The charges customers pay for water and sewerage services and who they pay depends on where they live. Charges vary as the cost of providing water varies across different regions in Queensland.
Charges are set and billed by the relevant water utility. The water utility is commonly the local council. The exception to this is some parts of South East Queensland (SEQ) where water is provided by council-owned water utilities – Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) or Unitywater. To see the serviced areas for these businesses, visit QUU or Unitywater.
For all other areas of Queensland, the local authority sets the water and sewerage charges and sends out the bills. Water bills are often combined with the local council rates’ bill.
Most water and sewerage charges are made up of a fixed access charge for water, a fixed access charge for sewerage, and a variable price per kilolitre which is charged depending on how much water is used. However, some of these charges can vary depending on the region and how the local water provider sets the charges.
SEQ Bulk Water Charge
In SEQ, there is an additional charge known as the State Bulk Water Charge. This charge is set by the Queensland Government and covers the cost of bulk water supply provided by Seqwater. It is a variable charge so how much a customer pays in State Bulk Water Charges depends on how much water they use.
Customers in SEQ might have noticed that water prices have increased in recent years. One of the reasons for this is that the State Bulk Water Charge has been increasing to pay for new infrastructure, including the Tugun Desalination Plant, Western Corridor Recycled Water Plant and a number of new pipelines. More information on the State Bulk Water Charge can be found on the Queensland Government website.
Water Prices across SEQ in 2014-15
The Queensland Competition Authority provides details on SEQ water prices each year and how prices will impact on household water bills. This includes factsheets on each of the five water utilities across SEQ which explain the reasons for the price increases and the main cost drivers.
For more information on the water and sewerage charges applicable in each area of SEQ, contact the relevant local council or water utility. Visit the Queensland Competition Authority website to find out who the local water provider is. For information on the residential water and sewerage charges across SEQ visit the following retailer websites:
- Queensland Urban Utilities
- Gold Coast City Council
- Logan City Council
- Redland City Council
QCOSS has released a number of factsheets on essential services, including water factsheets which you can print to hand out to clients.