Managing your account
Your water account is designed to make it easier to see the basic information and it also gives you facts and figures that will help you manage and reduce your water usage. The following explains Council’s pricing structure, how and why we raise charges and where to go for assistance.
Depending on the services available to the property, there are two pricing areas for residential properties: water charges and sewer charges. Water and sewerage schemes are significant constructions. The costs to operate a high quality reliable water supply service is high and include pumping stations, land purchases, distribution mains and treatment plants. The water access and usage charges help cover the fixed costs of:
- The operation and maintenance of the extensive water and sewer distribution systems;
- Operation of water and sewer treatment plants;
- Improvements to water and sewer treatment processes; and
- Helping to protect the environment.
Water Charges are made up of two components:
- Water Usage is a charge based on the volume of water recorded through the meter between each water meter reading period for an individual property. Usage charges are measured in kilolitres (kL).
- Water Access is a fixed charge issued to all residential properties with an available connection and is based on a 20mm service. Larger meters incur a higher charge. Properties with multiple meter service connections pay a Water Access Charge for each connection.
Residential water charges for all supply schemes are available in the Water and Sewerage section of the Operational Plan and are set annually by Council. View the current charges and find out more about pricing and the supply schemes here.
Sewerage Access charges for residential properties is based on the size of the water meter and are generally charged on a 20mm service. Larger meters incur a higher charge. Properties with multiple service connections will pay a Sewer Access charge for each connection. The Sewer Access charge covers a portion of the operating cost of the sewer system.
Residential sewer charges are available in the Water and Sewerage section of the Operational Plan and are set annually by Council.
Your water bill explained
A water account is issued from Council to the property owner or their agent three times a year, each one covering four months. Your residential water account shows your usage charges. Water accounts are only issued to those properties that are connected to the town water supply.
The three water billing cycle meter reads are dependent on the availability of Council’s contracted meter readers and are generally:
- April / May
- August / September
- January / February
A water account gives you information to plan, manage and reduce your water usage and includes the following information:
- Customer name and postal address;
- Assessment number, address and description of the property (useful when calling us as these easily identifies your property)
- Date posted and the supply period;
- Previous and current meter readings;
- Separation of the volumetric charges;
- Total consumption for the current period and comparison with the daily average consumption for the previous period and same period last year;
- Due date for payment and the ways by which you can pay; and
- Information on contacting us including a 24 hour telephone number for faults and emergencies.
A topical flyer is included with each water account to provide the latest information on your water supply and sewer related services. These flyers are an important means by which we can communicate regularly with customers about initiatives and water saving strategies. You can view past flyers here.
Council will provide a range of payment options for Water Accounts. In addition to those shown on each water account, a number of other options are provided.
Vacant land charges
Where the water or sewer service is available to a property including vacant land, Water and Sewer Access Charges will be raised against the property and appear on the Rates Notice annually. This charge is in accordance with Section 552 of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW) and is levied regardless of whether the property is connected or not.
Base charges for vacant land for water and/or sewer services will only be applied to a property meeting the access charge location requirements and are able to feasibly connect to a main; for example the property has frontage to a main on any boundary and/or has a registered easement for services or water / sewer supply. All water and sewer rates are reviewed annually and published in Council’s adopted Operational Plan.
Find out more in Council’s POL/26030 Water Supply Services Policy and Council’s Water and Sewer Group Customer Service Plan.
If you are having difficulties paying your water accounts contact Council’s Revenue Officer on T 02 6578 7290.
Council recognises that some times customers experience genuine financial hardship and this can often be due to circumstances beyond their control. This can affect the customer’s ability to meet the payment terms for their Water Accounts. Customers have every right to seek assistance through Council’s Hardship Policy.
Application for Hardship must be received in writing on the Hardship Rate Relief Application Form with the required supporting information. Council may also request the ratepayer attend an interview to assist Council in the understanding of the issues causing hardship.