The City of Toronto has started a programme to replace all its water meters city-wide with an automated meter reading (AMR) system.

The programme will take six years to complete at a cost of Ca$228.5 million (US$225 million), and will cover approximately 465,000 water services.

Based on 2006 total water consumption and 2007 water rates, the City is losing approximately Ca$28 million (US$27.6 million) per year in revenue due to aging and inaccurate water meter infrastructure.

Once the AMR system is implemented an estimated Ca$33 million (US$32.5 million) per year is expected to be realised through a combination of additional revenues and operational efficiencies. Accordingly the project should pay for itself in approximately seven years.

The prime contractor for the programme is Neptune Technology Canada, which will supply and install lead-free meters with either ProRead or E-Coder absolute encoder registers as well as an Aclara STAR wireless fixed network system.

The company also will provide data repository capabilities to enable both City staff and customers to access up to seven years of meter reading information over the internet.

The extent of the programme includes universal metering of over 70,000 flat rate residential accounts, replacement or upgrade of over 380,000 residential meters, and almost 15,000 large meters for industrial, commercial and institutional accounts.

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