SEPTEMBER 13, 2011

About 2,000 water meters have been installed in Kamloops homes now as the City’s program to put one in every house moves into its third month.

City utilities director David Duckworth said Tuesday the main concern raised has been around the radio frequency emissions from the meters.

A few people have said they’re worried it could have health effects, he said.

The City gives those people two options. They can pay the cost of installing a water meter in a pit in the front of their property, so the meter isn’t in their house, or they can have a non-radio meter installed in their home and pay $25 every quarter to have a City employee drive there to read it.

Duckworth said the transmission is 10 times below Health Canada’s acceptable guidelines at a distance of 20 centimetres from the radio device; that drops to 250 times below the guidelines at one metre away and 2,000 times below the guidelines at three metres.

A tiny percentage of people do have sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, so the City will ask someone who has concerns to monitor how they feel for a week or so with the radio emitter removed to see if it makes a difference.

Duckworth said one woman complained of headaches. Even with the radio emitter removed, she still had problems so she insisted the meter be installed outside her house. She paid the $1,000 for the pit installation.