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.
Now, finally on the horizon, we are excited to be part of the solution to bring Aquatera water west to the Town of Wembley, 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 will exchange its water infrastructure for shares in Aquatera, becoming Aquatera’s fourth shareholder, and first new shareholder since its inception 15 years ago.
For the Town, it means that Aquatera will take over all of the risk and costs of owning, maintaining and operating the system. For Aquatera, this is what we do best. We’re experts in our field and are confident in our ability to ensure the residents of Wembley 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 our 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?
Beginning January 1, 2019, Aquatera will only be providing water to the Town. To simplify things, you will receive a single bill, which will come from Aquatera for all of your municipal services, including water, sewer, garbage and recycling.
We will collect the fees from water to pay for the system we are operating. The sewer and garbage fees will go to the Town of Wembley who will continue to manage those services.
The wastewater system is expected to transfer to Aquatera July 1, 2019 at which time Aquatera will own and operate this service, too.
Where is the water sourced from?
The water that Aquatera treats comes from the Wapiti River.
How do I know this water is safe to drink?
Our promise to our customers is trusted quality, valued service and peace of mind. Our first priority as a company is to ensure the residents of the communities we serve are provided with clean, safe drinking water.
To keep this promise to you, we have some of the most qualified operators in Alberta on our team, working around the clock.
Will I have to have a new water meter installed?
Most properties in Wembley had a water meter installed in 2016 when Aquatera was contracted for the project.
Will my billing date change?
Aquatera’s billing process is a little different than the Town of Wembley’s. Your water meter will continue to be read the first week of the month, which means your bill will still be produced and sent out around the same time. All bills will be due the fourth Friday of the month – three weeks after you receive it.
To see what this will look like, check out our BILLING CYCLE CALENDAR.
When will I get my first bill from Aquatera?
You will start getting a utility bill from us in February 2019, which includes your water, wastewater and garbage collection charges.
What are my payment options?
We will only receive your contact information, address and water meter information from the Town of Wembley with this transition.
If you wish to continue to receive your bill electronically and/or have your account on pre-authorized payments, you will need to contact Aquatera to set this up in advance. If you do not, you will receive your first bill from us in the mail in February 2019.
Please contact MYACCOUNT@AQUATERA.CA or call 780.538.0340 before January 31, 2019.
What happens if I don't pay my bill?
The Town of Wembley charges a 10% penalty for late-payment. If your bill remains unpaid with the Town of Wembley for two consecutive months the outstanding balance is 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 your bill remains unpaid for five weeks after the due date, your water will be disconnected and your account will be charged disconnection/re-connection fees.
We send 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 your bill remains unpaid.
Are my rates increasing?
Yes. The Town of Wembley will be increasing wastewater rates in December and then again in May. This will be reflected on your Aquatera bill. 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.
You will see a marginal increase from Aquatera beginning in January, with the addition of our Franchise Fee (10% paid back to the Town) and a 2.5% increase in water rates in March 2019 to ensure your rates are aligned with other communities. The 2.5% increase will equate to about $0.60 on the average bill.
These periodic increases are required to ensure we can continue to meet our core purpose of Helping Grow Healthy Communities through the provision of these essential services, and match increases in our everyday costs such as utilities, maintenance and resources.
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 will be a 10% increase due to what we call 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 we collect will be paid back to the Town. Example:
- Water: $1.538 x 16m3 = $24.60 + fixed rate of $11.33 x 10% franchise fee = $39.52
- Wastewater: $1.48 x 16m3 = $23.68 + fixed rate of $10.18 = $33.86
- Total Bill Amount (approximately): $73.83
On March 1, 2019 there will be a marginal increase of 2.5% from Aquatera to adjust our water rate increase. This works out to approximately $0.60 added to your bill. Example:
- $1.538 x 2.5% = $1.576
- At 16m3, the total increase is approximately $0.60
On May 1, 2019 the Town will be increasing its wastewater rates again for the infrastructure project. Example:
- 16m3 (average use) x $0.29 (wastewater rate increase) + fixed rate of $3 = $7.64
- Water: $1.576 x 16m3 = $25.21 + fixed rate of $11.33 = 10% franchise fee = $40.19
- Wastewater: $1.77 x 16m3 = $28.32 + fixed rate of $13.18 = $41.50
- Total Bill Amount (approximately): $81.69
On July 1, 2019 the 10% franchise fee is added to the wastewater component as well. Example:
- Water: $1.576 x 16m3 = $25.21 = fixed rate of $11.33 + 10% franchise fee = $40.19
- Wastewater: $1.77 x 16m3 = $28.32 + fixed rate of $13.18 + 10% franchise fee = $46.65
- Total Bill Amount (Approximately): $85.84