Utility Rates Review

Water and Sewer Rates

In 2018 an exhaustive review of water and sewer utility rates was undertaken by experts in the industry, with the aim to make sure each utility is sustainable for the next generation. The study:

  • Determined how much it costs to provide each service (things like operations, maintenance, capital construction and administration)
  • Determined how much each type of customer (residential, commercial, multi-unit residential) should pay
  • Recommended the implementation of water meters for all users
  • Recommended sewer charges be calculated on a fixed charge plus a variable amount based on water use
  • Recommended the implementation of sewer metering for all marina sani-dumps

Based on these findings, changes to the rates are proposed over 5 years to make sure these vital services will continue for our community.

What does this mean for customers?

The rate changes could mean different things, depending on what type of customer you are. The water utility requires more revenue to be sustainable therefore rate increases have been implemented.  The Sewer utility has sufficient funds; however, the billing methodology has now been aligned with the water utility, which changes the distribution of billing. The changes on your billing is over a five-year period (2019-2023). Most District utility customers fall under three broad categories:

Residential customers: The change to water rates would see the average annual bill increase by $60 over five years, with annual average increases ranging from 2.4% to 3.9%. While the change to sewer rates would be very minimal, with the average annual bill only increasing by $18 (5%) over a five-year period.

Commercial customers: The size of your water meter determines whether you are classified as a small commercial customer versus a commercial customer.  A small commercial customer would see the average annual water bill increase by $126 and the average annual sewer bill increase by $80, both over a five-year period, with a combined annual average increase ranging from 1.6% to 4.3%.  A commercial customer would see the average annual water bill increase by $272 and the average annual sewer bill decrease by $27, both over five years, with a combined annual average increase ranging from -6.4% to 3.7%.

Multi-unit residential customers: The size of your water meter and number of units determines whether you are classified as a multi-unit customer versus a large multi-unit customer.  There is a rate shift from sewer to water for this rate class.  A multi-unit customer would see the average annual water bill increase by $2,790 and the average annual sewer bill increase by $21, both over a five-year period, with a combined annual average increase ranging from 2.6% to 12.4%.  A large multi-unit customer would see the average annual water bill increase by $6,719 and the average annual sewer bill decrease by $2,852, both over five years, with a combined annual average change ranging from 2.3% to 4.5%.

When would this come into effect?

Rate changes would be phased in over 5 years starting in 2019 – this helps customers plan for costs in the years to come.

What are the new rates for 2019?

Do I get a say?

Yes. You are welcome to provide your thoughts and comments in writing to the District Office or via email to kbennett@sicamous.ca no later than August 31. All feedback will be compiled and presented to Council before a decision is made. For questions or more information, call Kelly Bennett, Chief Financial Officer, at 250-836-2477. 

Water & Sewer Rate Changes