep everyone safe, the City asks residents/occupants to put dogs and any other domestic pets in a safe place during installation.
How will I be informed when the installation is taking place at my home or business?
Since it will take approximately 2.5 years to complete the project, a letter will be sent to customers/business owners 1-2 weeks prior to installation in your area. The implementation of new smart water meters are being installed in various phases throughout the City. To keep up-to-date on the progress of installations, visit the City’s website at www.cambridge.ca/smartmeters
How does the smart water meter system work?

The smart water meter system works via wireless signals sent from a small radio unit located outside the house connected to the water meter. The radio unit sends readings to regional collector units that then transmit the meter reading data to receivers at Cambridge City Hall.

Regional collectors will be located on existing water tanks, radio and cell phone towers located throughout the city that are currently being used by GrandBridge Energy for utility readings.

Each radio unit will send a 111-millisecond usage report from the meter to City Hall four times a day.

How does the smart water meter system benefit customers?

The new smart water meter technology and backup system will provide accurate, timely water use data regardless of weather conditions or power outages.

Once smart water meter units are installed, a new web-based reporting system will allow customers to track their daily water use and learn about strategies for saving water and reducing their utility bill. This online tool will be activated toward the end of the installation project, and citizens will receive detailed information on how to take advantage of its offerings.

At the current time, on a monthly basis, the city manually visits homes to read water meters. The advanced metering system will take vehicles off the road, significantly reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

This real- time data ensures meter reading consistency and water bill accuracy. It will enable City staff to identify potential issues earlier and respond more quickly. 

What is the cost of implementing a smart water meter reading program?
The total cost for the project is $13.4 million, which is being funded through the City of Cambridge. The costs will be paid back during the life span of the new technology through billing process efficiencies and operational efficiencies.
Will wireless technology affect my health or privacy?
No, the new smart water meters will not negatively affect health or privacy. The wireless portions of the system will be operated according to Federal Communications Commission standards, and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. Exposure to radio waves from smart meters is very minimal compared to commonly used smartphones. In addition, the transmission time for each unit totals only about 15 seconds per day. Canadian Radio Frequency Exposure graph
Where can I get more information? Who can I contact?
To learn more about the City’s smart water meter program, you can visit www.cambridge.ca/smartmeter. If you have any questions, please contact Service Cambridge at the City at (519) 623-1340 or servicecambridge@cambridge.ca.

Documents, reports and updates


City of Cambridge Project Manager

Wally Malcolm
Project Manager
City of Cambridge
malcolmw@cambridge.ca 
(519) 621-0743 ext. 4542