FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is the sewer user fee?
A: The sewer user fee is an annual levy charged to all residents connected to Colwood’s sewer system. This charge is the recovery of the annual operating and maintenance costs for the sewer system, including amounts requisitioned by the Capital Regional District (CRD) for sewer trunk operating costs.
Q: How is the sewer user fee calculated?
A: The sewer user fee is calculated in accordance with the Colwood’s Sewer Utility Bylaw No. 1620, 2016. The sewer user fee is levied annually for the calendar year and is calculated based on the Feburary 1st water meter reading for all sewer users in Colwood. The annualized water meter reading, per water meter, is multiplied by the rates detailed below in calculating the annual sewer user fee.
Tier 1: 0 – 1,000 annualized m3 @ $1.00 /m3
Tier 2: 1,001+ annualized m3 @ $1.10 /m3
There is no flat fee component to the sewer user fee and the minimum sewer user fee levied is $75.00 for all sewer users.
Q: Why is the sewer user fee calculation based on annualized water flows?
A: In an effort to apportion the costs of services based on actual usage, the sewer user fee is entirely consumption-based. Allocating the costs associated with maintaining the City’s sewer infrastructure according to actual usage is a significant step in more fairly distributing the costs. Users who use more water will pay for a larger share of maintaining the sanitary sewer system. To encourage water conservation, the charge per annualized cubic water metre increases with consumption. In order to best match water usage with sewer usage, the sewer user fee is calculated based on annualized water meter readings from the winter months.
Q: What if we had a water leak at our property during the winter months?
A: Adjustments to the sewer user fee are available for water leaks that are confirmed with the CRD Water Services. Please contact a member of the Finance department with respect to any potential water leaks.
Q: I already pay sewer charges on my notice of real property taxes. Is the City double charging me?
A: There are additional sewer charges that may appear on your notice of real property taxes as "Colwood (East/South/West) LAS Parcel Tax. These are sewer debt levies that relate to the capital costs of constructing the sewers. Eventually, these debts will be paid off and will no longer appear on your notice of real property taxes. The sewer user fee is an annual charge levied to recover the operating costs of maintaining the Colwood’s sewer systems. Such operating costs will be incurred into perpetuity.