Saanich plans to set it's sewer and water utility rates at Monday's council meeting. Residents will likely see another hike in rates to help fund an infrastructure replacement plan.

Faced with aging pipes, Saanich water, sewer rates pegged to rise

Average Saanich home will have $722 water, sewer bill in 2013

Turning on your sink will cost 57 per cent more next year than it did in 2008. What’s more, flushing your toilet will cost 62 per cent more than it did five years earlier.

Saanich residents are now paying hundreds of dollars more for water and sewers than they did just a few years back after annual incremental increases of eight to 15 per cent for both services.

Saanich council was expected to approve the 2013 utility rates at Monday night’s council meeting.

Much of the increase is attributed to Saanich’s infrastructure replacement plan.

“It’s been a significant policy for us now for more than 10 years to fix up the aging infrastructure,” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “We’ve got a lot of old pipes underground, whether they’re water or sewer, and we’re aggressively saying (not replacing them is) not good enough. It’s a choice of not giving a liability to our children, but a community with infrastructure that’s an asset.”

Next year, the cost of sending one cubic metre of effluent into the sewer system will be $0.83 – an increase of $0.32 since 2008. Next year’s water rate, per cubic metre, is set at $1.34, a $0.49 increase since 2008.

Combined, the average Saanich homeowner will pay an average $55 more next year for the two services than in 2012. Of that increase, about $40 is earmarked for infrastructure replacement.

The remaining $15 is broken into increases to Capital Regional District bulk water costs, CRD operating and debt costs, and Saanich operating costs.

By comparison, in 2007 the average annual bill for sewer and water was $311. In 2013, that bill will be $722. (Saanich switched to consumption-based sewer bills in 2008, which resulted in, on average, sewer rates twice as high than on a homeowner’s 2007 bill.)

Leonard says the increases to account for infrastructure replacement will flatline in the coming years (2016 for water; 2018 for sewage), at which point “spending levels equals the amount that the infrastructure is deteriorating,” he said. “It’s reaching a spending level where you’re replacing it as it depreciates and you’re no longer falling behind.”

Next spring, once budget talks are complete, Saanich residents will also likely see property taxes increase to account for operational costs, infrastructure replacement, and new infrastructure costs. Property taxes rose $65.30 for the average Saanich home in 2012.


Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read