Utilities (User Rates)
MyCity allows the home and business owners of Nanaimo 24/7 secure, online access to information regarding their City of Nanaimo accounts for User Rates, Property Taxes, Dog Licenses, & Business Licenses. Signing up your user rate account with MyCity will allow you to view account balances and payment history, view water consumption history, and view current and past bills. This program is ideal if you have tenants and want to ensure the bills are being paid and for calculating yearly totals for income tax purposes.
MyBills was introduced in April 2012 and it gives MyCity users the option to receive electronic (email) copies of their City of Nanaimo User Rates bills. Each time a bill is available for viewing/payment, users receive a notification email to the address in which they have registered for MyCity, with the bill attached. The choice to sign up for MyBills will not affect our existing billing schedule and all property owners can still expect their User Rates bill to arrive 3 times per year (approximately every 4 months).
User Rate Forms And Publications
- Application for Water User Fee Adjustment (Leak)
- Auto Debit Plan
- Billing Rates effective Jan 28, 2013 (as per Bylaw 7004)
- Comparative User Rates Sheet
- Equal Payment Installment Plan
- Limited Income Application Form
- Understanding Your User Rate Statements for Water, Sewer and Garbage
- User Rates Example
- User Rate Reading Schedule
What do we mean by User Rate?
Nanaimo's User Rate system charges people directly for water, sewer, and garbage. There are no City taxes for these services.
The entire City's cost of each function is collected from those who use the service in the form of user fees. People who use more pay more. We believe this philosophy promotes conservation and helps control costs.
Information in this article is intended for residential property owners but most comments apply to commercial properties as well.
When do charges start?
Charges for water start as soon as the water meter is installed on a new property. Sewer and garbage charges start once the property is ready to be occupied.
What are the billing periods?
Statement of User Rates for water, sewer and garbage are sent out three times a year, or about once every four months.
The City is divided into 16 billing areas. All bills within a billing area are sent out at the same time.
Where and when do I pay?
Statements of User Rates can be paid at:
- In person, at City Hall
- Through either of the City's 2 payment plans:
- Most major banks, trust companies and credit unions in Canada
- Through regular mail
- Many banks offer Telebanking and PC Banking options. Check your local branch for details.
NOTE: A five per cent discount applies if payment is received before 4:30 p.m. on the discount date printed on the User Rate Statement.
To assist people leaving for extended vacations, the City accepts prepayments and post-dated cheques.
How do I stop charges?
To stop water, sewer, and garbage charges, a disconnect permit must be purchased from Building Inspections. This will result in the water meter being physically disconnected.
To resume services and charges, a reconnect permit must be purchased. Current fees for disconnect and reconnect permits are $100.00 each.
What if ownership changes?
The City doesn't read meters when property changes hands. The law firm responsible for conveying the sale must contact the City for an estimate of the amounts owed and make an adjustment. Note that the charges remain with the property when it is transferred. The new owner becomes responsible for these payments.
What if bills aren't paid?
Unpaid water, sewer, and garbage user rates are carried forward to the next Statement of User Rates. Outstanding user rates at year end are automatically transferred to arrears of taxes and interest is calculated daily.
Three types of meters, measuring water in gallons, cubic metres, and cubic feet, are in use throughout the City. Most meters measure cubic metres but the City uses gallons to show your daily consumption.
- Cubic metres to gallons multiply by 220
- Cubic feet to gallons multiply by 6.229
To encourage conservation, the charge per gallon of water increases with consumption.
Consumption varies greatly from one house to the next, depending on the number of occupants and water usage habits.
Lawn and garden watering, sprinkler systems, pools, and car washing can increase consumption considerably.
Typical winter consumption might be:
- 1 or 2 occupants 100 - 200 gal/day (455 - 910 litres/day)
- 3 or 4 occupants 150 - 250 gal/day (682 - 1137 litres/day)
- 5 or more occupants - 250 plus gal/day (1137 litres/day)
To Check for Leaks
- How to check for leaks.
- Check taps, toilets, etc. to ensure no water is running in the house.
- Read and record meter reading.
- Don't use any water for an extended period of time such as overnight.
- Read and record meter reading again.
- If the meter has moved there may be a leak and a need to consult a plumber.
Sewer and Garbage
Sewer and garbage collection charges are based on an annual fee. This fee is allocated to each statement based on the number of days in the billing period.
Charges for Additional Units
Houses with secondary suites are charged for additional sewer and garbage service.
Service is Mandatory
Every house that is connected to the sewer system must pay the sewer user fee.
All residential property owners of four units or less must pay for basic garbage collection and recycling service.
Basic Service implies 1 standard-size container of garbage is collected every second scheduled collection (bi-weekly) and food waste collected weekly from a municipally provided container (48 litres). Curbside recycling service is bi-weekly (every second week). Residential clients can put out recyclable cardboard, newspaper, mixed paper, metal food and beverage cans and plastic household containers (some restrictions apply).
Yard and Garden Waste is not collected as garbage or under City food waste, or recycling programs. Private contractors are available and typically offer services that collect this waste weekly, on a seasonal basis or on an as needed basis. Other alternatives also exist. A list of Unacceptable Waste, items that should not be placed in your garbage, can be found on the Collection Services page. Recycling / Disposal Alternatives provides information on some yard waste services available and other alternatives. Recycling and disposal information for other items that may be of interest is also provided on that page. To better understand food waste collection, visit Beyond Composting.
Extended Garbage Service
Up to two additional containers of garbage per week can be collected by purchasing a $2 garbage tag for each container.
User Rate Statements
Call: City Hall User Rate Section at 250-755-4416 or 250-754-4251
Sewer & Water Service, Garbage Collection & Recycling
Call: Public Works at 250-758-5222
Disconnections and Reconnections
Call: Building Inspection at 250-755-4429