Wastewater utility rates included in 2% increases

Along with water utility rates, the city is also raising its wastewater utility rates by 2% over each of the next couple years.

That change will affect about 70% of people in the city who send their wastewater to the city's treatment facility on Raymer Avenue.

Utility Services Manager Kevin Van Vliet says just like the water utility, the city needs to prepare for infratstructure that's getting older.

"We can expect pressure on our wastewater utility rates to also be slightly above inflation because of our aging infrastructure," he said.

"On the positive side, the wastewater utility and wastewater reserves are actually in healthier shape (than drinking water equivalents), and even looking out 15 to 20 years, we don't see a huge pressure on dropping those reserves."

As well, he says a main impact will be on about 425 businesses, who will start paying five dollars each month to use a sewer credit meter.

He explained exactly why they need them.

"So if you're a commercial business, we charge your sewer based on how much water you use. If you use a lot of water for business process - let's say you're a bottling company, or a brewery or something like that - the feedback is that that isn't fair, because an abnormal amount of that water is actually coming back to the sewer - significantly less," he said.

"So we have a program where we can put another meter on there that measures how much water they use for process. We have about 425 of those in the city."

The 2% increase will add about 40 cents to the monthly flat rate of $20.38.

70% of people in Kelowna send their wastewater to the Raymer Avenue treatment facility, where it's cleaned and sent back into Okanagan Lake.