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The revenue generating capacity of GLWA is somewhat dependent upon the weather. Hot, dry weather generally results in more water sales to the suburban wholesale customers that produce extra revenue to be used by GLWA in a future year. Cool, damp weather can have the opposite effect, generally resulting in an annual revenue shortfall. In addition, there are costs involved in operating and maintaining existing system facilities and capital improvement programs necessary to meet existing and future customer demands.
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Canton Township purchases its water from the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA). The GLWA operates the largest water system in the State of Michigan and supplies water to roughly four million people. The primary water sources are Lake Huron and the Detroit River.
The current rates for water/sewer usage are as follows: •$6.36 per 1,000 gallons of water purchased •$3.89 per 1,000 gallons of sewage treated
In an effort to protect the health and safety of the public, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has devised three public water warning notices in the event of an emergency. Boil Water Notice - If this warning is issued, residents must bring all water to a boil for at least three minutes then let it cool before using. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and preparing food until further notice. Do Not Drink Notice - If this warning is issued, residents should not use the water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, or preparing food until further notice. Do Not Use Water Notice - This is the most severe warning issued. If issued, residents should not use the water for any reason. Bottled water should be used for all needs until further notice and resident should not, under any circumstance, run their water. That includes filling up bathtubs, flushing toilets or watering lawns. Canton will only issue these warnings in the event of an emergency. If you are notified of a water emergency but you still lose water pressure or service, simply run your tap until the water becomes clear once the pressure has been restored. By understanding the difference between these three warning you can better protect yourself and your family. For questions regarding the public water warning notices please call Canton’s Public Works Division at 734/397-1011 or the MDEQ at 800/292-4706.
The water rates set by GLWA are based on an annual forecast determined by historical data for water usage and estimated costs for water production and delivery services. GLWA uses the forecast to set a rate for each of its customers. By law, GLWA can only recover the cost of service, it cannot make a profit. If more water is sold than forecasted, the extra funds received must be used for the system and offset the need to increase wholesale water rates in the future.
The water rate formula that GLWA uses has 3 primary components:
These factors vary greatly in a service area as large as GLWA’s. All customers’ wholesale rates (i.e., the rate Canton pays to GLWA to buy water) are set by this formula.
In addition to the cost to purchase water from GLWA, Canton has costs to operate, maintain and replace the 380 miles of local water distribution system piping. Canton also has fixed costs to cover such as administration, water billing staff, meter reading and meter replacements.
The annual revenue requirements of the water system must be sufficient to cover both our costs and GLWA costs. The annual water rate increase needs to be passed through to the end customer, the Canton Township water and sewer user, in order that the water funds remain financially stable year-to-year.
Residences with footing drains tied to the sanitary sewer system pay a slightly higher fixed charge to offset the increased usage of the sanitary sewer system during rain events.
A residential water meter is read every other month (bi-monthly). This reading is obtained from outside the home by one of 2 methods: touchpad or radio read unit. The touchpad and radio read devices are able to electronically transmit a meter reading outside the building identical to that of the inside water meter.
The typical useful life cycle of a water meter is 10 to 15 years. After this time, the meter may develop problems providing accurate readings. System audits are performed to monitor possible equipment failures.
Canton has an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Program, which allow us to read all water meters in the community via radio frequency which is more accurate and more efficient.
Often when Canton residents receive their bills, they wonder why it is so high. Residents are billed bi-monthly for water and sewer usage. One thing to keep in mind is that the bill reflects usage for the previous 2 months. In other words, a bill received in the fall may have summer usage on it. By this time we find that many residents forget how frequently they may have watered over the summer, and are shocked at their bill. Reading dates are reflected on water bills.
Irrigation systems are the biggest source of high water bills. An average sprinkler head can use 2 gallons per minute. If your system has 20 heads, and runs for 20 minutes each day, the result would be 24,000 gallons in a month or 48,000 gallons in a bi-monthly bill. One thing that you can do to monitor your watering is to take a reading at the start of a water cycle and again at the end. By performing this check, you will know exactly how much water is being used by your system. Based on this information, you can adjust your watering accordingly.
For information on ways you can conserve water and reduce your costs, please contact one of our Engineering staff in the DPW at 734/394-5150.
The fixed charges vary based on the size of water meter in your home or business. For most residential customers, the fixed charge (based on a 1-inch meter or less) is $8.24 per bi-monthly billing.
The fixed charges vary based on the size of water meter in your home or business. The fixed charge for residential customers (based on a one-inch meter or less) is $6.04 per bi-monthly billing, if you have a separate sump pump system. For customers who do not have a separate sump pump system, a fixed charge of $14.90 will be assessed bi-monthly. This additional charge reflects the rainwater that enters the sanitary sewer system from the footing drain system that requires treatment at the wastewater treatment plants. If you are unsure whether you have a separate sump pump system or not, please contact the Water Billing staff in the Treasurer’s Office at 734/394-5240 and schedule an appointment to have an inspection by the DPW staff.
Water and sewer bills are mailed bi-monthly. You will receive 6 per year for all Residential, Businesses, apartments and condominium complexes.
Canton Township offers many options for paying your water and sewer bill. Payments can be made by cash, check, Mastercard, Visa and or Discover (additional fees apply) at the Treasurer’s Office located on the 1st floor of the Administration Building at 1150 S Canton Center Road. Office hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. For your convenience, a 24-hour drop-box is located at the southeast corner of the Administration Building. Payments can also be mailed for processing. Electronic payments can be made through your checking or savings account, credit card or debit card at the Canton Township website. Canton also offers "Interactive Voice Response (IVR)" by phoning in at 1-833-679-1711.
There is no fee for an online payment if the money is taken directly out of your checking or savings account. However, a fee of $3.95 will be added to any payment made on a debit or credit card. Please note, the $3.95 fee passed onto residents by the bank and not Canton Township.
No, the township ordinance does not allow a second meter for outdoor water use. Sewer charges are based on 100% of the water consumption, and this is how Canton Township is charged for sewage treatment in the GLWA system.
If a community chooses to remove the sewage charge component from an irrigation (outside water) meter, the cost must be made up by increasing the rate charged for domestic (internal) water use. This would result in increasing the cost to modest users while decreasing the unit cost to users that use more (irrigation) water. Theoretically, if every customer had dual meters and all the irrigation meters were not charged the sewage component, then the cost of water for every user would increase.
The following list illustrates how much water is wasted from a continuous leak over a 2 month period.
A toilet running continuously amounts to the following amount of wasted water: