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City water and wastewater bills going up by two per cent

Posted on Tuesday March 20, 2018

New water and wastewater rates are on tap for the City of St. Catharines.

St. Catharines water bills will go up by 1.98 per cent after City Council passed the 2018 water and wastewater budget, including the new rates for water and sewer services, after a public meeting last night. The increased rates mean water and wastewater bills will be about $15 more for the average user consuming 170 cubic meters of water a year. The rate increase is comparable to the rate of inflation.

“Providing clean, safe water is one of the most important services that a city provides,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik. “The 2018 water and wastewater budget balances water conservation with the need to maintain essential water and sewer infrastructure, providing clean, healthy drinking water for our residents.”

The new water rates come into effect April 1. City Water and wastewater bills are made up of fixed charges and variable rates. The 2018 fixed rates will be $156 for water and $96 for wastewater. Both fixed rates are up $3 each over 2017. The 2018 variable rate will be $1.224 per cubic meter for water and $1.89 per cubic meter for wastewater.

The City’s water system is fully-funded by the water and wastewater rates users pay and doesn’t rely on property taxes. Fixed charges cover yearly upgrades to the City’s water system, such as replacing water pipes and sewers. Variable rates are charged based on the amount of water customers use.

“We are committed to keeping our water and wastewater systems self-sustaining in spite of declining water usage and revenues while keeping rate increases modest for our customers,” said Kristine Douglas, director for the City’s Financial Management Services and City Treasurer. “We continue our commitment to being an affordable city for young people, families and retired older adults by keeping the 2018 water and wastewater rates increase at an increase that’s comparable to inflation.”

The City will continue to develop water and wastewater budgets that meet provincial guidelines requiring these systems be funded through their own separate rates, invest in infrastructure and keep rates affordable for residents.

More information on the City’s water and wastewater budget is available at

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines