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Water and sewer rates tick up in Coquitlam – bigger increases may be coming down the pipe

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It’s like throwing money down the drain.

Coquitlam families can expect to pay the city about $56 more next year, following council’s approval Monday of 2023 utility rates. The total cost for water, sewer, drainage and solid waste – assuming a 120-litre garbage cart – is projected to be $1,437 in 2023, up from $1,381 in 2022.

Residents who pay a metered rate for water can also expect a bit of sticker shock during the hottest months of 2023. The rate is expected to tick up 34 percent from June 1 to Sept. 30 as Coquitlam switches to a new approach that charges more when reserves are low. The rate for metered customers is slated to rise seven percent over the entire year.

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Coquitlam opted to change the way they charge for water earlier this fall, citing both the massive costs of a water supply expansion project at Coquitlam Lake as well as the 45 percent premium Metro Vancouver charged Coquitlam in the summer of 2022.

Residents who pay the suite rate or the multi-family flat rate can expect to pay an extra four percent in 2023. For residents paying the suite rate, the 2023 bill for water, sewer and drainage is expected to be $465 – an increase of $18 from last year.

The city’s metered rate for sewer and drainage is projected to increase 18 percent.

The city pays Metro Vancouver for water, sewage treatment and solid waste disposal. Metro is set to charge an extra 2.8 percent for water in 2023. However, water is expected to get more expensive in the coming years, with future annual increases ranging from 9 to 14 percent.

Metro Vancouver is slated to increase the sewerage levy by 7.5 percent. With a few big projects on the horizon, Metro Vancouver’ sewerage levy is expected to increase by between 17 and 28 percent in the coming years.

By boosting sewer and drainage by four percent among residents who pay a flat rate and 18 percent among metered customers, the city is planning to create a contingency fund to guard against future Metro Vancouver rate increases.

Coquitlam’s sewer and drainage fees are expected to allocate more money toward a city program designed to keep rainwater out of sewage pipes.

The city has attributed incidents of bubbling sewage in Oakdale to old pipes being infiltrated and overwhelmed with stormwater.

Related: No route, no budget: Sewage line expansion work still to be determined; much to one resident’s chagrin

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