Question: What does turning on your tap, flushing your toilet and rain draining into a catch basin have in common?
Answer: These are all services you pay for as part of your water bill.
The City provides three main services through its Toronto Water division:
• Safe drinking water for 3.4 million residents and businesses in Toronto, and portions of York Region;
• Wastewater treatment for 2.8 million residents and businesses in Toronto and a portion of Peel Region; and
• Stormwater management to reduce surface and basement flooding and to protect the environment.
The services of Toronto Water are not supported by property taxes, but are fully funded by what residents and businesses pay on their water bill. To provide these services, Toronto Water maintains extensive infrastructure and operates many different facilities 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
Where the money comes from (as of 2013 budget):
Revenue collected through the water bills from City of Toronto residents and businesses
Revenue from the sale of water to York Region
Revenue from other user fees (e.g. Industrial waste agreements, water shut-on and shut-off requests)
How the money is spent:
Capital work including maintaining and updating the system
Operating the sysem to deliver clean drinking water, treat sewage and manage stormwater
Toronto Water is working aggressively to maintain and repair existing infrastructure and to build new infrastructure where needed. Despite that, Toronto’s water rates are still lower than most of our neighbouring municipalities and are in the bottom range for major cities in Canada.