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Meter Upgrade FAQ's

Why is my water meter being replaced?
The average lifespan of a water meter is 20 years. As they age, they begin to lose reading accuracy. Advances in metering technology also make it easier and more efficient to obtain readings.

Does my water meter have to be replaced?
Yes, water meter replacements are mandatory in accordance with the City of Grande Prairie Bylaw No. C-1365.

What if I don’t want my water meter replaced?
Water meter replacements are mandatory. Refusing to comply with your meter replacement could result in having your water supply disconnected.

Who will be replacing my water meter?
Aquatera will be replacing water meters.

How will I recognize the technician?
Our authorized technicians will be in uniform and carry identification including their name, photo and ID number.

Does the technician need to come into my home?
Yes, because the water meter is located inside your home, the technician will need to go inside to access it.

Do I have to be present for the meter replacement?
We require than an adult, 18 years or older, is present during the meter replacement. The technician will not enter your home unless authorized adult is present.

What if I’m a tenant and do not own this property?
If you are a tenant, please contact the homeowner. We will work with you and the homeowner to schedule your meter replacement.

How long will the meter replacement take?
It will take approximately 30 to 90 minutes to complete.

Will my water service be interrupted?
Yes, the technician will turn off the water during the meter replacement. It will be turned back on once the replacement is complete. 

Is there anything I should do prior to the meter replacement?
Please ensure the area around the water meter is clear and accessible, with a clearance area of at least 16 inches wide by 16 inches high. Check your main water shut-off valve to ensure it is operable and clear of obstructions.

Where is my water shut-off valve located?
Your water shut-off valve is typically located where the water service enters your home – usually the basement.

Who is responsible for maintaining my water meter?
Aquatera is responsible for any future maintenance provided to your water meter. Please take reasonable precaution to prevent any damage to it.

How much will the new meter cost me?
There is no charge for the meter replacement. These are an investment in our infrastructure that will help us improve meter reading efficiencies and billing.

Will my bill increase?
It depends. Once an accurate meter is installed, you may become aware of your actual water use. This could be reflected by an increase which can adjust as you become more water wise.

These new meters have already detected leaks in a residence, which would lead to higher water use and a higher bill. Faster leak identification will result in reduced water costs.

How do I know the meter is reading accurately?
The water meters are factory tested and exceed the standards for accuracy set forth by the American Water Works Association.

Are these meters hazardous to my health?
According to the Wold Health Organization: “To date, the only health effect from RF fields identified in scientific reviews has been related to an increase in body temperature (> 1C°) from exposure at very high field intensity found only in certain industrial facilities, such as RF heaters. The levels of RF exposure from base stations and wireless networks are so low that the temperature increase is insignificant and does not affect human health.”

WHO Fact Sheet 304 may be found here.

Other everyday items that use RF technology include baby monitors, remote car starts, smart phones, garage door openers, satellite communications.

What are the benefits of the new meters?
These new meters will help you become aware of your water consumption, thereby taking steps to conserve water and watch your savings add up.

They will help you identify intermittent and continuous leaks so that you can quickly fix them.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Who do I contact in the event of an emergency?
For water related emergencies, please call 780.882.7800.

What frequencies are used by the meter/radio equipment being installed?
R900 wireless communication equipment operates within the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band which includes frequencies from 902 MHz to 928 MHz.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDR) have classified radiation emitted by devices operating at these RF frequencies as “non-ionizing”. Other types of non-ionizing radiation devices include televisions, radios, remote controls, and other devices that use visible light and infrared light.

Have the meters/radios been certified by the FCC and Industry Canada?
Yes. Radio endpoints being installed have been tested in accordance with Title 47, Part 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations and have been certified by the FCC.

The R900 is also certified by Industry Canada who has adopted Health Canada’s “Safety Code 6: Limits of Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range of 3KHz to 300GHz”.

Where can I go to learn more about regulatory compliance?
The FCCs document OET Bulletin 65 Edition 97-01, “Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields”, details how to measure or calculate levels of RF radiation and to determine compliance of RF facilities with exposure limits.

Additionally, FCC OET Bulletin 65 Supplement C Edition 01-01 provides further guidance on determining compliance for portable and mobile devices.

These documents may be found here.

What is the power output from the R900 devices when they are transmitting data?
The effective radiated output power (ERP) for the R900 devices is less than 100 milliwatts (mW) for Standard Mobile Messages sent every 14 seconds. Fixed Network Messages are transmitted at just under 1 Watt every 7½ minutes. In comparison, portable
transmitters used by consumers typically operate over this output power range, and in fact may operate with output power up to several thousand milliwatts.

Are there RF exposure standards for the R900 devices?
The FCC has established rules requiring transmitting facilities to comply with RF exposure guidelines. The limits established in the guidelines are designed to protect the public health with a very large margin of safety. These limits have been endorsed by federal
health and safety agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the FDA.

The FCC has established exposure guidelines for RF devices operating in the 300 kHz to 100 GHz range. These safety guidelines are outlined in the publication, OET Bulletin 65 Edition 91-01, “Evaluating Compliance with the FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to
Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field”, and can be found here.

The general-population exposure limits set by the FCC for the frequency range utilized by the meters/radios and other devices such as cordless phones and baby monitors is 0.6 milliwatts per centimeter squared (mW/cm2) at 902 MHz.

R900 device transmits for less than one minute total per day and for seven milliseconds at a time. The exposure to radio frequency energy at a distance of 1 foot from the meter is never more than 0.08 mW/cm2 for the Fixed Network Messages. This is approximately eight times lower than the exposure limit set by the FCC. Standard Mobile Messages are an order of magnitude lower.

For more information on the effects of RF energy exposure, please visit:

Does Health Canada have RF exposure standards for the R900 devices?
Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 outlines and specifies maximum levels of human exposure to RF energy at frequencies between 3 kHz and 300 GHz, to prevent adverse human health effects. Safety Code 6 also specifies maximum allowable RF contact and induced body currents to prevent the physical perception of internal currents resulting from RF energy in uncontrolled environments, and to prevent RF shock or burns to personnel in controlled environments. The code also serves to provide guidance for evaluating RF exposure levels, to ensure that personnel in controlled and uncontrolled environments are not exposed at levels greater than the limits specified in this code.

Find more information on Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 here.

Will installation of the new meter/radio interfere with my security systems, pacemaker, cell phones, or other RF electronics?
The transmitting devices operate in compliance with FCC 47 CFR Part 15 regulations, which require coexistence with other Part 15 certified devices. Within the 902-928 MHz frequency band, operation is limited to frequency-hopping, direct-sequence spreadspectrum, and digital modulation intentional radiators. This rule facilitates multiple devices operating in the same location. This includes devices such as security systems, pacemakers, cell phones, and cordless phones.

The meter/radio’s transmit signal is of very short duration (seven milliseconds), which further decreases the potential for interference with other devices. For comparison, seven milliseconds equates to approximately one minute total transmission time per day.

How long has this meter/radio equipment been manufactured?
The R900 radio devices have been in production since 1999.

How many radio devices have been installed in residential applications?
Over nine million Neptune R900 radio devices are deployed on water meters today throughout North America. In addition, over 100 million 900 MHz radio devices are deployed on water, gas, and electric meters across North America.

Over the past 13 years, have there been any cases of interference caused by the R900 radio devices?
There have been no documented cases where the R900 devices have interfered with third-party devices.