Water to Wembley FAQ's

Why is Aquatera going to begin providing water to the Town of Wembley?

Aquatera and the Town of Wembley have been working towards this for over a decade. Currently, residents receive water from aquifers and wells, which are not always the highest quality water and can lead to water restrictions needing to be enforced to preserve water levels and limit the Town’s ability to grow.

Aquatera is excited to be part of the solution to bring water west to the Town of Wembley in mid-July 2019, ensuring community development and sustainability for the region.

What does it mean for the Town of Wembley, and its residents, to be a Shareholder of Aquatera?

In short, this means that the Town of Wembley exchanged its water infrastructure for shares in Aquatera, becoming Aquatera’s fourth shareholder, and first new shareholder since its inception 16 years ago.

For the Town, it means that Aquatera has taken over all of the risk and costs of owning, maintaining and operating the system. For Aquatera, this is what they do best. They’re experts in their field and are confident in their ability to ensure our residents have high quality, safe, reliable drinking water.

With the Town no longer having to fund water infrastructure, Council will be able to invest in other community needs. In addition, dividends will be paid to the Town after two years which can also be invested back in the community.

Learn more about Aquatera’s Shareholder Model.

Who is paying for this service to be delivered to the Town of Wembley?

Aquatera invested $3M toward the $22M water transmission line project, with the remainder being funded by the Clean Water Wastewater Fund Federal Program and the Provincial Water for Life Program.  

What other services will Aquatera be providing to the Town of Wembley?

In mid-July 2019 Aquatera will begin providing water to the Town. The wastewater system transferred to Aquatera July 1, 2019 meaning Aquatera owns and operates this service, too.

Aquatera will collect the fees from water to pay for the system they are operating. The sewer and garbage fees will go to the Town of Wembley and we will continue to manage these services.

To simplify things, customers will receive a single bill which will come from Aquatera for all Wembley municipal services including water, sewer, garbage and recycling.

Where is the water sourced from?

The water that Aquatera treats comes from the Wapiti River.

How do we know this water is safe to drink?

Aquatera’s promise to customers is trusted quality, valued service and peace of mind. Their priority as a company is to ensure the residents of the communities they serve are provided with clean, safe drinking water.

To keep this promise, they have some of the most qualified operators in Alberta on their team, working around the clock. 

What are my payment options?

Aquatera offers a variety of payment options. If you would like to change your payment method, please contact Aquatera at myaccount@aquatera.ca or 780.538.0340.

What happens if someone doesn’t pay their bill?

The Town of Wembley charged a 10% penalty for late payment. If a bill remained unpaid with the Town of Wembley for two consecutive months the outstanding balance was rolled into your property taxes and collected that way. Unfortunately, Aquatera is unable to collect unpaid balances this way.

Aquatera only charges a 3% penalty on late-payments. If a bill remains unpaid for five weeks after the due date, water will be disconnected, and the account will be charged disconnection/re-connection fees.

Aquatera sends out a reminder notice 12 days after your bill due date, which is due 10 days later. If payment is still not received, a final notice is delivered on the Wednesday after the reminder notice was due. Disconnection will occur the following week if the bill remains unpaid.

Are my rates increasing?

Yes. The Town of Wembley increased wastewater rates in December and then again in May. These wastewater increases are not Aquatera rate increases - they are increases by the Town.

The Town needs to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant to comply with environmental regulations which are mandatory to meet federal and provincial effluent discharge regulatory requirements.

How much are the increases?

Periodic increases are required to ensure Aquatera can continue to meet their Core Purpose of Helping Grow Healthy Communities through the provision of these essential services, and match increases in everyday costs such as utilities, maintenance and resources.

Customers saw a marginal increase from Aquatera beginning in January, with the addition of their Franchise Fee (10% paid back to the Town) and a 2.5% increase in water rates in March 2019 to ensure their rates are aligned with other communities. The 2.5% increase equates to about $0.60 on the average bill.
From December to July, there is a total increase of approximately $12.46 on the average bill.

What will this rate increase look like?

Great question! Let’s look at a breakdown of the rate increases you can expect:

On January 1, 2019 there was a 10% increase due to what Aquatera calls a Franchise Fee. This is paid directly to the Town for the right to use Town easements, rights of way and roads for Aquatera infrastructure and for the exclusive right to provide water and wastewater service within the Town. The total sum of the franchise fees collected will be paid back to the Town. Example:

  • Water: $1.538 x 16m 3  = $24.60 + fixed rate of $11.33 x 10% franchise fee = $39.52
  • Wastewater: $1.48 x 16m 3  = $23.68 + fixed rate of $10.18 = $33.86
  • Total Bill Amount (approximately): $73.83

On March 1, 2019 there was a marginal increase of 2.5% from Aquatera to adjust their water rate increase. This works out to approximately $0.60 added to your bill. Example:

  • $1.538 x 2.5% = $1.576
  • At 16m 3 , the total increase is approximately $0.60

On May 1, 2019 the Town increased its wastewater rates again for the infrastructure project. Example:

  • 16m 3  (average use) x $0.29 (wastewater rate increase) + fixed rate of $3 = $7.64
  • Water: $1.576 x 16m 3  = $25.21 + fixed rate of $11.33 = 10% franchise fee = $40.19
  • Wastewater: $1.77 x 16m 3  = $28.32 + fixed rate of $13.18 = $41.50
  • Total Bill Amount (approximately): $81.69

On July 1, 2019 the 10% franchise fee will be added to the wastewater component as well. Example:

  • Water: $1.576 x 16m 3  = $25.21 = fixed rate of $11.33 + 10% franchise fee = $40.19
  • Wastewater: $1.77 x 16m 3  = $28.32 + fixed rate of $13.18 + 10% franchise fee = $46.65
  • Total Bill Amount (Approximately): $85.84

Who do we contact if we’d like to know more?

If you would like to learn more, please contact Aquatera at 780.538.0340 or myaccount@aquatera.ca.