Letter: Factor in sewer rates when doing water math

I would like to comment on the proposed water/sewer rates.

I would like to comment on the proposed water/sewer rates.

The suggested water rate structure, with consumption up to 30 cubic metres per month being included in the flat rate, strikes me as fair. It offers a reduction of $60 on their annual payment to households that can live within those guidelines, and to those that exceed those guidelines, it offers a cushion to dampen the effect of the surcharge. The fact that in the third quarter of this year the average monthly consumption was nearly 70 cubic metres indicates many residents will need that cushion.

I do not, however, agree with the proposed sewer rates. They should be applied only to water going down the sewer, as sewage treatment is an additional cost. That internal household usage averages out at roughly 12 cubic meters during times of the year when outside use is negligible. The proposal to cap monthly sewer charges at 30 cubic metres for the five high-water-use months is unreasonable, as more than half of that water would not enter the sewage treatment. I suggest a structure based on actual metered readings combined with a cap of 15 cubic metres for those five months, allowing for possibly more showering during hot weather. On that basis, the annual sewer costs in the example given with the last billing work out to $349.56, a slight increase from the current charge of $340.92. That would reduce the water rate cushion to $50. That cushion would have been nearly wiped out by the proposed sewage rates. The analysis in last week’s paper is misleading, as both, water and sewer rates need to be considered.

Walter Volovsek

Castlegar

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