Water Tolls & Misc. Charges

Water Toll Rates

Water tolls are based on your household or business water usage. All the meters are read every two months and a bill is mailed to the property owner, tenant or an authorized property manager no later than the 10th of the month following the billing period.  Please note that to avoid paying a penalty all payments must reach the District office no later than 4:00 p.m. on the due date. The due date is set at 35 days from the invoice date.

Billing periods are:

  1. January – February
  2. March – April
  3. May – June
  4. July – August
  5. September – October
  6. November – December

Approximate invoice dates are: March 10th, May 10th, July 10th, September 10th, November 10th, January 10th.

If you do not receive an invoice by two weeks after the approximate invoice date please contact the office and we will re-send the invoice. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure receipt of the invoice.

User classifications are as follows:

Classifications (effective August 24, 2016) Bylaw 276:

“Single Family Dwelling Service” means service to land for which the District has approved a ¾ inch service connection unless such land has been approved by the District for commercial, institutional, industrial or multiple family service;

“Multiple Family Service” means service to land that is being used for a multiple family purpose where such service is approved for that purpose by the District.

“Commercial Service Class 1 – Basic Commercial Service” means service to land that is being used in one building for one commercial purpose where such service is approved for that purpose by the District. This class includes hotels and marinas;

“Commercial Service Class 2 – Commercial Multi-Business Service” means service to land that is being used for commercial purposes and consists of multiple businesses where such service is approved for that purpose by the District. This class includes multiplex business units containing all of or a mix of offices, retail space, restaurants;

“Commercial Service Class 3 – Commercial Multi-Family Service” means service to land that is being used for commercial residential purposes and consists of multiple dwellings where such service is approved for that purpose by the District. This class includes multi-family apartments, and RV and modular home parks, both permanent and seasonal;

“Farm Service” means service to land with a Farm Number that is being used for commercial farming where such service is approved for that purpose by the District;

“Institutional Service Class 1 – Small Non-Profit” means service to land that is being used for an institutional purpose by a small non-profit organization where such service has been approved for that purpose by the District. This includes non-taxed churches and not-for-profit organizations;

“Institutional Service Class 2”- Non-Profit Residential means service to land that is being used for an institutional purpose by a non-taxed organization where such service has been approved for that purpose by the District. This class includes hospitals, senior care facilities, and other non-taxed residential facilities;

“Institutional Service Class 3” – Non-Profit Other means service to land that is being used for an institutional purpose by a large non-taxed organization where such service has been approved for that purpose by the District. This class includes schools, fire halls and parks;

“Industrial Service” means service to land that is being used for an industrial purpose where such service is approved for that purpose by the District;

 

Landlords:

Water tolls may be invoiced to your tenant, while parcel taxes are invoiced to you,  the property owner.   Should a renter not pay any charges agreed upon between the owner and the renter as part of the rental agreement, the owner is ultimately responsible for payment to North Salt Spring Waterworks District.

To authorize water toll invoices to be billed directly to your tenant please complete our Landlord and Tenant form and return it to our office.

Rates Effective August 24, 2016 (Bylaw 276)

Bylaw 276  – downloadable pdf

Payments:

Payments are processed on the day they are received in our office up to 4:00 pm. Payments received after 4:00 pm and after hours and on weekends are processed on the next business day.

We’d also like to remind customers that the day you pay online is not the day the District receives the payment.  Online payments may take as long as 5 business days to reach us.  Please allow sufficient time for your payment to reach our office before any scheduled penalty date.

The same is true for those of you using regular mail. It can take anywhere from 1-15 days for a cheque to reach the office, depending on where you live.

Customers can pay by Visa or MasterCard over the phone or in person.  We also accept debit cards in the office.  View our Credit & Debit Card Policy here.

Penalties:

To reflect the length of time it is taking Canada Post to deliver mail, effective the July 2014 billing for May/June, the due date  changed from 30 days to 35 days. Please note that to avoid paying a penalty all payments must reach the District office by 4:00 p.m. on the due date.  A 10% penalty on delinquent accounts will be levied each billing period on the 36th day after billing.  (Note: If you are a customer experiencing financial difficulty, the District can work with you to set-up a payment plan.)

When payments are made by mail, bills are considered as having been paid on the date they are received in the North Salt Spring Waterworks District office.

View the district’s Penalty Waiver Handling Policy here.

Service Interruption:

Customers with a water tolls account that is more than two (2) months in arrears may experience an interruption in service.  To reinstate service the customer must pay all arrears on the account, plus a service fee of $71.00.

Please note: 

We do our best to reach all customers more than two months in arrears by telephone several days prior to the cut-off date in order that they may bring their account up to date, and each billing period overdue accounts are stamped in red with the following notice:  Overdue balance must be paid by (date) to avoid service interruption.

Water meters are the property of North Salt Spring Waterworks District and pursuant to Bylaw 274 it is unlawful for any person whose water has been turned off to turn their water back on themselves.  Customers who tamper with the meter are subject to a fine of up to $2,000.00 or to imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both, and if the offence is of a continuing nature to a fine not exceeding $50.00 for each day the offence is continued.

Miscellaneous Charges

Service Fee – Service Shut Off

If notified of a problem at your property and the crew finds your property unattended (i.e. no one is home) your service will be shut-off at the meter to mitigate further damage.  A $71 service fee will be charged to your account.  Staff will endeavor to reach you and/or your emergency contact by phone and/or email to alert you to the problem so that it may be attended to.  Please ensure that you have provided the office with your contact information and emergency contact information.  To view our Leak Allowance Policy click here.

Turn Off/Turn On Service:

Customers who will be absent for long periods of time may wish to take advantage of our Turn Off/Turn On service and have their water shut off at the meter when they go away.  The current fee for this service is $71.00 per off/on.

Please call the office ahead of time to book a turn off or on date.  This service is only available during business hours Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.

Note:  If you have your water turned off for the winter months, be sure to shut off your hot water heater as well.

Service Activation Charge:

This is a one-time administrative service charge of $100.00 charged to a new owner to start up their toll and tax accounts when a property changes hands or a new meter is installed.

Meter Change-out Charge:

Customers who request that their current working meter be changed out will be charged a $200 change out fee.  There is no charge if the meter is changed at the discretion of the District.

Administrative Service Fees:

A $25.00 fee will be charged for the following:

  • letters confirming service
  • miscellaneous letters and/or photocopies to individuals or agencies provided to a ratepayer at their request
  • information requests requiring staff time to gather the information

A $5.00 fee will be charged for the following:

  • detailed ratepayer statements for all bills and transactions

There is no charge for a simple Statement of Account or a Tax Certificate.

Pool Filling Permit:

Persons may fill their swimming pool during the winter months if no conservation measures are in effect.  Per Bylaw 274 when Level 1 or Level 2 Conservation restrictions are in place a permit must be applied for and approved. The cost is $200 (upon approval).

Per Bylaw 274, no filling of swimming pools is permitted during Levels 3 or 4 Conservation restrictions.

Subdivision Application Fee:

To apply for review of a planned subdivision and service connection, per Bylaw 271 the subdivision application fee is $650.00.

Special Watering Permit:

A special Watering Permit may be issued, upon application, to customers who have watering needs that cannot be met due to Conservation Regulations (Bylaw 274).  These permits may be limited to a short time frame to allow a specific task to be done or for a longer term for agricultural or other purposes.

There is no charge for a special Watering Permit. However, in times of drought, the Board of Trustees may have to make some hard decisions that may limit the water supply of some customers for the greater good of all.  Therefore, Watering Permits are subject to immediate repeal should drought conditions warrant as it is the District’s priority to provide treated drinking water for domestic needs for homes, schools, the hospital, care homes, hotels, restaurants, etc.

Special permits may be issued for (but are not limited to):

  • power washing to prepare a surface for other work such as painting or refinishing – all other power washing should be completed before May 1st
  • commercial or agricultural watering needs outside of Conservation Level hours and/or days

Customers with a special watering requirement must apply for a permit in writing to the District office, c/o the Office Manager, detailing the reason(s)/purpose for which a permit is needed and for how long.  Permits must be displayed at your home or business.

The Board would like to assure our ratepayers that the District values all its customers and that we strongly support the viability of all our local businesses.  We are always willing to work with customers and have an open door policy. We will do our best to work with individual customers to find a solution to their watering needs, while taking into consideration the needs of all ratepayers and the District.

Per conservation regulations, the following circumstances do not qualify for a special permit:

  • watering parks or playing fields
  • lawn watering, including new lawns (please sod or seed in the spring or fall)
  • field irrigation
  • non-micro drip irrigation
  • vehicle washing
  • pool filling – please refer to Pool Filling Permits above

Flushing

In no case can the District accept responsibility for any claims arising out of the use of discoloured water.  If there has been a scheduled or emergency shutdown please run your COLD water for a few minutes to clear your lines.