2021-2024 Water and wastewater rates

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August 18, 2020 | Updated September 18, 2020

The comment period has now closed. Please check back for the report to County Council, expected in October 2020.

NEW: Read our responses to your most commonly asked questions in FAQ: Water and wastewater rate setting



Oxford County sets its water and wastewater rates every four years through municipal by-law. This year's rate study sets the rates for 2021-2024 effective January 1, 2021, pending County Council approval.

The rate study calculates new rates for the next four years based on a number of factors. To understand rates, it's important to know that:

  1. Water and wastewater are separate charges on a billing.

  2. Each of water and wastewater charges are made up of two parts: a fixed charge, which covers the shared costs of operating and maintaining the system, and a consumption charge based on your own individual usage.




Watch the Hemson Consulting recording from County Council (Aug 12, 2020)



What's different


The key recommended changes in the 2021-2024 rate study are:

  • Harmonize the wastewater "fixed" charge for all township customers. For residential billing purposes, this would establish a single "township" wastewater fixed charge for each of Drumbo, Embro, Innerkip, Mt. Elgin, Norwich, Plattsville, Tavistock and Thamesford. Oxford's townships already pay the same fixed rate for water.
  • Harmonize the wastewater "consumption" charges for all ICI customers. This rate would be set at the lowest common rate across the County (Woodstock). Right now, there are different ICI wastewater consumption rates depending on where your business or organization is located.
  • Retire the Source Water Protection Program fee from bills. This charge, which amounts to approximately $1.20 on every water bill, was introduced to fund the County's four source water protection plans. The program is now transitioning to long-term monitoring and maintenance under the Public Works operating budget.


TABLE: Proposed changes in the 2021-2024 Water and Wastewater Rate Study



How rates are calculated


The County provides municipal water services to 21 communities, 11 of which also receive wastewater (sanitary sewer) services. Water and wastewater rates are set every four years to cover operating costs as well as future capital investment that ensures the systems run safely, efficiently and sustainably into the future. Both water and wastewater rates are calculated based on a customer's water consumption.

The factors that are used to calculate rates include:

  • past water consumption levels, in this case 2012 to 2019 usage for city/town systems and 2018 and 2019 for the township systems
  • budgeted operating and maintenance costs
  • planned capital upgrades or replacements for the coming 10-year period as well as reserves needed to carry out that work
  • other fees, charges and grant funding that impact water and wastewater services, for instance, federal program funding, source water protection, construction charges, etc.

Read the full summary of how the proposed 2021-2024 Water & Wastewater Rates were calculated
New: FAQ: Water and wastewater rate setting

GRAPHIC: Water and Wastewater Rates Calculation Methodology

Click here to download this chart



Give your feedback


You can submit comments or questions using the tabs at the bottom of this page or clicking below. We are taking feedback from the public until September 18, 2020. -- COMMENT PERIOD HAS NOW CLOSED

If you would like to mail a written submission directly to the project lead, please send to:

Carolyn King, CPA, CA | Manager, Finance
Oxford County, PO Box 1614, 21 Reeve Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 7Y3



August 18, 2020 | Updated September 18, 2020

The comment period has now closed. Please check back for the report to County Council, expected in October 2020.

NEW: Read our responses to your most commonly asked questions in FAQ: Water and wastewater rate setting



Oxford County sets its water and wastewater rates every four years through municipal by-law. This year's rate study sets the rates for 2021-2024 effective January 1, 2021, pending County Council approval.

The rate study calculates new rates for the next four years based on a number of factors. To understand rates, it's important to know that:

  1. Water and wastewater are separate charges on a billing.

  2. Each of water and wastewater charges are made up of two parts: a fixed charge, which covers the shared costs of operating and maintaining the system, and a consumption charge based on your own individual usage.




Watch the Hemson Consulting recording from County Council (Aug 12, 2020)



What's different


The key recommended changes in the 2021-2024 rate study are:

  • Harmonize the wastewater "fixed" charge for all township customers. For residential billing purposes, this would establish a single "township" wastewater fixed charge for each of Drumbo, Embro, Innerkip, Mt. Elgin, Norwich, Plattsville, Tavistock and Thamesford. Oxford's townships already pay the same fixed rate for water.
  • Harmonize the wastewater "consumption" charges for all ICI customers. This rate would be set at the lowest common rate across the County (Woodstock). Right now, there are different ICI wastewater consumption rates depending on where your business or organization is located.
  • Retire the Source Water Protection Program fee from bills. This charge, which amounts to approximately $1.20 on every water bill, was introduced to fund the County's four source water protection plans. The program is now transitioning to long-term monitoring and maintenance under the Public Works operating budget.


TABLE: Proposed changes in the 2021-2024 Water and Wastewater Rate Study



How rates are calculated


The County provides municipal water services to 21 communities, 11 of which also receive wastewater (sanitary sewer) services. Water and wastewater rates are set every four years to cover operating costs as well as future capital investment that ensures the systems run safely, efficiently and sustainably into the future. Both water and wastewater rates are calculated based on a customer's water consumption.

The factors that are used to calculate rates include:

  • past water consumption levels, in this case 2012 to 2019 usage for city/town systems and 2018 and 2019 for the township systems
  • budgeted operating and maintenance costs
  • planned capital upgrades or replacements for the coming 10-year period as well as reserves needed to carry out that work
  • other fees, charges and grant funding that impact water and wastewater services, for instance, federal program funding, source water protection, construction charges, etc.

Read the full summary of how the proposed 2021-2024 Water & Wastewater Rates were calculated
New: FAQ: Water and wastewater rate setting

GRAPHIC: Water and Wastewater Rates Calculation Methodology

Click here to download this chart



Give your feedback


You can submit comments or questions using the tabs at the bottom of this page or clicking below. We are taking feedback from the public until September 18, 2020. -- COMMENT PERIOD HAS NOW CLOSED

If you would like to mail a written submission directly to the project lead, please send to:

Carolyn King, CPA, CA | Manager, Finance
Oxford County, PO Box 1614, 21 Reeve Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 7Y3



  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Please provide your comment on the proposed 2021-2024 water and wastewater rates. Your comments may be included as shown in a report to County Council. 

    Submit now
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