The municipality will move from flat rates for domestic water to a metering system, but the details have not yet been finalized.
Municipal treasurer Ken Ostraat said the municipality will send out statements beginning in May showing homeowners their water consumption and the amount they would have to pay under a metering system.
The metering is expected to begin before the end of the year.
Under the metering system, residents will pay a base rate for water service and the first 25 cubic metres of water. For water use above that amount, various rates are charged, depending on the amount used.
The base rate will be lower than the present flat rate charged for residential water users.
“If you’re using very little water, you’ll see a reduction in your bill,” Ostraat said.
For use marginally over the 25 cubic metres, the rate will be modest, but for those who use excessive amounts of water, the cost will go up considerably, he said.
Someone using 30 cubic metres of water instead of 25 cubic metres would pay around $1.50 for the extra amount.
Most Summerlanders will pay around the same amount or less than they pay at present.
“Close to 75 per cent of the people aren’t going to pay appreciably more,” he said. “The vast majority of people are doing a great job.”
Around 100 will see significantly higher bills because of their water use habits. Ostraat said there are some water users who regularly consume 300 to 400 cubic metres a month — less than many people use in an entire year. “They’re going to start paying,” he said. “Once they have to write a cheque for $300 or $400 in one month, they’re going to change their consumption.”
A presentation on the new water rates will come before council on March 12, during the morning meeting.