Changes to residential wastewater charges

Overview

Residential customers will no longer pay a volumetric based Wastewater (Sewer) Usage Charge from 2020/21. They will only pay a flat fixed wastewater (sewer) access charge. 

 In previous years, residential and non-residential water consumers paid a total wastewater (sewer) charge made up of:

  • A flat fixed wastewater (sewer) access charge, charged on the rates notice.
  • A volumetric sewer usage charge, charged on quarterly water notices. This was based on the estimated percentage of water consumed by a property that was returned to the wastewater (sewer) system.

Most residential customers will see an increase of $400.00 to their wastewater (sewer) access charge on their 2020/21 rates notice. This has been increased to compensate for the lost revenue from volumetric charges that were previously listed on the water notice. 

We will not generate any additional total revenue due to the new pricing structure.

Why is the pricing structure changing?

Some of the main reasons we changed the pricing structure are:

  • It complies with best practice pricing principles.
  • Our pricing structure is now consistent with other NSW local water utilities (Councils).
  • It is more equitable.
  • It simplifies billing for customers.

The previous volumetric based pricing structure assumed all residential properties returned 75 per cent of the water they use back to the wastewater system. However, 

  • units/flats return about 95 per cent.
  • houses return about 70 per cent (those with large gardens and/or swimming pools even less).
  • water leaks and rainwater tanks also contribute to inequities of volumetric based wastewater charging for residential customers.

Comparison between wastewater charges 

The following table compares the residential wastewater (sewer) charging structures between 2019/20 and 2020/21. You also need to take into consideration when making comparisons that a 1.8 CPI increase is included in the 2020/21 charge.

  • If you consume about 200 KL of water per annum, the total amount of wastewater (sewer) charges you pay in 2020/21 will be similar to the total amount you paid in 2019/20.
  • If you use less than 200 KL of water per annum you will pay more and if you use more than 200 KL you will pay less.

For example: if you consume 250 KL of water each year, in 2019/20 you would have paid a total wastewater (sewer) charge of $857.00 + (250 KL x $1.94/KL) = $1,342.00.  In 2020/21 you will simply pay the wastewater (sewer) access charge of $1,257.00.

Each person uses an average of around 200 litres of water per day – everyone is different so this can vary significantly.

 Residential Charge Type (Standard 20mm Water Meter)

*KL = Kilolitres (1,000 litres)

 2019/20 2020/21
Residential Wastewater (sewer) Access Charge  857.00 1,257.00
Residential Wastewater (sewer) Usage Charge - Rate per KL* 1.94 0.00

 

Non-Residential Wastewater Charges

Non-Residential wastewater (sewer) charges are not affected by this change and will continue to be charged under the two part pricing structure (access charge + volumetric charge) which complies with best practice pricing.

The two part pricing structure for non-residential properties is considered equitable as the discharge factor is variable (assessed for each property based on its use) and the effluent discharged is generally of a higher concentration than that of residential property.