Guelph City Council has approved new rates for pumping and treating Guelph’s water and wastewater. Effective March 1, 2009, the new water rate will be $0.97 and the wastewater rate will be $1.05. The rate increase means that an average home consuming 250 cubic metres per year will pay roughly seven dollars more each month.

The 2009 water and wastewater budget includes funding for groundwater protection programs over the next 10 years. “Guelph is entirely dependent on its groundwater supply; it’s critical for us,” says Janet Laird, director of Environmental Services. “This year, and every year, we set rates that allow us to provide safe drinking water, replace infrastructure in a timely fashion, and plan for the growing needs of our community,” says Laird.

Guelph plans to replace a number of watermains as part of its underground infrastructure replacement program. Upgrades to Guelph’s water systems and roads are often planned together to minimize construction costs and service interruptions. The city plans to use a combination of provincial and federal grants, reserves, loans and its water and wastewater revenues to finance system upgrades that will begin in 2009.

“Residents have done a great job conserving water, and that has helped our existing infrastructure accommodate growth. We’ve been able to defer the need to build new infrastructure capacity,” says Laird. “Continued conservation and long-term financial planning will help keep rates stable and control capital costs as Guelph continues to grow.”

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