Paying for consumption is coming soon to City of Duncan water users. (Citizen file)

Paying for consumption is coming soon to City of Duncan water users. (Citizen file)

City of Duncan looking to go to pay-for-use water billing

The time is coming that residents will soon have to pay for the water they use.

The City of Duncan’s water metering program began in 2015 with the installation of meters at all residential properties within the City. Despite the existence of the meters, residents have still been billed at a flat rate while city staff have been monitoring use to determine consumption patterns.

The time is coming that residents will soon have to pay for the water they use.

Chief Administrative Officer Peter de Verteuil updated Duncan council on the program at the Sept. 4 council meeting.

“Staff’s working on the new rate structure for metered water and as some may know, we’ve been installing meters throughout the city’s water system and we’ve been progressing to actually billing based on those water meter readings,” de Verteuil explained. “The public engagement portion of the program is just about to begin. Residents inside the city should expect a letter or brochure in the mail in the coming weeks or months. Also there will be a new section on the city’s website and a section PlaceSpeak where people can read about the new rate setup and offer comments.”

The rate system hasn’t been finalized so it’s important for those with opinions to have their say.

Comment forms are also available at the front desk inside City Hall and there’ll be a booth at the downtown Duncan Farmers Market for a couple of Saturdays.

“We encourage the public to provide feedback at any of those opportunities or just generically through emails to staff.”

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said that since council has been looking at the subject for a number of years, and “there’s been pretty extensive communication” with the people involved, she doesn’t expect any negative feedback from the residents to the new billing system.

“Nothing has come to council in the way of pushback,” she said. “The goal of this is to reduce water consumption.”

Duncan supplies water to 14,000 people and using an actual billing process will help significantly narrow the focus as city workers try to keep track of areas where water is leaking from pipes, Staples said.