Radio Frequency Safety

Water Meter Radio-read Transmitters

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), radio waves and microwaves emitted by transmitting antennas are one form of electromagnetic energy. They are collectively referred to as “radiofrequency” or “RF energy”. Based on years of studying whether radio waves cause health effects, the FCC has adopted Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limits for radio transmitters of all types, including radio-read transmitters like those used with our water meters. SAR limits include a prudent margin of safety just in case some health effects are too subtle to have been detected. A few facts about the Water Meter Radio-read transmitters in use by the Water Department:

  • Sensus FlexNet Radio-read technology operates over FCC licensed spectrum and is in complete compliance with FCC rules and regulations.
  • Radio-read transmitters are typically installed on an exterior wall of the home or business, reducing RF exposure.
  • Radio-read transmitters are comparable in power to cellular devices; however, RF exposure from the transmitter is exponentially lower due to the distance from the device and attenuation from intervening objects (i.e. exterior wall).
  • Radio-read transmitters operate far below the FCC’s SAR limit and typically transmit meter data for less than one second each day.

More information about the Sensus FlexNet Radio-read transmitters and Automatic Metering Infrastructure in use by the Water Department can be found here.

For more information about understanding radio frequency and the electromagnetic fields they generate, please see the FCC and other agency links below.

For more information on whether these devices interfere with pacemakers and other medical devices, please read the FDA statement on Interference with Pacemakers and Other Medical Devices.

Federal Communications Commission

Radio Frequency Safety FAQ
Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio frequency Electromagnetic Fields

Food and Drug Administration

No Evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors
Interference with Pacemakers and Other Medical Devices
Radiation-Emitting Products

World Health Organization

Electromagnetic fields and public health: Base stations and wireless technologies
Electromagnetic fields and public health: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity
Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones
Database of Worldwide EMF Standards
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
WHO and IEEE EMF research database
WHO worldwide standards

Other International Organizations

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRP)
IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society