New pricing structure for trade waste customers

Why has Unitywater introduced a new pricing structure?

What’s different about the new pricing for trade waste customers?

How does the new pricing structure affect customers producing domestic strength (Charge Class 1) trade waste?

Our business used to pay a charge for the volume of trade waste we produced. Does this charge still apply?

Can the property owner pass on water and sewerage charges to our business?

How does the new structure affect customers producing higher strength trade waste?

What are the strength charges for Class 2 trade waste?

Can I contest my trade waste charge class?

What charges does the property owner pay?

Why is the sewerage usage percentage based on the property’s land use code?

What if I don’t agree with the land use code assigned to my property?

What if I don’t agree with the percentage Unitywater is using to calculate my sewerage usage?

Is there anything I can do to reduce my trade waste charges?

What if I own several properties producing trade waste – how am I charged?

How does the new pricing structure affect Liquid Waste Carriers?

How does it affect council landfills and holding tanks?

What is the Sewerage Admission Limit (SAL)?

What can I do to lower my access charges?

How can I make my sewerage and water bill smaller?

 

Why has Unitywater introduced a new pricing structure?

Unitywater inherited a complex set of fees and charges from six former council areas when it was established in 2010, including over 20 different price plans for trade waste customers and liquid waste carriers.

On 1 July 2013 Unitywater started phasing in a new, more consistent pricing structure for our customers throughout the Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions.

The aim of the new structure for trade waste customers is to ensure our fees and charges reflect the cost of treating trade waste and its impact on our infrastructure and the environment.

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What’s different about the new pricing for trade waste customers?

There is a consistent approach to fees and charges throughout the Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions.

Customers are now classified as one of the following four categories:

Charge Class 1:

  • Over 98% of trade waste customers are Charge Class 1
  • These customers will have an annual, tier one permit fee of $200.00
  • Charge Class 1 customers are not required to pay strength charges on their trade waste discharges
  • Where a trade waste customer historically paid sewerage volumetric charges, these are now levied to the property owner

Charge Class 2:

  • This category covers only those customers who present a large compliance risk due to the nature of their trade waste discharges (even where pre-treatment facilities are in place)
  • Charge Class 2 customers pay an annual, tier two permit fee of $3,000.00, plus strength charges for any discharges outside the Sewerage Admission Limit (SAL)
  • Where a trade waste customer historically paid sewerage volumetric charges, these are now levied to the property owner

Landfill / Holding Tanks:

  • This category is reserved landfill and contaminated sites where the primary discharge is contaminated run-off
  • An annual, tier two permit fee of $3,000.00 applies, as well as a volumetric charge on discharges of $2.44 /kL
  • Strength charges apply for any discharges outside the Sewerage Admission Limit (SAL)

Liquid Waste Carriers

  • These customers transport trade waste on behalf of other customers.
  • An annual, tier one permit fee of $200.00 applies as well as charges based on the type and volume of waste discharged
  • The waste types have been simplified from six, down to three types:
  • Landfill Leachate & Tankered Domestic Sewerage
  • Tankered Non-Domestic Sewerage & Chemical Toilets
  • Septic Tank & On-site Waste Treatment Systems

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How does the new pricing structure affect customers producing domestic strength (Charge Class 1) trade waste?

The vast majority of our trade waste customers are in this class.

These trade waste customers only pay the tier one annual trade waste permit fee of $200.00.

The property owner pays fixed access charges and sewerage and water usage charges for the property.

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Our business used to pay a charge for the volume of trade waste we produced. Does this charge still apply?

Customers generating trade waste no longer pay a charge for the volume of trade waste they produce under the new pricing structure, with volumetric charges levied to the property owner, ensuring consistency with all other business customers.

However, Charge Class 2 and Landfill / Holding Tank customers producing trade waste beyond the Sewerage Admission Limit (SAL) are required to pay strength charges.

Under the new structure, property owners pay fixed access charges and sewerage and water usage charges for the property.

Sewerage usage is calculated as being a percentage of water usage. The percentage is based on the land use code supplied by the local council.

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Can the property owner pass on sewerage and water charges to our business?

Unitywater has no say in this. It is a commercial arrangement between the property owner and their tenant.

 

How does the new structure affect customers producing higher strength trade waste?

Charge Class 2 customers, who present a large compliance risk due to the nature of their trade waste discharges (even where pre-treatment facilities are in place), pay the tier two annual trade waste permit fee of $3000.00 and trade waste strength charges where discharges into the sewage network exceed Sewerage Admission Limit (SAL).

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What are the strength charges for Class 2 trade waste?

  • Chemical Oxygen Demand: $1.33/kg (where above 600mg/L)
  • Total Suspended Solids: $190/kg (where above 300mg/L)
  • Total Nitrogen: $3.71/kg (where above 150mg/L)
  • Total Phosphorous: $11.96/kg (where above 50mg/L)
  • Sulphate: $1.10/kg (where above 15mg/L)


Can I contest my trade waste charge class?

No. The two trade waste classes were determined following a complex risk assessment of businesses and waste being produced in our service area.

If you would like to discuss your trade waste charges and how these might be reduced, please contact our Customer Service team on 1300 086 489 (1300 0 UNITY) and ask to speak to a Trade Waste Officer. We would be happy to provide you with assistance and advice.

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What charges does the property owner pay?

As with all other business customers, the property owner pays the fixed access and variable sewerage and water usage charges for their property.

Sewerage usage is calculated as being a percentage of water usage based on the land use code for the property, or as measured through their sewerage discharge meter (where available).

This applies for all properties where trade waste is produced, regardless of the trade waste strength.

If a trade waste generator historically paid a sewerage volumetric charge, these are now levied to the property owner.

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Why is the sewerage usage percentage based on the property’s land use code?

Sewage includes everything that enters sinks, drains, is flushed down toilets and discharged from appliances such as dishwashers. Your sewerage usage is therefore directly linked to your water usage.

There are significant differences in the way businesses use water. For example, a café or hair dressing salon would return a higher percentage of the water entering their property to the sewerage network than a plant nursery, where most of the water is used outdoors.

The land use code supplied by your local council provides an indication of the way water is used on the property.

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What if I don’t agree with the land use code assigned to my property?

Your local council assigns the land use codes for properties in your region. You need to contact your council if you believe your land use code is incorrect.


What if I don’t agree with the percentage Unitywater is using to calculate my sewerage usage?

Most properties do not have meters to measure the volume of sewage entering the network, so we have applied a percentage based on the property’s land use code.

If you believe the percentage we are using to calculate sewerage usage on your property is too high, you can apply to have this reviewed. Please note, this process does incur a fee.

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Is there anything I can do to reduce my trade waste charges?

Customers producing high strength trade waste may wish to consider upgrading their infrastructure to treat and reduce the strength of the waste being discharged into the sewage network.

Unitywater would be happy to provide advice about how this may be achieved to reduce your trade waste bills over the long-term.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact our Customer Service team on 1300 086 489 (1300 0 UNITY) and ask to speak to a Trade Waste Officer.

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What if I own several properties producing trade waste – how am I charged?

Unitywater charges all non-residential property owners throughout the Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions the same rate per kilolitre for water usage.

Sewerage and water access charges depend on the size and number of the water meters on each property. The sewerage usage charge is calculated as a percentage of water usage for each property, based on the land use codes supplied by council.

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How does the new pricing structure affect Liquid Waste Carriers?

Trade waste generators for liquid waste carriers pay a tier one annual permit fee of $200.00 and charges based on the volume and declared waste type.

The new pricing structure more accurately reflects the cost of treating this waste.

Under the old structure there were six categories for trade waste type. Under the new structure there are three categories.

Waste Category 

Price per kilolitre 
Landfill Leachate & Tankered Domestic Sewerage  $2.44
Tankered Non-Domestic Sewerage & Chemical Toilets  $27.98
Septic Tank & On-site Waste Treatment Systems $47.88

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How does it affect council landfills and holding tanks?

These customers pay a tier two annual permit fee of $3000.00, $2.44 per kilolitre for sewerage discharges and strength charges for trade waste above the Sewerage Admission Limit (SAL).

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What is the Sewerage Admission Limit (SAL)?

The SAL is the allowable strength of sewerage discharges. Any discharges above this level may be levied strength charges.

Sewerage Admission Limit 

Allowance (maximum) 
Chemical Oxygen Demand  up to 600mg/L
Suspended Solids  up to 300mg/L
Nitrogen  up to 150mg/L
Phosphorous  up to 50mg/L
Sulphate  up to 15mg/L

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What can I do to lower my access charges?

You can contract a licensed plumber to complete a hydraulics review of your metering arrangements. A hydraulics review assesses a property’s water use requirements, to determine if the property can downsize to a smaller water meter, and therefore pay lower access charges. Should you be able to downsize your water meter(s) you will need to contact Unitywater and complete an application form. Please note, downsizing your water meter will incur a cost.

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How can I make my sewerage and water bill smaller?

Reduce your water consumption or install water efficient appliances as this will help to minimise both sewerage and water usage charges on your account.

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    Did You Know
  • Installing a water efficient 4 star rated showerhead will reduce the flow from 20 litres per minute to 9 litres per minute.