Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The 22.5% solution

A 22.5% jump in water rates now rewards water conservation. It has nothing to do with the fact that earlier this fall city management said revenues were down because of low water consumption. And they forget to mention that coupled with the water rate is sewer and ever-increasing infrastructure charges. If 4.8 is coming in 2010 that leaves 17.7 to phase in during 2011 and 2012. I'm betting the majority of the 17.7% comes in 2011 - they won't want a huge increase in 2012, it being an election year. We voters need time to forget this prior to the next civic election.

The good news for me is that the $18.98 I pay monthly for infrastructure charges is a bargain given the number of times they dig up my street every year to repair my aged water/sewer lines.

I have one question. Is there a credit given to those homes that are advised to run their water for 10 minutes every morning before drinking it due to possible lead contamination from the old pipes?


  1. Here's the letter I sent to council yesterday:

    I just thought I'd write a brief e-mail to you regarding the news item today on the radio about water rates. The media is reporting that the administration wants to raise water rates 7.5 % each of the next 3 years because... city residents are conserving water!

    This sounds very backwards to me. First off, this year was an aberration because of the cool, wet spring which definitely would have decreased the amount of water used outside. If this is what is causing this projection, I think it is off. Secondly, in this day and age where we are constantly being urged to use less resources and be more environmentally friendly, it seems like a slap in the face of citizens who are installing low-flow shower heads, modern toilets and new front-loading washing machines.

    I can imagine the fixed costs for a water system are more than of say an energy utility but surely there must be some efficiencies to be recognized with less water used? Or maybe it is time to get truly inventive and look at what parts of the system could be outsourced to private industry for tender? I'm just thinking 22.5% over 3 years is unacceptable, especially with all the other 'temporary' storm sewer rates that have been piled on over the last few years.

    Thanks for consideration of my e-mail.

  2. At least they are removing the incentive to use more water.

  3. So maybe now is the time the city moves to a two line system. One potable and one not. For years I have wondered why we would put treated(drinkable) water on our lawns and used for washing our cars etc. Now it appears that if I want to keep my yard (and in doing so the city) GREEN, I will be punished even more. So I guess the city will be brown next year and the sod companies will be shut down in favor of rock or concrete. This is what happens when the city administration run a utility as a business and rely on sales to make a profit. If anyone doesn't see this as a tax increase they are kidding themselves. Any councilor that votes for this increase is voting in a tax increase mill rate or not.

  4. How will building an entire duplicitous water infrastructure for non-pottable water save users money?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.