Kelowna water rates set to rise

Another four per cent rate increase is expected the next year.

Water is going to get a bit pricier in Kelowna with council approving a four per cent hike in the monthly water rate, moving the cost from $44.57 to $46.09 for the typical single-family household in the first year.

Another four per cent rate increase is expected the next year.

Raising the rate by four per cent on a steady basis allows the city to avoid a big rate jump when large capital expenses arise, Kevin Van Vilet, the city’s utility services manager, told council Monday when the rate hike was approved.

“(Kelowna’s) water rates are very competitive,” said Van Vilet. “We have some of the cheapest water for homeowners in Canada. One reason (for that) is our great staff and the other is that our water is clean enough that we don’t have to filter it. That’s why it’s worth it to deal with storm water management and wastewater management, and we can defer need to filter water for as long as possible.”

READ MORE: WATER RATES ON THE RISE

While the cost is low in comparison to other cities, Coun. Luke Stack pointed out that it’s a good idea to let people know why they’re paying more— particularly that the incremental rise in cost is a capital improvement fee that will allow the system to be maintained going forward.

“People think water is expensive but know how important it is,” Stack said, letting them in on costs and how the system is being maintained allows them to not feel like they’re just being squeezed.

In addition to the rate increase, council discussed the hundreds of new water meters, which track consumption on a real-time basis, being tested in Kelowna this year.

If the trial project is deemed a success, all 17,000 of the existing water meters will be replaced over a six-year period beginning in 2020.

The automated meter reading system will use an established local cellular network to report usage to the utility on a daily basis. These meters are considered more reliable, efficient, and resilient than the current system, accounting to city staff.

The city’s water system serves about 70,000 people. Other large providers are Rutland Waterworks, Black Mountain Irrigation District, the Glenmore Ellison Improvement District. The city intends to eventually take over these independent water providers.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Federal government invests in Kelowna International Airport

The $840,000 is to promote tourism and trade between Kelowna and Saskatoon

VIDEO: Weekend weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap

A mix of rain, clouds and sun are expected for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen

Big Changes to Kelowna’s Fat Cat

“We wanted to revitalize the event”

Plenty to do for families this Easter in the Central Okanagan

If you like chocolate, we have some events you might like in Kelowna

One-third of Kelowna residents experienced crime in the last year

Only half of those who were victimized reported it to police.

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Rain closes North Okanagan fields

Forecast calling for more rain Friday

Big stories begin with small suitcase in upcoming festival

Shuswap-Okanagan storytellers to open up at Festival of Mini Theatre in Salmon Arm

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Letter: Writer hopes Alberta will turn off the tap, teach B.C. a lesson

So glad to see Jason Kenney get elected in Alberta and hope… Continue reading

Summerland reservoirs expected to fill, despite low snow levels

Snow measurements at two Summerland sites have been significantly lower than normal

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

Most Read