Construction at Nelson’s reservoir at Mountain Station in 2021. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Construction at Nelson’s reservoir at Mountain Station in 2021. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson water fees up 2%, sewer up 1.5% for 2022

City has been working to reduce water leakage in businesses and institutions

At its Jan. 11 meeting, Nelson City Council decided to raise its 2022 water rates by two per cent and sewer rates by 1.5 per cent for single-family dwellings and for commercial users.

This will amount to an increase of $7.20 per year for water and $10.80 for wastewater for residences. Nelson’s water and wastewater utilities are funded by user fees charged to businesses and homeowners.

The increases are, according to the city, intended to deal with increased inflation and supply chain challenges.

Proposed residential water and sewer rate increases for Nelson in 2022. Chart: City of Nelson

Proposed residential water and sewer rate increases for Nelson in 2022. Chart: City of Nelson

Improvements to Nelson’s sewage treatment plant and storm sewer system will be required in the near future that will require a major capital investment. Plans for this will be presented to council this spring.

Council also agreed to continue with its 75 per cent rate discount for conforming residential suites that are rented long-term.

Proposed restaurant water and sewer rate increases for Nelson in 2022. Chart: City of Nelson

Proposed restaurant water and sewer rate increases for Nelson in 2022. Chart: City of Nelson

The city will also continue into 2022 with a water-loss mitigation project that over the last two years has seen consultant Rory Gallaugher finding and analyzing water loss in businesses and institutions in Nelson. The point is to conserve city water by identifying and fixing leaks.

His data is based on readings of water meters installed in all Nelson businesses and institutions over the last several years.

In 2020 and 2021, Gallaugher found that leaking toilets were the leading cause of water loss in Nelson commercial buildings, and that another major water loss was the use of ice machines as well as walk-in coolers and freezers in which tap water cools down a hot refrigeration unit and then goes down the drain.

Gallaugher told council on Dec. 17, 2021, that as a result of his inspection of 59 businesses, and actions taken afterwards, he was able to save 67,000 cubic metres of wasted water per year, a waste reduction of 63 per cent during the day and 93 per cent at night.

Gallaugher’s work is part of a larger leak detection initiative that has seen 27 kilometres of the 90 km of older leaking water lines in the city replaced since 2005 by new pipes. This effort, according to the city, has resulted in a 17 per cent reduction in overall water usage in the city per year since 2008.

Related:

City hall installs water meters in all Nelson businesses

Leaking toilets a leading cause of water loss in Nelson commercial buildings

Kootenay Lake re-considered as drinking water source for Nelson

New report outlines how to protect Nelson’s water sources

The original version of this story stated that sewer rates were going up by 2.5 per cent, when in fact they are going up by 1.5 per cent. This correction was made at noon on Jan. 15.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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