St. Catharines taxpayers will now have to pay an additional $84 for water and wastewater services

Photo by: Alexander Schimmeck

Enacted on Wednesday, March 1, St. Catharines taxpayers will now have to pay an additional $84 annually due to a rise in water and wastewater costs.

This comes after St. Catharines approved its new 2023 rates for water and wastewater. The region has been reportedly increasing its wages annually due to investments in infrastructure and program sustainability.

Despite this, St. Catharines is not entirely in charge of its decision regarding water and wastewater costs, with only 45 per cent of the costs being decided by the region. Additionally, St. Catharines’ water and wastewater rates remain one of the lowest rates in the region for these services. Based on 2022 numbers, the only municipalities charging less are Pelham and Niagara Falls.

St. Catharines taxpayers’ water and wastewater bills cover three essential services: delivery of clean water, wastewater treatment and the systems’ infrastructure and maintenance. 

Included within these essential services is St. Catharines’ water quality commitment. The city works to ensure that the community has access to a consistent supply of safe and high-quality drinking water. This water is distributed from more than 600 kilometres of water mains serving the local street network and supplied by Niagara Region’s Decew Falls Water Treatment Plant

St. Catharines also supplies a drinking water quality management wystem, which provides policies, procedures and objectives that direct and control the quality of the city’s water distribution system. The system identifies and prioritizes water quality risks, improves communication and teamwork and offers procedures that enhance consistency and reduce errors.

St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe has noted that providing safe, clean and affordable drinking water to residents is one of the city’s core responsibilities and investments in the city’s sustainability must continue to be prioritized.

“We need to ensure we’re investing in the sustainability of our infrastructure and moving our rates closer to our 10-year financial plan after several years of pandemic mitigation. These improvements are crucial to ensuring we continue to deliver the high-quality services our community deserves and relies on,” said Siscoe in an article by iHeart Radio.

For those residents concerned about their water and wastewater rates, or for those who would like an estimate of their future water bill, they can calculate their water and wastewater consumption through a calculator provided on St. Catharines’ website. Although the site only provides an estimation of one’s bill, it allows residents the opportunity to understand their future charges based on their current water and wastewater usage.

For more information regarding water and wastewater services in St. Catharines, as well as how to pay your water bill, be sure to visit the city’s water, utilities and services website here.

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