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Water Meters

This page was last reviewed on January 12, 2018.

Please ensure that the water meter box in front of your home or business is clear of landscaping, soil and gravel. The Village needs access to water meters to keep the community water distribution system working properly and well maintained. The water meter box also contains an emergency shut-off valve.

Water Meter Program

In the spring of 2014, consumption-based water billing replaced flat rate system. The goals of the water meter program are:

  1. To reduce the community’s summer water consumption.
  2. To encourage responsible water use, particularly outdoor water use in the summer months.
  3. To create a user-pay system based on a combination of a base rate and a consumption rate.

The purpose of installing water meters is to monitor and reduce consumption of water in the Village. In 2007, the potential for water capacity problems due to growth and summer drought was identified. The Village of Cumberland Water Conservation Plan set out the goal of reducing average summer consumption by 36% to 700 litres per capita per day. Metering water is an alternative to increasing the Village’s water capacity which would require significant financial investment and stringent senior government approvals. Find out how you can pay less and reduce your water consumption.

Water Revenue

Capital and Operating Costs

Capital costs pay for projects to replace aging infrastructure, to improve Cumberland’s water quality (treatment), and to improve the seismic stability of the dams. Some of the capital projects are funded from other sources than general water revenue (e.g. development cost charges from new development). Operating costs are rising slowly due to inflation, growth in the Village, and more stringent regulatory requirements.

Other Sources of Water Revenue

The Village sells bulk water to a portion of the Royston community. This revenue is used for both capital projects and operating. The Village can also use senior government funding and grants for capital projects. Cumberland property owners also pay a frontage tax through their annual property taxes to help pay for capital projects to maintain underground infrastructure. The Village also collects fees for new water connections. Development cost charges are collected to pay for altering or expanding the water system for new development.

Customer Categories

The water service is a user-pay service. By using categories, the Village can determine the amount of revenue required from each category to operate the water system and the best way to charge for water in each category. The Village can also ensure that each category is paying equitably based on how the category uses water and how it affects the water system. For example, multi-family residential, such as townhouses and mobile home parks, typically have less impact of the water system as they have people living in each dwelling unit and have smaller yards than single family residences.

  • Single Family Residential: single family dwellings including duplexes and dwellings that have a second unit for rental purposes
  • Multi-family Residential: Services that are shared by three or more domestic family units including townhomes, and bare land stratas
  • Commercial: Services to individual and stratified non-domestic use including commercial customers, light industrial operations and government owned facilities

Residential Categories

For the residential categories the Village choose to have 60% of revenues come from the fixed rate portion and 40% of revenues come from the consumption rate. By having a part of the rate as a fixed charge, it ensures revenue stability so that the Village can collect enough revenue to be able to operate the water system and undertake planned capital improvements. By having a part of the rate based on consumption, it encourages responsible water use by requiring residents and businesses to pay for the amount of water they use.

Commercial Category

For the commercial category, the Village choose to have 15% of revenues come from the fixed rate portion and 85% of revenues come from the consumption rate. The portion of the rate based on consumption is considerably higher because of the wide range in the amount of water used by different types of businesses, e.g. offices v. laundry services. This mix of fixed and variable revenues maximizes rate equity within the commercial category. The commercial fixed charge is based on your meter size, each commercial building has one water meter. If you have a commercial building with more than one commercial unit as well as residential units you will be charged one fixed rate based on your meter size and consumption for the amount of water your tenants use.


Consumption is calculated by taking your “current reading” minus the “previous reading” and dividing by 1000. This will give you your consumption in cubic meters (m3) for the billing period.

For more information about billing view the utility rates and charges page.

More Questions?

Call the Village office at 250-336-2291 or email the Village office.

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