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User Pay Philosophy

Scales depicting revenue vs. costs

When the Region of Durham was incorporated in 1974, there were 15 different billing rates throughout the Region. In order to create a fair billing system, the Utility Finance Division consolidated the different rates and created one "Uniform Rate" based on the "User Pay" system. This simply means that each customer is charged their fair share of the cost to provide them with water and sanitary sewer services. If a customer makes an effort to reduce water use, both the water and sewer usage charges will decrease accordingly.

The Region follows the "User Pay" Philosophy as it is considered to be the fairest, most accepted and defensible policy. This philosophy is encouraged by legislation, the Ontario Section of the American Water Works Association and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

The "User Pay" philosophy, as well as full cost recovery, sewer surcharges (based on water usage) and universal water metering promote the efficient use of water by all customers.