Drumheller Town Council has approved new water and sewer rates for residents for 2018 and it was a learning experience for councilor Tony Lacher.
He went onto an Alberta Government website and searched for water and sewer rates in communities of a similar size to Drumheller.
"What I thought was one of the higher utility bills in the province ended up being third lowest, next only to Wainwright and Coaldale in nine samples," he confessed.
The median utility rate paid in Drumheller was a little over $78 per month, about a dollar and a half less than Stetter and more than $47 below what the average customer pays in Olds.
Lacher admitted wondering why he should pay to treat water runoff from his lawn and garden, but he now understands.
"Every one of those communities we compared it to, those towns charge 100 per cent of the water that you use outside translating into a sewer rate; Drumheller's the only one in the sample size that's only levying 80 per cent of that cost."
He also learned that Drumheller doesn't have a separate storm sewer system, for the most part, so anything that goes down the grate has to be treated at a cost.
Now that he believes his utility bill is fair, Lacher is looking for ways to cut his consumption to save money.
"An average four minute shower costs 20 - 40 gallons of water: every extra minute that you spend in that shower singing that song or finishing that song you were singing costs you an extra four gallons," he noted. "After that, you figure if the song was worth it or maybe next morning I'll just pick a shorter song to sing."
A list of tips for cutting water use around the house can be found through this link.
Your water cost should jump by two per cent in 2018, while the sewer portion of your bill goes up by five per cent.
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