Water rates to increase by nearly $20 a year for Durham residents from Pickering to Clarington

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Published December 23, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Durham homeowners will need to pour an extra drop in the bucket of their increasing housing expenses when the Region’s water bills rise by nearly $20 a year in 2022.

Durham Regional Council passed the hike in their final meeting of 2021 on December 22. The 1.8 per cent increase will come into effect on January 1.

Residents will be getting considerable bang for their buck however, since the Region has numerous projects on the runway for 2022.

On the Regional level, they will be replacing 20 km of watermain and sewer pipes, and investing in the MyWaterDurham program.

MyWaterDurham is the Region’s new water billing system. It allows homeowners across Durham to engage with their water billing online and made some changes to the way water water is billed. Previously it was prorated by a set number of days, but now charges for use between meter readings.

The new investments will see these water meters retrofitted with remote radio frequency monitors to reduce how often manual readings are required. The program will rollout across Durham over the next three years.

Individual municipalities will see their boats lifted as well by investments in their local water systems.

Whitby’s Water Supply and its associated feedmain on Victoria Street will enter Phase One of it’s expansion plan. The water supply plant in Oshawa will also see work in the form of preliminary, and then detailed design of it’s filter rehabilitation.

Work similar to that done in Oshawa, will be going on just north of the city as well. Scugog is having it’s Water Street Sanitary Sewage Pumping Station and the Port Perry Water Storage Facility replacements designed.

Cannington is set to receive a new pumphouse and Clarington’s Liberty Street Zone 1 Reservoir, Zone 2 Water Pumping Station will get some work done.

Pickering’s Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant will have a new Phosphorous Optimization Implementation Plan and Outfall modifications made. Two of its reactors are also being replaced.

Finally, Uxbridge will have the Planks Lane and Cemetery Road watermain and sanitary sewers fixed up.

“Investing in our municipal water and sanitary sewer systems is an important investment that impacts our everyday life. Providing clean drinking water to Durham residents and protecting our water environment is one of the many ways that we deliver and maintain safe, reliable and financially sustainable services for our residents,” Regional Chair John Henry said.

This latest rate hike are part of a flood of increased taxes across the Region as municipalities set their 2022 budgets. Whitby also recently raised its property taxes by nearly $40 a year per household in effort to maintain services amid a staffing shortfall.

Oshawa, already ranked has having the highest taxes in the Region, bumped theirs by nearly $36 a year per household just after.

Various standing committees are working on draft budgets in the run-up to the end of the fiscal year, including Durham police who are asking for a budget increase.

Durham Regional Council is set to affirm the other section of its budget, the section funded by property taxes, in a meeting on February 23.

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