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Water Meters

The Water Meter – Q & A

How does the water meter work?

East Gwillimbury uses positive displacement water meters so customers can be assured that volumes billed accurately represents the water usage in the home.

The Town uses two different water meters; one is read by way of an external wall mounted touch pad and the second uses radio frequency remote reading.

Water meters are tested to ensure compliance with the American Water Works Standard for Cold-Water Meters before each meter leaves the factory.

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Positive displacement water meters accurately measure water by filling a chamber on one side of the meter which then spins and discharges water on the other side of the meter. This spinning action is registered on the meter and reflected on the water bill. Water must flow through the meter for the register to change.

An analogy would be holding a bucket below a tap, filling it, then quickly replacing it with another bucket and recording the total number of buckets for the totalized flow.

Why is my water bill so high?

Here are some reasons why your bill may be higher than previous billing periods:

  • The Town adjusts water rates effective April first of each year. This ensures the Town’s drinking water system is financially sustainable in accordance with provincial regulations. The water rates include the purchase of water from York Region, operating and maintenance costs as well as any capital expenditures and life-cycle replacements of the water system infrastructure.
  • Season fluctuations along with outdoor water usage are another source of increased water consumption.
  • Faulty equipment such as a leaking toilet tank, regenerating water softener or running an exterior garden hose can result in a higher than expected water bill.

Note: Only the water that runs through the water meter is reflected on your water bill.

When am I billed for water consumption in my home?

Water consumption is recorded approximately every 90 days by our water meter-reader personnel. If the water meter was unable to be read a notice is left on your door requesting that you contact the Town to investigate the cause and to make repairs.

This water consumption (in cubic metres – M3) of water is then billed to the property owner quarterly based upon the rates in effect during the billing period.

What is a cubic metre (M3) of water?

A cubic metre (M3) of water is 1,000 litres of potable, safe drinking water or approximately 2,000 bottles of water.

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I think my water meter is faulty because my bill too high!

As noted above, the Town uses water meters that only record the volume of water that flows through the water meter. All water meters are certified to register accurately when the meters are manufactured.

The Town’s water works By-law # 2015-104 has a provision for water meter testing if you feel the water meter in your home is faulty. Below is an extract from the By-Law:


(1) A meter will be removed and tested upon request. If it is found to register correctly or not in excess of three per cent in favour of the Corporation, the expense of removing and testing of the meter will be paid for by the person requesting such test.

(2) If a meter when tested is found to register in excess of three per cent in favour of the Corporation, a refund will be made to the consumer or an amount equal to such excess percentage of the water rates paid for the three months prior to the testing of said meter. Provided, however, that no reduction shall be made which will reduce the water rates for the three months prior to the testing of such meter below the minimum water rates fixed by Council.

Please note: A $50 deposit is required to test the water meter. If the water meter is found to register in excess of three per cent in favour of the Town the $50 deposit is returned and the water bill is adjusted in accordance with the By-Law. If the water meter is found to register correctly, the deposit is forfeited and the balance of cost associated with the meter removal and testing is billed against the property. This will amount to an additional charge of $733 (for a 19mm meter). Upon payment of the deposit the Water Department will contact you to arrange for the removal and testing of the disputed water meter.