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Mayor Column October 2016

East Gwillimbury residents have questions about water bills - October 27

Over the last few months I have talked to many residents about their water bills. East Gwillimbury (EG) residents receive water bills on a three month cycle, but, it seems like many do not know where their money goes or why there are two charges on the bill. It is important you understand your bill and why it is structured the way it is. As always, if you have questions please contact our Customer Service Centre at the town who are always available and willing to answer any questions you may have. 

Firstly, every bill is made up of both metered and delivery charges. The delivery charge is a fixed rate which ensures the water and sewer pipes are maintained in good working order, and that the water is safe. It also pays for the repairs and eventual replacement of these pipes. The metered portion of your bill is the cost of water used and removal of sewage. 

To break this down, approximately half of the money that is brought in through water bills will cover the cost that the town pays the Region to supply water to EG. Roughly 35 per cent pays for the day to day operation of the water and wastewater system, including water testing and maintenance. The remaining 16 per cent covers the cost of putting the pipes in place to bring water and remove sewage from your home and ensures the infrastructure can be updated as required. 

It is through the metered charge on your bill that a variance in bills can occur. High usage, such as in a hot summer season like the one we just experienced, can affect the amount of water consumed and the related charges. However, there are other culprits as well such as leaking toilets or excessive cycling of water softeners they may cause higher than expected bills. A leaking toilet tank can waste up to 200 cubic metres of water in a year.  That’s almost as much water as the average family uses in a year. If you suspect you have a leaking toilet, you can pick up dye tabs from the town office that will assist you in assessing the leak. 

Another topic I am often asked about is growth and if current residents are paying for the cost of new infrastructure in new developments. The answer is no. The developers are required to install and pay for the construction of all the new water and sewer pipes being installed.

The other big question is whether residents are paying for the “big pipe” being constructed down 2nd Concession. Again, the answer is no. The sewage pipe is owned and operated by York Region and is being funded by developers as part of the York Durham Sewage System.  

I hope this was helpful in answering some of your questions. The final bit of information I will share is a reminder about the importance of water conservation. Not only can you save yourself money, but you can have a positive impact on our environment. Visit waterfortomorrow.ca for helpful conservation tips and to learn more about water in our Region.