Water & Sewer

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.

The county is currently working with the Cypress Rural Water Co-op to apply for grants, and to pursue the purchase of water licences.

The Cypress Rural Water Co-op's presentation to council October 18, 2016.

Executive Summary and Maps of the Cypress Rural Water Co-op were presented February 7, 2017.

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2023 Utility Rates
Water - Base and Capital fee plus consumption

 Base Fee $32.00
 Capital Fee $12.00
 Tier 1 (0.00-35m3) City +$0.75/m3 ($2.2120)
 Tier 2 (35.01-105.00m3) City +$1.00/m3 ($2.4620)
 Tier 3 (greater than 105.00m3) City +$1.30/m3 ($2.7620)

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:

See the Water and Sewer Bylaw or Master Rates Bylaw for more information.
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 - Apex Utilities 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
Only an owner which is the person or persons shown on the title of land serviced by a water or sewer system can sign on to a utility account.

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 30, would be billed on May 1, due May 31). Failure to receive or loss of utility bill cannot be accepted for reason of non-payment.

In an effort to make utility billing more convenient for our customers the county now gives residents the option to sign up for utilities E-billing. With E-billing a customer will receive an email with their current bill attached, rather than receive a paper copy in the mail. Signing up for E-billing does not change how customers pay their bill, just how they receive it. Utilities E-billing sign up.

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 the owner that the delinquent balance will be transferred to the taxes 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 will be added to the property owner's taxes.

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 & forms
To sign up for utilities, setup e-billing or preauthorized payment, please visit Online forms and registrations.

Utilities Consumer Advocate
Visit the Utilities Consumer Advocate website to compare electricity and gas prices in your area, view historical rates, or get help resolving water and energy utility related issues.

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 homeBi-monthly water usage in cubic metres Litres used per bi-monthly billing 
 1 15  15,000
 2 30  30,000
 3 45  45,000
 460 60,000
 575 75,000
 690 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.

Drips Per Minute Consumption Daily Consumption Over 2 Months Consumption for A Year 
52.7 Litres164 Litres  996 Litres
178.2 Litres491 Litres2,989 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 $1,400.00 charge on your water bill!

Remember: Water usage charges increase by consumption tier. Consume wisely.