Water & Sewer Services

Potable water is available in all County hamlets.  Water for Dunmore, Desert Blume, Seven Persons, Veinerville, Irvine and Walsh originates from the South Saskatchewan River and is delivered to the County from the City of Medicine Hat.  Hilda and Schuler water also comes from the South Saskatchewan River and is treated in Hilda and pumped to Schuler.  A similar arrangement is found in Suffield where water is delivered from CFB Suffield

Residents and businesses outside hamlets provide their own water from ground water wells, trucked in to fill cisterns or from rural water co-operatives.  Water co-ops providing treated potable water are Westside (servicing south and west of Medicine Hat), South Dunmore, and East Cypress (east of Veinerville).  Elkwater (north of Elkwater Lake) and Bullshead (Eagle Butte area) provide untreated raw water.

2016 Utility Rates
Water - Base fee plus consumption

Base Fee $25.00
01m3 to 40m3 @ $1.5296/m3
40.01m3 to 120m3 @ $1.7796/m3
120.01m3     => @ $2.0796/m3

Sewer
Sanitary sewer systems operate in all hamlets except Dunmore and Walsh which use septic fields or septic tanks.  Veinerville sewer system is owned and operated by Cypress County but is billed by the City of Medicine Hat.

Sewer Rates for all hamlets except Dunmore, Walsh and Veinerville:

Residential $80.00
Commercial $125.00

See Bylaw 2014/08 or Bylaw 2014/48 for more information.  

Electric
Desert Blume, Dunmore and Veinerville - City of Medicine Hat 403.529.8111
Hilda, Irvine, Schuler, Seven Persons, Suffield and Walsh - EPCOR 310.4300 or
Customer Choice 310.4822

Natural Gas
All hamlets except Veinerville - AltaGas 1.866.222.2067 or Forty Mile Gas 403.526.7718
Veinerville - City of Medicine Hat 403.529.8111
For all services in Elkwater please contact the Cypress Hills Provincial Park office in Elkwater. 403.893.3777

Utility Billing and Payment
Utilities are invoiced every two months.  A billing cycle covers from the first day of the two month period to the last day of the second month in that period.  (Example:  March 1 through April 30th, would be billed on May 1st, due May 31).  Failure to receive or loss of utility bill cannot be accepted for reason of non-payment.

A 1% penalty will be applied to all outstanding amounts not paid by the due date.  A courtesy reminder letter will be sent to the delinquent account holder advising that the water service will be shut off unless the account is paid in full by the date specified in the letter.  This letter shall be deemed to have been received seven (7) days after it is sent.

If, after the date specified in the courtesy reminder letter, the account remains unpaid, a non-payment fee of $80.00 will be charged and the service will be disconnected.  All charges must be paid in advance for the service to be turned back on.

Utilities can be paid by cash, cheque, debit, drop box at the County office, preauthorized payments, internet banking and through most financial institutions.  Please allow 5 business days for processing if paying by mail, via the internet or through a financial institution.

Agreements
A number of forms are available for download:

Utility Application and Service Agreement - to sign up for utilities

Utility Preauthorized Payment - to pay by preauthorized auto-debit

Landlord Tenant Agreement - so landlords can register and provide their tenant with access to a copy of the utility bill

Along with the completed Landlord Tenant Agreement, all registered tenants must complete and sign a Utility Application and Service Agreement and pay a $200 deposit to Cypress County before this option can take effect.  

Once completed, all three forms can be dropped off in person at the County office Dunmore (after hours drop box available),emailed to utilities@cypress.ab.ca, mailed or faxed to 403.526.8958.  

Utility FAQ's
How much water is considered normal household consumption
Normal consumption can vary from household to household, however, as a general rule a family of 4 can expect to use 1m3 per day.  One cubic meter is about 220 gallons or 1,000 Litres.  For a quick consumption calculation for household use only, please look at the table below.

Water Consumption Calculator

Number of People living at home Bi-monthly water usage in cubic metres Litres used per bi-monthly billing
1 15 15,000
2 30 30,000
3 45 45,000
4 60 60,000
5 75 75,000
6 90 90,000

My household consumption seems very high and I don’t know why?
Keeping the general consumption rule in mind, if you are experiencing increased water consumption it could mean you have a leak.  Dripping taps and leaking automatic sprinklers and toilets are a few areas that can quickly increase consumption and result in a very large and costly water bill. 

I think I have a leak, what do I do?
To perform a test, make sure everything that uses water is turned off, including:

  • Toilets
  • Taps
  • Automatic water sprinklers
  • Hoses
  • Automatic humidifiers
  • Automatic ice machines
  • Automatic drinking water filters or reverse osmosis devices

With everything off that could possibly use water, go and check your water meter to see if the odometer-like numbers are moving.  If they are you have a leak.

Did You Know?
A toilet can be leaking without you hearing it.  Here is a way to test your toilets.  Put some food coloring in the tank of the toilet and leave it for about 20 minutes.  If the food coloring has found its way to the bowl – you have a leak.
A dripping tap can have a huge effect on your consumption.  See the table below.

Leak Rate Calculator

Drips Per Minute Consumption Daily Consumption Over 2 Months Consumption for A Year
5 2.7 Litres 164 Litres 996 Litres
17 8.2 Litres 491 Litres 2,989 Litres

Why is my water bill so much higher during the summer?
A typical household ¾ inch meter can accommodate a volume of 8m3/hr.  At that rate, watering for 3 hours, 3 times per week (9 hours/week) X 8 weeks (2 month billing period) can result in an additional consumption of 576m3 which could translate into an extra $1,198.00 charge on your water bill!
Remember:  Water usage charges increase by consumption tier.  Consume wisely.