City of Ottawa Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Rate Structure Review

City of Ottawa Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Rate Structure Review

The City of Ottawa is developing a new rate structure to fund its water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

This review is a Term of Council Priority with the primary objective to achieve fairness and equity for all beneficiaries while also ensuring the system’s financial sustainability.

Public consultations will commence on March 21 to obtain input on the options being considered which will then inform the final recommendations to Council.

The rate structure changes and options being considered are as follows:

  • Fixed Service Charge for water and Wastewater – Introduction of a fixed monthly service charge, for those that receive the service, which would reduce the volumetric charge.
  • Lifeline Rate – Introduction of a low rate for the first six cubic metres of residential consumption which is equivalent to the basic water requirements per household.
  • Inclining Tiered Rates – A two-tiered rate for residential customers (lifeline and standard rate). A separate three-tiered rate for Multi-Residential and Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional (ICI) which would include a low volume rate (up to six cubic metres), a standard rate, and a high volume rate (above 180 cubic metres).
  • Dedicated Stormwater Fee – Stormwater Revenues would be a separate charge added to the tax bill similar to the Garbage collection fee. The new charge would apply to all properties with the exception of farmland. The three proposed options for allocating stormwater fees to property owners are:
    1. Flat fee – one single fee applied to all property owners
    2. Assessment – fee allocation based on property value assessment
    3. Impervious surface area – fees established per residential property category (i.e. single family homes, townhomes, apartments) based on average impervious surface. ICI properties would be charged on the basis of their actual impervious surface.


How can I participate?

The new rate structure will have an impact on all property owners in Ottawa and will play an important role in ensuring that the City can continue to provide high-level safe and reliable services to all residents. The City wants to hear your thoughts on the proposed new rate structures. How will these proposed changes affect you? Do you feel the proposed options are properly aligned with the guiding principles approved by City Council? Your feedback will help the City to finalize a proposal for City Council.

Register to participate at :

The City will host consultation sessions across Ottawa between March 21 and April 7, 2016:

Date Location
March 21, 7:00 pm Shenkman Arts Centre
March 29, 7:00 pm West Carleton Community Complex
March 30, 7:00 pm City Hall
March 31, 7:00 pm Navan Memorial Community Centre
April 2, 1:30 pm Metcalfe Community Centre
April 5, 7:00 pm Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre
April 7, 7:00 pm Nepean Sportsplex


Each consultation session will feature a presentation from City staff followed by a discussion session in small groups.

Please open the following document to learn more about how Ottawa currently pays for these services, and the changes that are being considered.

Backgrounder Handout for Consultations – Final