At City West Water we are committed to providing our customers with the best quality water services at an affordable cost.
We are a state-owned water distributor and retailer in metro Melbourne. The prices we charge are regulated by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). This ensures the money we collect is no more than we need to prudently operate our business.
Our 2019-20 charges mean that a residential water bill remains one of the lowest average bills in any capital city in Australia. And, our business customers have experienced the largest reduction to their bill than any other Victorian water corporation during the 2018-19 financial year.
Where does your money go?
As one of Victoria’s water authorities, our prices are set by the ESC. The ESC’s Price Determination for City West Water sets out prices from 1 July 2018 and the process we use to update our prices annually to 30 June 2023. The 2019-20 approved pricing begins from 1 July 2019. For more information on the price determination, please visit the ESC's website.
When you pay your water bill, the money contributes to the following:
Over the past 5 years, Melbourne has experienced warmer, drier weather conditions with less rain, which has led to water storage levels dropping to around 50% of capacity. The Victorian Desalination Plant increases the resilience of Melbourne’s water supply network, supplementing water from our protected catchments. The Desalination Plant has the capacity to provide Melbourne with one-third of its water needs and in 2019-20, 125 billion litres of water has been ordered to help our storages stabilise and recover. From 1 July 2019, all customer water usage will cover the cost of the water ordered from the Desalination Plant, with an average cross-Melbourne quarterly residential bill increase of about $2.50.
Other government charges
The two charges that may appear on your bill, that are not City West Water charges include:
- Waterways and Drainage Charge
- We collect this charge on behalf of Melbourne Water, it helps protect and improve the health of our rivers and creeks and assists with regional drainage services and flood protection and warning systems. Learn more visit Melbourne Water’s website.
- Parks Charge
- We collect this charge on behalf of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Our 2019/20 Prices
The prices for non residential charges are as follows:
|Non residential charges||Old price
(1 Jul 2018 – 30 Jun 2019)
(1 Jul 2019 – 30 Jun 2020)
compared to last year
|Water network charge||$84.18 per quarter||$84.29 per quarter||$0.11 per quarter|
|Water usage charge||$2.5970 per kilolitre||$2.7963 per kilolitre||$0.1993 per kilolitre|
|Sewerage network charge||$113.26 per quarter||$113.61 per quarter||$0.35 per quarter|
|Sewage disposal charge||$1.7068 per kilolitre||$1.7295 per kilolitre||$0.0227 per kilolitre|
|Trade waste usage charges|
|Volume charge||$0.8152 per kilolitre||$0.8260 per kilolitre||$0.0108 per kilolitre|
|Biochemical oxygen demand||$0.9953 per kilogram||$1.0085 per kilogram||$0.0132 per kilogram|
|Total Kjedahl nitrogen||$1.9154 per kilogram||$1.9409 per kilogram||$0.0255 per kilogram|
|Suspended solids||$0.5392 per kilogram||$0.5463 per kilogram||$0.0071 per kilogram|
|Inorganic total dissolve solids||$0.0194 per kilogram||$0.0196 per kilogram||$0.0002 per kilogram|
|Private fire service connection||$25.81 per quarter||New charge|
|Melbourne Water waterways and drainage charge||Minimum fee||$136 per year||$145.36 per year||$9.36 per year|
|Rate||$0.5118¢ per $ of NAV^ per year||$0.4782¢ per $ of NAV^ per year||-$0.0336¢ per $ of NAV^ per year|
|Melbourne Water waterways charge for rural areas||$55.36 per year||$56.08 per year||$0.72 per year|
|Parks Victoria charge||Minimum fee||$77.10 per year||$79.02 per year||$1.92 per year|
|Rate||0.460¢ per $ of NAV^ per year||0.471 ¢ per $ of NAV^ per year||0.011 ¢ per $ of NAV^ per year|
^Net Annual Value
* Recycled water service and usage charges are only applied to properties receiving recycled water through a separate purple coloured recycled water meter.
Download our pricing handbook
How water service charges are calculated
Our water tariff has two components - a network charge and a water usage charge.
Water Network charge
The water network charge is a quarterly fixed charge that contributes to the maintenance of the water supply network, including our water mains, service tanks, water meters and Melbourne Water's water mains, aqueducts, treatment plants and reservoirs.
Water Usage charge
In addition to contributing to the above, the water usage charges also cover the actual cost of water that is provided to the customer.
The amount of water you are charged for using is calculated from water meter readings taken approximately once every 90 days. The amount of water recorded between readings is divided by the number of days in the reading period to calculate how much water is used every day.
Much like the water tariffs, our sewerage tariffs have two components - a fixed sewerage network charge and a volumetric sewage disposal charge.
Sewerage Network charge
The Sewerage Network charge helps us maintain the sewerage network including our sewer mains and pumping stations and Melbourne Water's trunk sewer mains and the Western Treatment Plant.
The sewage disposal charge is for the waste water (sewage) you discharge to the sewer, including water that goes down any inside drains, sinks, toilets and any other drains that connect to the sewer.
We estimate the volume of sewage you discharge to the sewer based on the amount of water recorded by your water meter.
For residential customers your sewage disposal estimate depends on your type of residence (house or unit) and what season we are in.
For non-residential customers the sewage disposal estimate is set at 90% and this does not fluctuate with the season.
For more details refer to Pricing handbook which describes the estimation methodology and how they are applied.
Fire Service Charges
City West Water provides some customer sites with private fire service connections to our water network, to deliver water in the event of a fire. In response to changes in our responsibilities under the Water Regulations 2014, From 1 July 2019 we are introducing a private fire service charge that will cover the cost of operation and maintenance of the water network and fire service connection to allow for high pressure water in the case of a fire. For more information visit our Fire services page.
Other Authority Charges
We collect certain charges on behalf of other Victorian State Government Agencies including the Parks Victoria Parks Charge and the Melbourne Water Waterways and Drainage Charge. Details of why and where these charges go are below.
Parks Victoria Parks Charge
We collect an annual Parks Charge on behalf of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. This charge helps fund the purchase, development and maintenance of Melbourne's major parks, gardens and waterways. This amount is usually charged during the July-September quarter and may be why your account, for that period, seems higher than normal.
The Parks Charge for each property in 2019-20 will be the greater of the minimum fee of $79.02 and a fee based on the property's 'net annual value' or 'NAV', calculated at 0.471cents per dollar of NAV per year.
For more information about the charge and Park Victoria's services visit Parks Victoria's website.
Melbourne Water Waterways and Drainage Charge
We collect a Waterways and Drainage Charge on behalf of Melbourne Water. This charge contributes to the management of waterways, drainage assets and floodplains in our region.
For more information about the charge and Melbourne Water's services and projects visit Melbourne Water's website.
Where your money goes