Water Rates The Strathcona Regional District is focused on delivering a more sustainable water system for Electoral Area D. This involves pursuing grant funding opportunities and ensuring that the rates charged are able to cover the costs of bulk water purchased from the City of Campbell River, as well as ongoing operations, capital maintenance and upgrades to the water system.
The recent rate increases reflect the true cost of delivering a potable, reliable water supply.Reasonable water rates will be achieved by working together. Ongoing water conservation efforts and maintaining or reducing current consumption is the best option to keep costs down. The less water we use, the less we need to purchase.
On April 10, 2019, the Regional Board passed a bylaw to amend the water rates to meet the adopted 2019-2023 financial plan as required under the Local Government Act to cover the cost of providing the service.
Here is a comparison of the 2018 and 2019 rates:
|Residential – per cubic meter||$1.36||$1.56|
|Residential – user fee||$415||$480|
|Non-Residential – per cubic meter||$1.45||$1.67|
|Non-Residential – user fee||$450||$520|
|Residential – user fee||$800||$920|
|Non-Residential – user fee||$1,200||$1,380|
Electoral Area D Water Rates FAQ
Why have the rates increased?
The cost for this service has significantly increased in the past five years as the cost of purchasing bulk water has increased, as well as ongoing increases to consumption of water in Electoral Area D. The SRD purchases water from the City of Campbell River at a bulk water rate per cubic meter and this rate has been increasing over the past five years.
As of 2019, the SRD has fully transitioned to the double user rate for those outside the City’s boundary. Consumption of water in the northern Electoral Area D has been increasing significantly in recent years: in 2014, users consumed 655,788 cubic meters of water and in 2018 the usage was 861,722 cubic meters.
What methods of payment are accepted?
Email billing – Utility invoices can be received through email. Please contact the SRD at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-830-2990 or 250-830-6717 to set this up.
On-line banking – Paying online is available using your bank’s bill payment service.
Mail cheque – Cheques with detachable portion of bill can be mailed to #301 – 990 Cedar Street, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 7Z8. Cheques can be postdated to the due date.
In person payment – Visit the SRD Customer Service Centre located at #103 – 990 Cedar Street, Campbell River, B.C. and pay by debit card, Visa, Mastercard, cheque or cash.
What is the billing cycle for Area D water?
Non-metered properties – Are on a semi-annual billing cycle starting in 2018, receiving first invoice in May (residential users will be billed $460) and second invoice in the fall for an equivalent amount.
Metered properties – Are billed on a quarterly basis.
What is SRD doing to manage costs for providing this service?
The SRD submitted a $2.4 million grant application in fall 2018 to install water meters for all residents on the Electoral Area D water system. Universal water meters will provide greater information on water consumption per individual property and help identify any potential issues in the water distribution system such as water leaks.
The SRD also has some key projects in its 2019 financial plan, including $30,000 to update the water system study from 2012 that will provide current information on water infrastructure needs to ensure the SRD is grant submission ready for future water infrastructure programs, and will also ensure that the SRD has current information to utilize available funding to maintain the system in the most efficient manner.
Lastly, the SRD has $630,000 of capital improvements planned for the system in 2019. $100,000 to upgrade the water pressure in Craig Rd area, and $530,000 to install new bulk water meters that connect to the City’s water system to again ensure that the SRD has accurate information to measure consumption and identify any potential concerns with the water infrastructure. Both of these projects are funded by SRD’s Community Works Fund Gas Tax Grants.
Do water user rates pay for other SRD costs and services?
No. All SRD’s services are self-funding, meaning all tax requisitions or utility rates are utilized to provide that particular service and cannot be used for other purposes. Any surpluses in that service are transferred to reserve to cover future costs, fund capital improvements, or provide matching grant funds.
Of the costs to maintain the Area D water service, 65-75 per cent fund bulk water purchases, 15-20 per cent fund operations and maintenance of the system, and the remaining 5-20 per cent fund other operating costs and reserve transfers to offset future capital and maintenance costs.
Can I install a water meter and move to the metered rate?
Residents of Electoral Area D can pay $1,500 to have a water meter installed on their property and move to a metered rate which would ensure that property owners are only paying the annual user fee ($480 for residential properties) plus the actual cost of their water consumption ($1.56 per cubic meter for residential properties).
For more information regarding water meters, email email@example.com or call 250-830-6719.
What is the water charge on my property taxes for?
The Electoral Area D water service is funded by a combination of utility user fees (explained above) and property tax requisition.
The property tax requisition for water is based on the assessed value of your home therefore high valued properties will pay more than a lower valued property. The tax rate estimate for 2019 for Electoral Area D water service requisition is $0.9228 per $1,000 of assessed property value. On an estimated average value property in Area D of $450,000, this provides an annual water service property tax requisition of $415.
When must water bills be paid?
Amounts must be paid within 30 days of invoice.
Non-metered properties – The full user fee amount ($920 for residential properties) must be paid by year-end.
Metered properties – The full user fee amount ($480 for residential properties), plus the actual amount for water used (currently billed at $1.56 per cubic meter for residential properties), must be paid by year-end.
Any amounts outstanding by year-end will be transferred to the Province for collection and start to accrue interest. The Surveyor of Taxes will send reminders early in the new year for amounts owing, and then any unpaid balances will be included on the property tax notice.
The SRD invoices for utilities are for the fiscal year issued; any amounts owing from previous years are due to the Surveyor of Taxes.
How can SRD reduce future water bills?
The cost of bulk water is 65-75% of the costs of providing the water service to northern Electoral Area D residents, therefore, water conservation is a key measure to maintain or reduce costs of running the service. The less water we use, the less water we need to purchase. The SRD started an extensive water conservation education program in 2018, which will continue in 2019 given the success and stabilizing the ongoing consumption increases experienced in recent years.
I still have some questions, who should I contact?
|Report a leak||Property Services Representative||250-830-6718|
|Report a water or system problem||Property Services Representative||250-830-6718|
|Request a medical exemption||Property Services Representative||250-830-6718|
|Ask about budget or water rates||Chief Financial Officer||250-830-6705|
|Request a meter installation||Environmental Services Coordinator||250-830-6719|
|Request a new lawn permit||Water Hotline||250-203-1820 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ask about water conservation or irrigation bylaw||Water Hotline||250-203-1820 or email@example.com|
|Report an irrigation bylaw contravention||Water Hotline||250-203-1820 or firstname.lastname@example.org|