The City’s water sources are four deep wells and two reservoirs situated near the Cowichan River and extract water from a sub-river aquifer for water distribution. This “un-confined” aquifer is regenerated by water from the river adjacent watershed being filtered by layers of pervious soils.

A Water Meter Program has been implemented to convert from flat water rates to a metered pay-per-use water rate.  This assists clients to monitor their water consumption and save accordingly.

What’s New

  • Effective January 1, 2021, properties in the Municipality of North Cowichan that are on Duncan’s City Water have converted from a flat water rate to the metered pay-per-use water rate and will have a new account number starting with 820. Please update your records to reflect the new account number once your receive your first bill in mid-May 2021.

Municipality of North Cowichan (MNC) Customers

The pay-per-use metered rate will apply to your property if:

  • You live in the Municipality of North Cowichan;
  • You receive water from the City of Duncan;
  • You were on a flat billing rate in 2020 (accounts starting with 200 or 300); and
  • You have a meter.

Please note: there are a small number of MNC properties that have a meter but will not be converting to the pay-per-use metered rate until 2022 due to a lack of available data.

Summary of Water Rates and Billing Periods

Customers moving from a flat rate to the pay-per-use metered rate will not be receiving a water bill in February or March 2021 as they previously would have.  This is because under the flat rate structure the City billed for water at the beginning of the billing period; however, under the metered rate structure customers are billed after the billing period.

Please note: Most single family residential dwellings (96%) have a 19 mm meter service size.

Accounts starting with 610, 810, and 820

Billing Period Billing Date Due Date
January to April Mid-May June 30, 2021
May to August Mid-September Oct. 29, 2021
Sept. to Dec. Mid-January 2022 Feb. 28, 2022
Rates for accounts starting with 610 and 810
i) Meter Service Charge
For each four month period                   19 mm                $24.44ii) Plus, Water Consumption Charge
Per cubic metre for each metre consumed                       $0.826
(1,000 litres = 1 cubic metre)
Rates for accounts starting with 820
i) Meter Service Charge
For each four month period                   19 mm                $30.66ii) Plus, Water Consumption Charge
Per cubic metre for each metre consumed                       $1.239
(1,000 litres = 1 cubic metre)

Accounts starting with 620, 630, 650, 690 and 850

Billing Period Billing Date Due Date
January to June Mid-July September 30, 2021
July to December Mid-January 2022 March 31, 2022
Semi-Annual original metered water rates outside the City
Each property connected to the water system billed on metered water rates prior to January 1, 2021

i. For the first 170 cubic metres or part thereof                                                       $183.5

ii. For every 17 cubic metres or part thereof up to the next 680 cubic metres        $14.27

iii. For every 17 cubic metres or part thereof up to the next 850 cubic metres        $14.74

iv. For every 17 cubic meters or part thereof over and above 1,700 cubic metres  $15.24

Accounts starting with 100, 190, 200, 300 and 500

Billing Period Billing Date Due Date
January to June Mid-January March 31, 2021
July to December Mid-July September 30, 2021
Rates for accounts starting with 100
Semi-Annual flat water rate inside the City
i. Single Family Residence; 1/2 strata duplex; mobile home (1 dwelling unit)  $121.52

ii. Duplex (if on one registered title)                                                                   $229.88

iii. Single Family Residence with one accessory dwelling unit (suite)               $229.88

iv. Multiple Dwelling Units (buildings with 3 ore more dwelling units) per unit     $92.07

Rates for accounts starting with 190, 200, 300 & 500
Semi-Annual flat water rate outside the City
i. Single Family Residence; 1/2 strata duplex; mobile home (1 dwelling unit)      $183.41

ii. Duplex (if on one registered title)                                                                      $348.28

iii. Single Family residence with one accessory dwelling unit (suite)                   $348.28

iv. Multiple Dwelling Units (buildings with 3 or more dwelling units) per unit       $137.23

Features of the Pay-Per-Use Metered Rate

Tri-Annual billing to encourage conservation

By increasing the billing frequency from two to three bills per year, you will now be able to see how much water you are using three times a year. This should help reduce water consumption and therefore your bill.

Meter Service Charge

This collects funds to replace and read the meters.  If you have a small meter size you pay less than a customer with a large meter. 96% of customers have a small 19 mm meter, which will cost $30.65/four months, plus consumption.

Water Consumption Charge

The Water Consumption Charge of $1.24 per cubic metre replaces the previous tiered rates. This provides an opportunity to reduce your bill if you use less water. 70% of customers can expect their water bill to go down if they reduce their current consumption by 15%.

Large Multiple Dwelling Charge

A per unit charge, similar to the 19 mm meter charge, for large residential buildings with 10 or more units was added. This impacts about 1.5% of accounts.

Stratas & Duplexes with One Meter

Duplexes with two separate titles, and small stratas with four or less units that do not collect strata fees will have the water bill split equally among the owners unless the City is advised to alter the allocation. To request a change to this default billing please complete the Utilities Bill Allocation Form.

Phase Three – Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and MNC Properties

The tri-annual pay-per-use metered rate will be in effect for MNC and CVRD properties currently on the semi-annual metered rate (books 620, 630, 650 & 850) effective January 1, 2022.

Remaining properties on flat billing will convert to the pay-per-use metered water rate as the City installs more meters and collects more data.


Sewer Charges Outside the City Boundaries

For sewer customers outside the City boundaries there are no changes to the application of sewer rates.

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Benefits of the Water Meter Program

  • Replacement of old technology
  • Participation in water conservation practices aimed at increased water efficiency
  • Less water waste comes with awareness and measured use
  • Pay for what you use
  • Detect leaks faster – helps save water and reduce your bill