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In Toronto, it is mandatory for all property owners to have a water meter installed on any pipe that delivers water into the building.
The City of Toronto recently completed a six-year capital project to install automated water meters in every home and business. The new meters:
- Send water use information directly to the City for billing and administration.
- Eliminate the need for property owners or City staff to take manual readings.
- Provide a more accurate, fair and efficient way to administer water use in Toronto.
Where to Find the Meter & How it Works
Water meters are typically located in the basement, along the front wall and near the floor. Other common places include basement washrooms, laundry rooms and furnace rooms.
Water meters contain a disk that revolves inside a chamber, much like an odometer on your car. As the water passes through the chamber, the disk turns to track your water use in cubic meters.
The average household uses approximately 765 L of water per day. If you are using more than that, you may wish to look at your water use behaviour, or might have a private plumbing leak. See how to spot a leak and get tips to save water.
About the automated system
Meters are connected to transmitter, which sends water use information directly to a secure data collection unit for billing and administration.
- Smaller, residential meters send water meter readings four times a day.
- Larger accounts that use more water send readings every hour.
- Each transmission is 0.25 seconds in length. Once a reading is sent, transmitters completely turn off.
- Transmitters do not send personal information. They only transmit the water meter serial number and consumption data.
- Transmitters run on batteries that are meant to last 20 years. If the battery dies ahead of schedule, Toronto Water will contact you to make arrangements to replace it.
- The radio frequency used by the transmitter is a licensed frequency on which only water meters can operate.
- The frequency is 450-470MHz and is licensed by Industry Canada.
- Toronto Public Health has reviewed the frequencies and concluded that the levels are well below Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guidelines and the City’s policy of prudent avoidance.
- More from Toronto Public Health on meter frequencies.
- All meters have been tested for accuracy by the manufacturer. The City also randomly tests new meters as they arrive. More about meter accuracy.
Requesting a New or Larger Water Meter
If you are installing a new pipe and require a meter:
- In order to get a water meter, you must apply and pay for the water service pipe first. See how to purchase a new water service. Once this is done, you will be given a Customer Service Request (CSR) number.
- Once you have your CSR number, you will need to open a utility account. This can be done by contacting Revenue Services at 311.
- Once you have your utility account number, please contact 416-338-1616 to arrange for meter pick up. Meters can be picked up at the Water Meter Office (below) assigned to your ward.
If the meter is damaged and you need a replacement:
- Please contact 416-338-1616 to arrange for drop-off.
- Please note there is a fee to replace damaged meters, which is determined by Toronto City Council annually and is dependent on the size of the meter.
Meters must be installed within 7 days of drop-off. At the time of drop-off, the City will make an appointment to inspect and seal the meter.
Water Meter Leaks & Service Requests
Who to call
- Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., call 416-338-1616.
- For weekends or after hour emergencies, please contact 311.
The City is not responsible for leaks to pipes or the main water shut-off valve. If one of these items is leaking, you may wish to contact a private plumber.
Fees for stolen or damaged meters
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure the meter is protected. If during a service request, it is discovered that the meter is damaged, frozen or missing, property owners will be charged a fee. Fees are determined by Toronto City Council on an annual basis and are dependent on the size of the meter. Please contact 416-338-1616 for more information.
To Have a Meter Removed for Demolition
Toronto Water is responsible for removing water meters prior to demolition of a home or building.
Meters cannot be removed on the day of demolition; you must call ahead so that staff can visit the site prior to demolition.
To speak to someone about meter removal, please contact 416-338-1616 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.