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About Saint John Water Rates

Flat Rate Customers

Saint John Water serves approximately 17,000 customers every year.  About 80 % of our customers pay a flat rate for their water and sewerage services.  For Saint John, this amount covers both the operational and capital costs of the utility.  For example, this includes maintenance and repair of Saint John Water’s inventory of gravel roads, as well as the Lancaster Lagoon, Lancaster Water Storage Tank, sewer lining and pipe patching.  It also covers large infrastructure improvements such as the Harbour Clean Up Project and the Safe Clean Drinking Water Project.

Council is required to set the rates that recover the operating and capital costs of the Utility.  Saint John Water provides Common Council with a proposed budget in the fall of each year.  Recommendations and any rate adjustments for customers must be approved by Common Council.  This is followed by a first, second and third reading before it is passed. 

  • The flat rate for 2018 is $114 per month ($1368 for a single unit dwelling.)  
  • It represents and increase from 2017 of $6.00 per month per residential flat rate user ($72 per year). This rate increase has been consistent over the past five years.
  • The plan is to have rates stabilize after 2019 when the new water treatment plant is fully operational. 
  • A Water Rate Study is currently underway and is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2018.

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About My Saint John Water Bill and Water Rates-1

Questions and Answers

Q. When will I receive my Saint John Water bill? What is the billing cycle?
A. Bills are issued twice a year:  the first billing period is for January 1 to June 30 and is due each the first week of April. The second bill is for the period July 1 to December 31 and is due the first week of October each year.   
Customers who choose to pay through equal monthly payments pay from March of the current year to February of the following year.   If there is a change in rates, this will be reflected on your water bill and the monthly payment is automatically adjusted in March.
Q. Can I pay this at my bank?
Yes, through Internet/Telephone Banking at all Canadian banks. Please ensure your payment is made 2-3 days before the due date to ensure we receive it by the due date to prevent late payment charges on your account.
Q. Can I make monthly payments?
A. Yes. Like many utilities and service providers, Saint John Water offers a pre-authorized payment option to allow customers to follow a monthly budgeted amount through pre-authorized debiting from your bank account.  Accounts set up for P.A.D. are penalty exempt and delinquency exempt.  Please contact our office at 652-1960 for details.
Q. What do I have to do if rates change in the New Year?
A. No action is required on your part if rates increase. By completing the equalized payment application, you authorize the City of Saint John to “process a debit equal to the monthly cost of water and sewerage services.” Your monthly payment will automatically be adjusted for any increase.  This will be reflected on your bill.
Q.  What if I prefer another method of payment and wish to end my pre-authorized payments to Saint John Water?
A. You can choose to end your pre-authorized payments at any time. In order to process this request, we require written notice instructing Saint John Water to end your payment plan.
Q. Why have I been charged a late payment charge?
A. Payments mailed or made to other agencies on the due date, may not reach us in time to prevent late payment charges. Please ensure your payment is made prior to the due date and allow 2-3 days for your payment to reach us.
Q. What if I can’t pay my bill?
A. Call us. We understand customers may experience periods of hardship such as illness or unemployment.  Payments can be adjusted for a period of time and then resume with an increase to ensure your account does not fall into arrears.
Q. What happens if my account does fall into arrears?
A. When your account falls into arrears, you risk having your water service shut off.

Property owners should be aware that arrears constitute a special lien against the property according to Section 117(9) of the Local Governance Act and these arrears would be recovered if the property changed ownership in the future. This means that the account balance remains with the property.