Black Press file photo.

Black Press file photo.

Mission residents complain after seeing water bills increase exponentially

Some claim their bill has doubled, tripled without using more H20

A number of Missionites are claiming their water bills have increased exponentially over last year without having used more H20.

One homeowner, Brittany Vanderest, posted to social media on Oct. 27 after seeing her bill had tripled. She said that they moved onto the property three years ago, and a water meter was already installed.

“I know our usage hasn’t gone up that much, so I don’t know why our [bill] is that much higher,” Vanderest said. “I didn’t even want to be on a water meter.”

Dozens of others commented on the post, reporting similar price spikes, many by hundreds of dollars.

The district said that the annual rate (per cubic meter of water consumed) has increased by two cents since last year, but this should only account for a small increase.

“Much higher bills are likely due to more water consumption or a leak in the property’s plumbing system,” said Taryn Hubbard, manager of communications for the district. “Increases in consumption can happen quickly, especially if more people are staying home due to the COVID-19 crisis.”

On a monthly basis, public works staff watch for equipment issues, high consumption and potential plumbing leaks on existing water meters so they can alert the property owner, according to the district.

“[Staff] notify very high users as soon as possible,” Hubbard said. “Malfunctioning meters are identified and replaced. The district also replaces old meters.”

But malfunctioning or aged meters typically show lower consumption rates rather than higher, according to the district. Hubbard said the price increases could be reflecting the actual amount of consumed water after a recent meter replacement.

Any leaks are the property owners’ responsibility to fix, but any owner with a water meter is eligible for a one-time rate adjustment if a leak is identified and repaired.

Residents who have seen their water bills increase can call the municipal finance department (604-820-3718), or if a leak is identified, the public works department (604-820-3761).

There are a total of 1,623 customers on meters in the district, which accounts for just under 18 per cent of residential services.

The District of Mission has been trying to get more properties moved on to water meters in recent years, but most older homes still pay a flat rate of $508 annually on top of their property tax.

In 2017, the district made an application to the Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund, asking for $6 million in provincial funding for a $15.5 million infrastructure project that would see 9,000 meters installed around Mission, but they failed to be granted those funds.

RELATED: District seeks funding for water meters

All Mission developments since 2009 require meters to be installed.

Both the district and the City of Abbotsford, who share a water system, have managed to cut consumption rates dramatically since learning they were in danger of draining their supply nearly a decade ago.

But Mission homeowners still use significantly more water than their Abbotsford counterparts in residential areas, who are more likely to be on water meters.

This heavy usage led to the district’s share of a proposed $85 million collector well project to go up by $6 million in June 2019, after a joint municipal committee on the project.

– With files from Tyler Olsen

RELATED: Mission’s bill for new water project rises, Abbotsford’s drops

RELATED: Move to tiered water rates in Abbotsford considered, but rejected – at least for now


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

<a href="Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning." target="_blank"></a>Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning. (File photo)
Man killed in fatal hit-and-run collision between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Body reported at 6 a.m., police close North Parallel Road, single highway lane as they investigate

Westbound traffic is slow moving on Highway 1 following a crash that has police blocking one lane. Google Maps screenshot taken at 9:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Crash on North Parallel Road causes road closure, single westbound Highway 1 lane blocked

Abbotsford Police investigating, roads closed between McDermott and No. 3 Road

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Kassandra Clack of Abbotsford has been named one of 18 finalists in the Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search, taking place in June.
Fraser Valley country singer Kassandra Clack a finalist in national talent search

18 finalists vie to win Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search in June

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read