Water meters

The Quebec government’s Strategy for Drinking Water Conservation (the Stratégie québécoise d’économie d’eau potable or SQEEP) aims to reduce the consumption of drinking water throughout the province. Municipalities are required to comply with the requirements of the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH) to achieve the strategy’s objectives.

Commercial, industrial and institutional

One of the actions of this strategy involves the installation of water meters in high water consumers, namely industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) buildings. Accordingly, every building in Saint-Lambert intended in whole or in part for industrial, commercial, or institutional use must be equipped with a water meter. The meter is supplied and installed by the City.


At the request of the MAMH, the Ville de Saint-Lambert is required to collect statistical data on residential drinking water consumption. To comply with this directive, the Ville de Saint-Lambert must install water meters in a sampling of residences representative of the territory to obtain a true picture of water consumption within the municipality.

To meet its obligations as well as reduce the number of meters that must be installed in residents’ homes, the Ville de Saint-Lambert has reached an agreement with the MAMH to install only 112 meters in residential buildings of varying sizes, rather than the strategy’s stipulated 380, and to measure water consumption in two primarily residential areas. The first will be the Upper Edison sector and the second, the Préville sector around Du Dauphiné Street. The amount of water used in these neighbourhoods will be measured via the municipality’s water meter chamber.

Carte des secteurs
Since the adoption of the Règlement sur les compteurs d’eau (2023-227), selected residential buildings of 10 dwellings or more have been required to install a water meter.


Quebec’s Strategy for Drinking Water Conservation sets targets with regard to the quantity of water distributed and residential consumption. The goal for residential consumption is to achieve a level of consumption equal to or below the Ontario or Canadian average, according to the specific characteristics of the municipality.

Saint-Lambert’s performance indicators do meet the targets. The city’s average residential consumption in recent years has been estimated at around 400 L/pers./day, while the average residential consumption in Ontario is estimated at less than 200 L/pers./day. Therefore, as stipulated in Quebec’s Strategy, the Ville de Saint-Lambert is required to measure water consumption in non-residential buildings and estimate residential consumption through sampling.

Along with more accurate residential consumption figures, we will also automatically have a better understanding of where water is being lost and where leaks are occurring in our network, since: TC = NRC + RC + L.

  • TC = Total consumption (measured at the filtration plant)
  • NRC = Non-residential consumption (measured at meters already in place)
  • RC = Residential consumption
  • L = Losses

Besides voluntary metering, buildings will be selected at random based on the number of dwellings they have, to obtain a representative sample of the city as a whole. As was mentioned, the sole purpose of installing these meters is to gain a better understanding of water consumption in the residential sector and to meet ministerial requirements.

Since the adoption of the Règlement sur les compteurs d’eau (2023-227), you are required to install a water meter if you are designated and your building has 10 or more dwellings. Only the City reserves the right to cancel the installation of a water meter at a particular building.

No. The cost of installing the meters will be borne by the City. The meters remain the property of the City.

No. The sole purpose of installing these meters is to better understand water consumption in the residential sector and to meet ministerial requirements. You will not be billed for your personal water consumption.

No. The installation of a water meter will have no direct impact on your tax bill. The data collected from these meters will be used to obtain statistics on the population’s water consumption and give us a more accurate picture of the situation.

After scheduling an appointment that is convenient for the homeowner, a city technician will come and install the water meter. In most cases, this will only take a few hours, during which time the building’s water supply will be shut off. Typically, installing a water meter of less than 3 inches takes about 3 hours.

The installation will be carried out in such a way as to minimize the space occupied by the meter and make as few changes as possible to the location. The meter will be installed inside the building, as close as possible to the main drinking water shut-off valve on the water inlet.

Once the water meter is installed, readings will be taken remotely, without having to enter the building.

Approximately 30 meters will be installed before December 15, 2023. The remaining 100 will be installed between April and September of 2024.

The meters will be read remotely using a communications antenna that will transmit the data to the city.

Most of the meters will be equipped with a radio frequency transmitter that emits signals between 908 and 927 MHz. Where consumption is very high, some meters will have a cellular transmitter that will use the LTE-M network, which can transmit signals of between 1.4 and 20 MHz.

Individual consumption data for each home will remain confidential. Only the average consumption of the residential stock will be published on the City’s website. The homeowner will be able to view the reading displayed directly on their own water meter at any time.

The owner of the building where the water meter is installed is responsible for protecting it from premature damage such as vandalism, theft, fire, freezing, and impact.

The water meter and its remote reading interface belong to the City and must not be manipulated by residents or a building’s janitor, where applicable.

In the event of an emergency, such as a leak, you will always have access to a valve that shuts off the water flowing to the meter. The owner must notify the City of any failure or malfunction of the meter. The City will then arrange for repairs to be made. The owner must allow the City access to the meter if it requires servicing.

A well-functioning meter makes very little noise, and none at all when no water is being used, as the flow indicator that measures the water is not spinning.

The drinking water inlet is the pipe connecting your home to the municipal water supply, which provides your home’s drinking water (for faucets, toilets, washing machines, etc.). It is usually located in your foundation or the floor of your basement (if you have one) at the front of the building. If your home is equipped with a fire protection system, the water inlet could be connected to the fire water inlet pipe. This type of inlet is usually located in a room often referred to as the “sprinkler room.” The main indoor shut-off valve is located at the point where the drinking water inlet pipe enters the building. This is the valve that must be shut off to cut off the building’s water supply.

Each case will be assessed individually, but if the work involves cutting into a wall, the opening will be minimal, and a door or an access hatch will be installed to conceal the opening.

The homeowner must inform the next owner that the property is fitted with a water meter. The new owner must assume his or her responsibilities in accordance with the City’s by-laws.

Further information

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact us at eau@saint-lambert.ca or 450 672-4444.

Consult the Règlement sur les compteurs d'eau (2023-227)

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