The Town of Comox purchases water from the Comox Valley Regional District and distributes this water to consumers (residents and businesses) within Town boundaries. Consumer rates for water are governed by the Comox Water Rates and Regulations Bylaw, and depend on whether or not a water meter is installed on their service connection.
See Your Metered Water Usage:
Water usage can be reviewed any time, online as follows:
Step 1: Click here: To open a report showing the most recent monthly water usage by MXU number (a unique number given to each water service).
Step 2: After opening the report, click <CONTROL F> (or Edit-Find).
Step 3: Enter your MXU number in the 'Find' box and hit <ENTER>
Step 4: Read across the row for the last 12 months of usage.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are the options for residential properties to pay for water?
Properties may pay a Flat Rate Water Fee or they may volunteer to be billed by the amount of water tracked by a water meter. In many cases for properties with low water use, paying for water by the actual metered amount used, can result in a lower water utility fee. In both cases, properties will pay an Excessive Use Charge for amounts used over 471 m3 per calendar year. If applicable, this charge will be applied at the end of each calendar year.
Please Note: The Town does not notify high water users as it is the individual property owner’s responsibility to monitor water usage. Property owners are responsible for the water that passes through a water meter.
2. What if I want to switch from flat rate to metered billing?
If you are a residential consumer and think that you use less water than a typical residential family, (approximately 250 m3 per year), you may be able to save on your annual billing. Simply complete the Single-Family Residential Meter Billing Enrollment Form before March 15, of the year. Metered customers are invoiced a minimum of $66.72 every four months, in May, September and January of the following year.
3. If I get a meter installed is there anything I need to do once it is installed?
Some air may have entered the water line during the installation process. It is recommended to run the cold water tap for a minute or two in order to clear the water lines.
4. Where are water meters typically found on a residential property?
They are generally located within the meter box at the property line.
5. How often are the meters read?
The meters are read electronically at the end of every month. The readings - listed by Meter Transceiver Unit (MXU) - are then posted on the Town’s website. To get your MXU number please refer to the letter sent by the Town (in mid to late March 2021) or contact the Finance Department.
6. How do I get a meter installed?
7. If I volunteer to be billed by the meter, can I go back to flat-rate billing?
Yes, however this change must coincide with the property tax year (January to December). If you wish to switch to metered billing or back to flat-rate billing provide the Finance Department with a completed Enrollment / Withdrawal Form by March 15th of the property tax year. As an example, if in August of 2019 you no longer wanted to be billed by the meter, you must continue on the metered billing for the remainder of 2019. The Finance Department would then need a completed Enrollment / Withdrawal Form before March 15, 2020. The flat rate water charge would then be included on the 2020 Property Tax Notice.
8. Who is responsible for repairs if I think there is a leak causing increased water usage?
The meter is installed at the connection point between the Town’s system and the property. If there is a water leak beyond the meter itself (on the private property side), the onus is on the property owner to have it identified and repaired. If a leak causes the property to exceed the 471 m3/yr maximum, the property owner will be billed an Excessive Use Charge. If the leak is subsequently repaired, it may be possible to have the charge reduced. Please contact the Finance Department for more information on a rate reduction for a repaired leak.
9. What if there is a leak on private property and the owner will not fix it?
The average residential property uses 282 m3 per year. The current water fees bylaw allows the Town to charge above the flat rate for properties with a meter that use more than 471 m3 per year (471,000 litres/yr). Any amounts not paid on time receive a 10% penalty and if its still not paid by December 31 it become part of property taxes in arrears the following year.
10. What if I don’t want the Town to install a meter on my property?
The Town has the right to install water meters under the Water Regulations & Rates Bylaw adopted in 1979. Council’s motion allows you to continue to pay flat water rates (unless 500 m3 per year is exceeded) or volunteer to be billed by the meter.
11. Where does the Town buy its water and who controls regional water restrictions?
The Town of Comox buys its water from the Comox Valley Regional District as part of the Comox Valley Water Service. It is the Comox Valley Regional District that also sets water restrictions levels as needed throughout the year. As the Town purchases water from the Comox Valley Regional District, the Town is subject to the water use restrictions specified in the Comox Valley Water Conservation Bylaw where four stages of water use restrictions are established. Check the Town of Comox Home Page under "News" often for the current stage and accompanying restrictions.
12. Who do I contact for more details and information?
- Water Meter Installation questions: Contact Public Works and Parks Department, (250) 339-5410
- Water Fees questions: Contact the Finance Department, Town Hall, (250) 339-2202
- Current Water Restrictions: Town of Comox homepage or Comox Valley Regional District
13. What are other ways I can be water-smart?
View the Government of British Columbia's Living Water Smart resource centre designed to help residents and businesses find new and improved ways to be water conscious.
About the Town of Comox Water Metering Program:
In 2010 Town Council implemented a Water Metering Project to help identify water leaks and reduce the cost of water for all Town of Comox residents. The metering project also makes it possible to meter and invoice commercial and residential properties for actual use. Properties that receive a meter may continue paying the flat rate water fee or they may volunteer to be billed by the meter. Any property with a meter (billed by flat rate or meter) will be charged at the fee identified in Bylaw 529 for every cubic meter (m3) used above 471 m3 (471,000 Litres) per year.
Town Council set 471 m3 as the annual billing threshold as it is approximately twice the average use of a metered home in Comox. The purpose of this threshold is to encourage water conservation and to help recover the cost of water used by high-use customers.
Other Water Documents and Resources:
Water Testing - provided by Vancouver Island Health Authority or for the Town of Comox Water System results, click here and enter Comox in the search field.