CLOSED: The comment period has ended. To read our answers to your most commonly asked questions, see the FAQ to the right side of this page.

Ask us your question about the 2021-2024 Water and Wastewater Rate Study. We'll respond within 2-4 business days and post your question with an answer here. Please note that your question may be included as shown in a report to County Council. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What is the cost of water and sewer in St Thomas and Stratford? This should be approx. the same for Woodstock. Ever since the county took over the rates keep going up and up. Woodstock cannot accept sewage from the neighboring areas. The population of Woodstock is expected to be approx. 60,000 within the next 20 years. You live in cities to keep your expenses low. This is not the case for Woodstock residents. County has too much say.

    bean asked 13 days ago

    Woodstock’s combined water and wastewater rates are currently-- and also with the proposed increase for 2021-- lower than the rates for London, Stratford, Waterloo, Brantford, St. Thomas, Kitchener and Cambridge. (You can reference this in the presentation to Council from August 12 that is posted to the web page: https://speakup.oxfordcounty.ca/14897/widgets/58044/documents/38209, page 15). 

    Woodstock’s system does treat minor wastewater flows from other systems; each of those systems is charged fees based on the percentage of flows that the Woodstock plant treats. The funds received are used to operate and maintain the Woodstock wastewater system. Based on the Municipal Act, the County is responsible for the delivery of all the water and wastewater systems within its borders. 

    We hope this addresses your comments.  

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I would like to know what the reserve fund is for with regard to water and sewer rate increases. I read in WOW that "The last time rates were set in 2016, it was estimated that there would be approximately $10 million in reserves by 2020. Right no, that's sitting at $31.3 million - way more than projections." So what would this reserve fund be used for and why do we have to keep setting money aside for it when it is plentiful?

    Lesley asked 22 days ago

    Thank you for your question. The amount of reserves have increased for Woodstock’s systems beyond the original estimates because of a number of factors: projects were delayed (funds not spent yet); some projects were re-evaluated and not pursued during the previous rate study (will start in the future); there were savings on some projects that were completed; and, development charge revenues were collected for past projects. 

    As examples, work on Woodstock’s wastewater treatment plant and a wastewater receiving station project still need to take place, and the County Rd 17 Booster Station and watermain is currently in progress. These types of infrastructure projects are costly to undertake. For example, the upgrades to the Woodstock Wastewater Treatment Plant are expected to cost more than $10 million over the next 8 years. 

    In addition, it is considered a best practice among municipalities to have sufficient reserves to cover any unanticipated or even catastrophic incidents. (The downtown London, Ontario, sinkhole is an example of this kind of event.) All municipalities are required by the Government of Ontario to have an Asset Management Plan in place specifically so they are prepared to deal with aging infrastructure as well as future growth in their communities.   

    It is important to note that any balance in the reserves earns interest revenues, which is re-invested back in into the system. This means that the funds designated for Woodstock’s water and wastewater system will only ever be used for the Woodstock’s system.

    We are listening to feedback from the community and will consider as part of the rate study final report to Council. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Will the boundary adjustment being proposed affect the future rates for INgersoll residents? - It was estimated at one time to cost $23 million to service the lands South of the 401

    The outlier asked 30 days ago

    In the case of boundary adjustments, newly serviced properties would pay:

    • a one-time capital cost; and,
    • monthly water and wastewater charges based on the system’s water and wastewater rates.

    At this time, it is unknown what the one-time capital cost will be. 

    Current residents do not pay for growth: this extension will be recovered through direct capital billing to the benefiting property owners and from development charges. 

    Future rates in Ingersoll will be reviewed as part of the next water rates study and will be based on the number of customers planned during that timeframe.

    We hope this answers your question. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I do not understand why my water/sewer charges are so high for 2 people here in Drumbo. My average bill per month is $114-$129 Why? My Gas bill is $73, Hydro $106 Will this future rate increase or decrease this shocking amount?

    Noel asked about 1 month ago

    Hello: The proposed changes will reduce the fixed wastewater rate for Drumbo. To review the proposed rates for all townships, please see the rates package in the “Documents” section: the proposed monthly charges for township water rates are on page 30, and the proposed monthly charges for wastewater rates are on page 34. (https://speakup.oxfordcounty.ca/14897/widgets/58044/documents/38114)

    Drumbo’s water and wastewater rates are calculated based on the costs to operate and maintain the system among the number of system users (customers). Starting on page 24 of the document above, you can see more about how the proposed rates for the townships were calculated for 2021-2024. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    In the Townships they are all seeing reductions which is strange given the disparity between the system fees before - Is their savings due to a blended County Wide rate? I also only see annual estimates - What will the fixed rates be for the different systems and the County consumption rate.? per Cu Metre - I am curious if folks that use little water will see a representative savings - Previously the Fixed Charges were significantly higher portion than the actual use

    Tim Lobzun asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your question. The savings that will be achieved through a blended township fixed rate for wastewater (Woodstock, Ingersoll and Tillsonburg each have their own rate) are from flexible financial terms and economies of scale when completing operational and capital works. 

    For rates, in the Documents, you’ll find the rates package that shows the proposed monthly charges for water rates (pages 27-30) and the proposed monthly charges for wastewater rates (pages 31-34).

    As for potential savings that some customers may see, it’s important to note that for the average residential user, the fixed charges (costs of operating and maintaining the system) are the largest part of a customer’s bill and do not change in direct proportion to the water that is used.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why is Ingersoll's rates so high compared to Tillsonburg - Ingersoll is a very compact system by comparison with a population density of around 1,000/sq km versus 710/ sq km in Tillsonburg.

    The outlier asked 30 days ago

    Rates in Ingersoll are higher than in Tillsonburg primarily because of two factors: 

    • the type of the infrastructure installed in Ingersoll versus Tillsonburg. Ingersoll’s pipes require additional maintenance and flushing programs. (There is a replacement program in place to update Ingersoll pipes.) 
    • the groundwater that supplies Ingersoll’s water system requires more treatment before it can be distributed to households, and the wastewater requires more treatment before being released into the ecosystems.


    Thank you for your question.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Are storm water fees additional in all areas of the county? As a resident of Plattsville, we recent had to pay thousands of dollars per house for storm water sewer replacement (capital project). If all rates are going to be the same across the county, does that also include stormwater costs throughout the county?

    Sally asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your question. No, the County does not charge user fees for stormwater: this is a local municipality responsibility (township, town or city). To clarify, we are not proposing that all water and wastewater rates will be the same across the County. The proposed changes are:

    • making the Township wastewater systems fixed rate the same.  Township systems include Drumbo, Embro, Innerkip, Mt. Elgin, Norwich, Plattsville, Tavistock and Thamesford. Woodstock, Ingersoll and Tillsonburg would each still maintain their separate wastewater rates fixed rates, as they do now for water. 
    • making the ICI (industrial, commercial and institutional) consumption rate the same across the County. Note the wastewater consumption rate is already the same for residential users across the County, so this change only affects ICI customers. 
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why are taxes so high for residents that have wells and septic systems. Then we also pay for garbage collection. Then to top it off the recycling services have taken multiple steps backwards. I cant believ some of the items I now have to put in the garbage. This needs to move forward

    Kathleen asked about 1 month ago

    Water and wastewater charges are a “user pay” system and are not included in the calculation of a resident’s taxes. Residents are billed monthly for water and wastewater charges, and the money received is only used to pay for the water and wastewater systems in their community.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I am unsure of how these proposed changes will actually effect our water bill in Plattsville. We have lived here for 9 years and the water bill used to be reasonable, now it’s insane, and the water is horrible, and the cost is a constant complaint from most in town, even bigger complaint from those who have relocated to our beautiful town, where they get horrid water for more money.

    MrsDonahue asked about 1 month ago

    The proposed changes would lower the wastewater fixed charge in Plattsville.  In the "Documents" section of this section, the one labelled, "2021-2024 Water and Wastewater Rates Package" shows the proposed change in the monthly rates (page 30 for Water and page 34 for Wastewater). You download this document here: https://speakup.oxfordcounty.ca/14897/widgets/58044/documents/38114

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    My wastewater bill now is the same outrageous price, or at least within a few dollars no mater how much water I use. I am a single person in a home. My water consumption is about 5 m3 and costs me about $85-$90 per month. I believe it is fixed rate now because in the summer my usage will go to 11 because of watering but the cost doesn't change. My water is already more expensive than my hydro so please tell me if that is going to change. Is it going to increase again? Why wouldn't we bill according to usage so we at least try to be somewhat conservative in the usage

    Peggy Myall asked about 1 month ago

    All County properties with a water meter are currently charged both a fixed charge and a consumption charge based on usage. If you generally use the same amount of water each month, the bill should not change much month to month, and this is not a proposed change for 2021-2024.  

    The County uses a combination of a fixed charge and a consumption charge because there are costs to operating and maintaining the system that do not change in direct proportion to the water consumed by customers, and there are costs that do change in direct proportion to the water consumed. If you think there may be an issue with your billing, please call your billing agent: the information is located on your monthly bill. 

    Thank you for sending us your question-- we hope this explanation helps.