Water meters

Use this page to report a broken meter and find out more about our advanced meter installation program.

All properties in Quinte West with water service have meters to measure consumption. A city employee or representative will obtain a reading once every 30 days (commercial) or 60 days (residential). For questions about your meter, contact customer service at 613-392-2841 ext. 4909 or email waterbilling@quintewest.ca.

Water meter replacement program

Water meters are an essential component of the City of Quinte West’s municipal drinking water systems. Every residential, industrial, commercial and institutional customer is equipped with a water meter to track consumption. This ensures that each customer is being billed for only the water they consume. There are over 10,000 water meters within the city, of which nearly 9,200 are residential. The public works department is responsible for replacing, installing, and testing water meters throughout the city.

The City has contracted Neptune Technologies to undertake an enhanced water meter replacement program in conjunction with our standard replacements. We are currently undertaking an enhanced water meter replacement program in conjunction with our standard meter replacements. The enhanced program intends to update water meters and meter reading technologies. The new water meters will improve the reliability of the meter reading and billing process. To cycle through the meter replacement program as efficiently as possible, focused areas of the city will be targeted. When an area is substantially complete, the program will move on to the next area, and so on, until the entire city has been converted over. 

Within the enhanced meter replacement areas, the City is prioritizing meters based on those installed before 2002. Once these meters are replaced, 2002 and newer meters will be replaced next. Some meters installed within the city were done with an encoder transmitter-receiver (ERT), a small radio device and do not need replacement as they utilize the newer meter reading technology. If you have one of these meters, you will not be scheduled to have your meter replaced. If you have one of these meters, please note that you may still receive a meter replacement notification even though your water meter is not scheduled for replacement. Such cases would be due to the mass meter change-out process, and the City apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause. 

Meter installation process:

Homeowners needing their water meter replaced, either through the standard meter replacements or the enhanced program, can expect the notice. Homeowners who receive this notice are asked to call the number indicated on the notification to make an appointment. A typical meter replacement should take approximately 60 minutes but may vary depending on the circumstances. City staff will be driving marked vehicles and be accompanied by photo identification. The meter installed will have an electronic radio transmitter (ERT) attached to it to enable the meter reader to get reads without the need to access your premises.

Homeowners are obligated to provide clear and unobstructed access to the water meter. If there are any boxes or stored items in the way, the City asks that these be cleared before the meter installer’s arrival. If the water meter has been covered by drywall or, for any reason, panelling, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that access to the meter is created. The water meter is property of the City of Quinte West, and clear and free access must be provided.

Frequently asked questions

Neptune technicians participate in daily health screenings, in addition to wearing all necessary protective equipment, each vehicle is equipped with a hand-washing station and sanitizer spray. You will receive more information on the precautions Neptune is taking, and asking homeowners to take, when you are contacted to book your appointment.

To gain efficiency, the City of Quinte West has decided to convert to water meters with radio transmitters. The radio transmitters will allow the City’s meter readers to drive or walk by a property to obtain the reading for each water meter, thus saving time.

Water meters are mechanical devices, and like all mechanical devices, wear with age. For this reason, some meters will be replaced so that the City can ensure that the water meters are providing as accurate measurements as possible.

The water meter replacement project began on Sept. 1, 2016.

We will advise you by letter before the time when your area of the city is scheduled to be completed.

The City is prioritizing meters based on those installed before 2002.  Once these meters are replaced, 2002 and newer meters will be replaced next.  The replacement project may take years to complete as the staff’s replacements will be completed as time and budgets allow.

A City employee or representative will come to your premises and replace the water meter. Water will be temporarily shut off while the water meter is being replaced. The new meter will allow the meter reader to get their regular reads via radio signal and will no longer require access to your premise.

In most cases, it is a simple procedure and should not require more than 60 minutes from start to finish.

Every authorized Neptune technician replacing the water meters will be accompanied with identification including name, picture and ID number, and will be travelling in clearly marked vehicles. 

Yes. Water meters in the City of Quinte West are located inside our customer’s premises. Please ensure that the area is accessible.

A water meter is installed just above the main water shut-off valve in your home. This is usually in the basement and is located on a pipe that comes out of your basement floor. Locate the main water shut-off valve in your basement. It usually has a coloured, round or straight handle. Please clear the area around this valve so installers have full access.

If the water pipe is not exposed, the installer will need to expose it to complete the work. The installer will offer options to finish the installation.

The customer is responsible for the repair of defective plumbing or valves on their property. When such conditions prevent the meter replacement, the customer will be advised of the repairs needed. Once the repairs are completed, the homeowner can contact city hall to make an appointment to change the water meter. The City owns the meter and is responsible for its maintenance and replacement when required.

Yes, there will be a temporary interruption while the meter is being replaced — this typically takes about 60 minutes.

Meter change-outs must occur while the resident or a friend or relative is home. We require that an adult be present during the installation. The installer will not enter your home unless authorized to do so by someone 18 years or older. The installer will not enter your home if your children are alone. A City employee does not have the authority to enter a household without someone at home.

Yes, the new meter is required for future billing.

This is not an option; all required meters will be changed.

There is no charge to individual customers for the meter replacement. The new meters are an investment in our infrastructure that will improve billing efficiency and customer service.

Yes, the new meters will have a digital display to be read manually.

The key to the system is a device called an ERT – Encoder-Receiver-Transmitter. This device is connected directly to a particular electronic register on the water meter. Typically, the ERT does nothing – it “sleeps,” waiting for the meter reader to approach.

The meter reader’s handheld or truck-mounted reading device sends out a “wake up” signal. When an ERT receives the wake-up signal, it checks the reading on the meter register, encodes it into a digital signal, and begins transmitting its identification number and the current reading. After a few minutes, the ERT stops transmitting and goes back “to sleep,” waiting for the next time we need a meter reading.


The handheld device or truck-mounted computer system matches the ERT identification number with each property and records it. The meter reader unloads the information to our billing system.

If you are a tenant, you will be asked to provide the installer with access to the meter. We also ask that you notify the owner of the property about the notification letter you received.

I am an owner and have tenants, but I do not reside at the property. What should I do?

If you have tenants but do not reside on your property, you are responsible for calling the installer for an appointment and providing access to the meter.

No. The water meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner. The City is responsible for all maintenance; however, you should be careful not to damage the water meter by bumping it or pushing boxes against it.

Homeowners have the responsibility to ensure that clear, unobstructed access is provided to the meter if future maintenance needs to be performed.  

Also — as these meters are converted, it is necessary to close both valves on either side of the meter to remove the meter. These valves were purchased and installed by the house owner or building and maintained by the owner. These valves should not leak when they are closed or opened. If the valves have not been operated (opened and closed) in years, you probably should have them replaced or at least have the packing replaced in them because they may leak when we come in to convert the meter. The City is responsible for only our meters, not the valves on either side of the meter. If a leak should occur, it is the owner’s responsibility to repair the valve(s).

No, the new meters will be installed with equipment that transmits meter readings to computer equipment when meter readers walk or drive by your home by radiofrequency. These automated meters eliminate the need to obtain readings directly from the meter and improve efficiency and lower the meter reading program’s cost. With no moving parts, the meters will accurately measure water flow for the meter’s 20-year life.

The radio is a battery-powered device. The battery’s expected life is 20 years, which coincides with the new meter’s expected life.

No, the radio transmissions occur on a frequency different from those used by television signals, cordless phones, garage doors and pacemakers. Also, the transmissions last less than one second.

 Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique identification number is compared to your account record to ensure that there is a match.

No, this type of equipment is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission and transmits extremely low power (less than 1/100th of a watt). Each radio transmission lasts less than one second.

You may be receiving a letter because you are affected by the meter maintenance program. As part of this program Neptune Technology Group will be conducting a water meter site survey to assess the condition and functionality of the water meter located at your property. A typical water meter site survey will take approximately one hour to complete depending on the condition and the complexity of the plumbing. The water service will not be shut down for this appointment.

For more information regarding the Water Meter Replacement Program, please phone 613-392-2841 ext. 4955 or email waterbilling@quintewest.ca.

Last Updated: 1 year ago

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