October 29, 2021 - Aquatech - Lakefront Bill Comparison (2019 - 2021)

Aquatech took over from Lakefront Utilities on August 1, 2021. Information has been taken from actual Water & Sewer bills for a typical family of four, comparing Aquatech bills for 2021 to Lakefront bills for 2020 and 2019. The chart begins with the Aquatech first billing cycle. Chart Comparing Aquatech and Lakefront Charges

  1. HST is not charged to water/sewer bills, so that was an error on Aquatech's part with the first bill, and explains why there is a Bill Adjustment on the second bill. It is to refund the HST incorrectly charged to customers
  2. WATER FIXED RATE should be the same amount on EVERY bill. Only the usage amount should vary month to month.
  3. SEWER - WASTE WATER FIXED RATE should be the same amount on EVERY bill. Only the usage amount should vary month to month. Waste water fixed rate and usage rate is calculated by multiplying the water fixed rate and usage amount by 115%. It is not understood why Aquatech isn't just using the Water and Sewer Fixed Rates as approved by Council in any given billing cycle, because they would still recover the full amount annually. Calculating a monthly fixed rate based on # of days in a billing cycle makes no sense, and does nothing to provide customers with a sense of stability on their bills.
  4. Aquatech agreed to do monthly meter readings for the term of the 5 year contract, as stated by PW Manager Dave MacPherson at the April 20, 2021 COW meeting. The fact that the first billing cycle used estimated readings, is not a good sign.
  5. The second bill shows that it was an actual reading was taken on September 7th. so there must have been someone in the neighbourhood taking readings!

A blank chart was prepared by Gritt Koehl to serve as a template for Cramahe residents to track their water and sewer charges since Aquatech took over. The chart allows residents to compare current charges with previous bills from Lakefront Utilities. The chart begins with the billing cycle for Jul 2 – Aug 2 (due September) and covers one full year. Comparison Template

It should be noted that a major study of water and waste water rates was done by Sharratt Water Management and published in January 2021 and presented to Cramahe Council. This should serve as a rude awakening for users of the municipal water/sewer systems.
Water/Wastewater Rate Report - January 18, 2021

October 25, 2021 - Timeline of Discussions and Decisions Re Water Services Contract

Early in 2021 Tender 2021-02 was issued for Professional Services to operate the Colborne Water Supply and Distribution System. The contract was awarded to Aquatech Canadian Water Services Inc in April 2021. Gritt koehl prepared a timeline of discussions and decisions relating to this contract. Timeline of Discussion & Decisions

September 25, 2021 - Cramahe Township's Drinking Water & Sewer Contract with Aquatech

Cramahe residents are in a plight with a new company called Aquatech. This company has a 5 year contract to operate the Cramahe Municipal Water & Sewer Systems. Lakefront Utilities had this contract before Aquatech took over on August 1, 2021.

Some customers were hit with huge bills last month sparking an outcry on social media.
The problem?
Lakefront always billed according to actual readings of customer water meters.
Aquatech is estimating readings, which is not what was agreed to by Council. The CAO/Treasurer told Council that Aquatech had agreed to a change in the contract to read the meters instead of estimating readings and not increase the contract cost.
Aquatech says it is looking into the billing fiasco, but unless customers are billed according to actual meter readings - not estimated - residents' trust in Aquatech and the Township will be lost. Once trust is lost, it is very hard to gain that trust back.
Here is the Tender Report that was attached to the April 13, 2021 Council Of the Whole agenda relating to the Aquatech contract.
"Tender 2021-02 be awarded to Aquatech Canadian Water Services Inc. for annual cost of $243,444.00 plus HST.
Mayor and Clerk to enter into a five-year agreement with Aquatech Canadian Water Services Inc. to operate, maintain and provide related services for the Township of Cramahe water supply and distribution system."
Minutes of the COW meeting showing that the above motion was carried.
Here are links to reports by Sharratt Water Management Ltd. regarding Water and Wastewater Rates and Financial Plan from 2021 to 2030, so residents can understand how rates are established.
Residents wishing to have their bills investigated have been asked to contact us via private message on our Facebook page. You can get to the Facebook page by clickng the Yellow F at the right side of the ABC-Activism website menu line.