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FAQ - Utilities

How many times per year will I receive a utility bill?
The meters are read and billed quarterly.

Quarter
Bill Mailed Out
Bill Due
January - March April May
April - June July August
July - September October November
October - December January February

 Are the meters read each time?  My consumption is the exact same as last time.
Meters are read each time.  You may have the same consumption more than once as the meter reads are not rounded up.  The read is in thousands of gallons.  

Why is there a minimum charge of $20.00 for water and $25.00 for sewer on my bill when I am using little or no water at all?
Usage under 3,000 gallons per quarter is charged a minimum charge of $20.00 for water and $25.00 for sewer.  A minimum charge is based on the recognition that there are fixed costs inherent and essential for maintaining effective water distribution and sewer collection systems.  The cost of pipe installation, annual repairs, line flushing and maintenance do not vary according to the level of water used.

Why am I being charged sewer on my water when my water is being used outside and not going down the sewer.
A sewer discount is given on the third quarter billing to recognize the fact that people are watering outside during the summer months of July to September.  If your consumption in the third quarter is the highest of the year, the sewer charge for that quarter will be based on the next highest consumption level of the year.

How can I view my current and past bills?
You can access information about your utility account – including bill balances, consumption history and payment history – through our online service MySidneyRegistration is Easy – First, create a MySidney profile using your email; then, add your Town of Sidney accounts (e.g. utility bill, property tax, dog licence, business licence) to your profile.  To register, you will need your account number and access code, which can be found on your utility bill.

 What if my utility bills are not paid?
Outstanding utility balance as of December 31st is transferred to property taxes (on January 1st) as taxes in arrears.  Daily interest will be charged at a rate set by the Province.

What is the normal water consumption for a household?
There is no way to determine normal consumption for a household as everyone uses water differently.  I.e. you may have a ½ hour shower someone else 15 minutes. 
Ballpark Consumption for:  One person     3,000 to 5,000 gallons per quarter
Two people   10,000 to 12,000 gallons per quarter

My consumption is high.  Do I have a leak?
Nine times out of ten an inside leak is caused by a leaky toilet.  You can check for a leak in your toilet yourself by putting a few drops of food colouring into the back of the tank, wait for 10 minutes, do not flush the toilet and see if the colour comes up into the bowl.  If the colour comes up you have a leaky toilet.   If you suspect an outside leak you can read your meter at some time during the day or night when water will not be used for at least the next four hours. Record the reading.   After the end of the 4 hour period, reread the water meter and compare the new reading to the original reading.  If the reading differs from your initial reading this confirms that you have a plumbing leak.

What do I do if I have a water leak?
It is the responsibility of the property owner to have the water leak repaired. Once the leak has been repaired, you may be eligible for a one-time leak adjustment.

When purchasing/selling a property in the Town of Sidney how do I set up my utility account?
Advise your lawyer that a utility adjustment needs to be done on your statement of adjustments.  Local lawyers and notaries are aware that we do not do final reads when there is a sale and whoever is on title at the time of billing will receive the bill.  Charges do stay with the property.
Kitchen organics containers need to be left in a clean and sanitary state at the property, or be returned to the Town of Sidney.  Note:  Your account number changes when you move.  Please update your online banking information to reflect your new account number, if paying by this method.

What are the current water restrictions?
Watering restrictions in our region are established by the CRD and are in effect from May 1 to September 30.  Please refer to the CRD water conservation website for the current watering schedule.

 How can I reduce my water bill?
Your toilet is the largest consumer of water in your home, accounting for 40% of all water used. Showers and baths account for 35%, laundry and dishes 20% and cooking and drinking 5%.

Below are a few tips for conserving water and the potential savings. 

Install low-flow showerheads

265 litres/person/week

Retrofit your toilets with one of the many water saving devices on the market, or replace your toilets with new low-flush models.

110-1300 litres/person/week

Water your lawn only when it needs it.  If the grass springs back when you step on it, there is no need to water it.  Usually, one inch of water once a week is enough.  To measure this, place a flat container like a tuna fish can, about six feet from the sprinkler and time how long it takes to fill one inch deep.  The next time you water, set your kitchen timer to remind you to turn off the sprinklers.

1150 litres/week

The CRD water conservation website also provides many useful tips on water conservation.