Concerned about wireless “smart” meters

Wireless water meter in my home. I voiced my concern with the District of Sparwood.

Over the last few months I have been hesitant to install the new wireless water meter in my home. I voiced my concern with the District of Sparwood early in the year, indicating that I questioned the safety of the wireless communication, and hoped there would be other options. So far our options are limited: provide a doctor’s note and independently fund a different setup (potentially costing up to $3,800), or have the wireless meter installed and get shielding for it, which is largely ineffective because a signal still gets through to their receivers.

Technically, the radio frequency (RF) that is released by wireless meters is much lower than what a cell phone transmits, but this RF is transmitted every minute of every day. Where is the evidence that this continuous low dose radiation is safe? There is none. As opposed to cell phones and other wireless technology that we allow in our homes, we cannot turn off the water meter’s transmission. Are we not given any choice or freedom to decide what gets installed in our own homes?

America alone has at least 9.8 million people suffering from electrosensitivity. Electrosensitivity can include a number of conditions, including, but not limiting to, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, eye problems, sleep disorders, headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue and heart palpitations. Just recently (May 31, 2011) the World Health Organization issued a press release classifying RF electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as a Group 2B carcinogen (on par with lead and DDT).

I decided to investigate wireless meter safety further, and to my surprise this is not a new concern.  Communities in Canada and the U.S. have been rallying against the installation of wireless meters over the last few years. In California alone, nine counties and 33 cities/towns are opposed to the mandatory wireless  “smart” meter program, and this isn’t just because of health concerns. People are worried about privacy, security, human rights violations, environmental impact, and financial costs, just to name a few. Some of this opposition has been followed by moratoriums in the U.S. which will allow further investigation into wireless meters and give people more time to become informed.  Friends in B.C. have sent me links to wireless meter opposition in their communities, but as always our voices are hushed by complicated government and industry politics. What happened to democracy? I understand the need to conserve water but don’t individuals have the right to decide what enters their homes anymore?

Why didn’t we vote on wireless water meters, and why were there no options? Are we going to let the utilities push us around? BC Hydro and Fortis smart meters are next. How much more radiation can we take, especially those who are more vulnerable to it, like our children and young adults?  Continuous radiation exposure should be choice, not a mandatory requirement.

Anyone with questions or interest in putting the installation of wireless meters on hold (for any reason or concern), please contact me at

Sarina Karow


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