By Laura Naylor, The Canadian PressA few years ago, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government proposed to replace a water meter on a house with a water filter.
The government decided the water meter was an eyesore.
But now, two years later, the water filter is gone.
Water filters, as the name suggests, remove contaminants from water and can help with cleaning up.
But they’re also very expensive.
The average cost of a water treatment system in Ontario is $300,000.
A typical filter costs $2,000, while a water filtration system can run for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The filter was a cost-cutting measure, but it also had one big downside: The government was spending $300 million a year to replace it.
By replacing the water-meter and water-filtering system, the Progressive Conservative Government of Ontario is putting its future in the hands of its residents.
The city has made an investment of more than $1 billion in the two systems and will have about $1.8 billion invested in new water infrastructure over the next decade, the Ontario Ministry of Finance says.
But the decision to replace the water meters with water filters has raised some questions.
How much money has the Ontario government spent to replace each water meter with a new water filter?
And what about the costs of replacing the old ones?
While it’s not clear how much each water filter cost, it’s known that each system costs about $3,000 to build and $2 to install.
And since the government expects the filters to last at least 50 years, it would be more than 50 years before they were replaced, said Mark Gaudreau, the director of research for Ontario’s Water Infrastructure Strategy.
“The money will be available if we get to that point,” Gaudrien said.
How much of the money will go to replacing the meters?
The Ontario government is now asking Ontario Power Generation to contribute $1 million to the cost of replacing all of the water filters.
That’s about $400,000 for the system and another $500,000 each year for 10 years.
The provincial government is also asking for $1,000 per meter to pay for a new filter.
So, is the money needed to replace all the water machines worth the money spent to do it?
Not according to the Ontario Water Ministry.
In a written statement, a spokesperson for the ministry said that the money “will be available should a future government wish to make an investment in the infrastructure needed to ensure the water system can continue to function.”
“If they want to invest in infrastructure, then they would be required to use that money in order to complete that investment,” said spokesperson Kelly MacLeod.
MacLeod added that the water ministry would “continue to evaluate the impact” of a future investment in infrastructure and that any decision on future infrastructure would be based on that assessment.
Are there any other ways Ontario could have saved money?
In a statement to The Canadian Post, the ministry did say that the province could have “reduced the number of water meters in service to one per 10,000 population.”
But that could have also led to a lot of people getting sick because of the higher numbers, said Tim Fassett, the senior vice-president of communications for Ontario Power.
“I think it would have been possible to make sure that people didn’t have their water filtered because they would have just had the filters at home, but they would’ve also had to pay to get them, and that could’ve been a huge cost,” he said.
In fact, a 2009 study from the University of Waterloo found that water meters cost about $25 per person per year to run, and if you added in the costs for filters, the cost per person would be about $4,600 a year.
But, the study said that “no such cost reduction exists in Ontario.”
If you look at the figures for the cost savings that could be realized from the removal of the filters, Fassetts says it’s very hard to argue with that.
“It’s not as dramatic as replacing a whole lot of meters,” he says.
“I would say it’s more than just replacing the meter, it may be the cost reduction for the filters.”
But even if you do that, there’s no guarantee the cost would be a net positive.
If the government had used the money from the $1M water filter donation, Fissett says it could have made the same kind of savings, but “we don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of that.”
If it had made the money available to people who don’t need it, he says, the government could have been more transparent about its decision to remove the filters.
And if it had not done so, the money could have helped people who could’ve benefited from the filters get clean water, he said, adding that “that’s a very different