The city of North Battleford’s intention to convert the city’s existing water meters into Advanced Metre Infrastructure (AMI) meters hit a snag recently with one property.
At their council meeting on Monday, it was learned a resident at one property suffers from electrohypersensitivity (EHS), and did not want AMI meters installed out of concern the radio signals could trigger the condition. This condition is also known as electro magnetic hypersensitivity.
According to a memo from Director of City Operations Stewart Schafer, Mayor David Gillan met with a family member about the issue, at which time a letter was produced describing the condition. A request was made for the original meter to be left in place.
Schafer admitted they were not aware of the condition, and administration members proceeded to contact a number of health officials and agencies.
The indication they got back was that while electrohypersensitivity does exist, they believe AMI meters do not trigger the condition. Several websites identified in Schafer’s report also indicated a connection to health risks from exposure to smart meters has not been established.
Schafer sought direction from administration on what to do in this situation. One option suggested is to install the AMI meter transmitter at a location farther away outside the house instead of indoors.
The other option is to install a touch pad within the residence, with the homeowner paying all costs for each water read. But the issue is the cost of the touch pad and touch pad reader, which is upwards of $3,600.
Also, Mayor Gillan noted that in his discussions with the homeowners, placement of the AMI meter outside “doesn’t help.”
City Manager Randy Patrick suggested tabling the issue to the next council meeting, so that more information could be gathered and a potential solution found.