By Staff Writer – Oak Bay News
Published: January 12, 2012 2:00 PM
Updated: January 12, 2012 2:11 PM

Oak Bay residents are now paying more for water and sewer services.

The average homeowner will pay about $518 for both services this year, up $16 from 2011. Municipal treasurer Patricia Walker said the increases are necessary to offset last year’s drop in revenue caused by a large reduction in water use.

Mayor Nils Jensen said the decline is part of “a trend in the region for people to use less water.”

Residents are watering their lawns less and replacing 20-litres-per-flush toilets with six-litre models, he said. The low-flush toilets alone represent a 40,000- to 80,000-litre water saving annually for a family of four.

The rate increase, to $1.961 per unit (100 cubic feet, or 2,845 litres), was approved during a special council meeting last week. The new sewer fee charge is $1.0189 per unit of water used.