STRATHCONA, B.C- The SRD is trying to help Area D residents understand the extreme increase in their water rates.

At their June 6th board meeting, the Strathcona Regional District opted to increase water rates by nearly double the cost from last year- up to $800.00 per dwelling.   

RELATED: SRD RAISES WATER RATES IN AREA D

Jenny Brunn, Environmental Services Coordinator with the Strathcona Regional District, said she knows it’s a shock for residents.

“We completely understand the frustration that residents are having with this dramatic change,” said Brunn.  

According to her, consumption is the biggest contributing factor in the increase.

“In 2013 the system purchased just over 600,000 cubic meters, now in 2018 we will probably have to purchase 970,000.”

She said the SRD is working to be transparent, and to teach people how their water use affects rates.  

“I think a lot of people don’t realize that the water they use has a direct impact on what they pay,” said Brunn.   

Brunn said in the summertime Area D sees a huge spike in water use.

“We know that’s not from usage, we know it’s from inefficient use of outdoor water,” she said.  

The SRD has sent out a pamphlet to residents explaining the rate increase, and is holding an open house to better educate residents on water consumption.

“If we can reduce consumption, we can hopefully reduce the rates,” Brunn said.

The increase, which equals $398 per residence (on top of their regular water bill of $402.00), will be billed in two equal installments of $199. Residents can expect to see the first installment later this summer, followed by the second later this fall.

Payments can be made in installments or balances can be paid in full. Any outstanding amount will be carried over onto the property owner’s 2019 property tax bill.

The Water Conservation Open House is taking place at Hagel Park on June 21 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.