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Business Customer Charter (full version)

This Charter has been developed to clearly state our customer service commitments to you and inform you of your rights as a Yarra Valley Water customer.

Dear Customer

I am pleased to introduce our Business Customer Charter. The Business Charter has been developed to clearly state our customer service commitments to you and inform you of your rights as a Yarra Valley Water business customer. We recognise that business customers have different needs to residential customers and have produced this Charter focussing specifically on the Customer Service Code commitments which are relevant to business customers.

The initiatives outlined in this Charter illustrate our dedication to serving you better through a commitment to 24 hour service, responding efficiently to your enquiries and providing high quality water, sewerage and trade waste services. We are committed to providing the services you require.

Pat McCafferty
Managing Director

  • Introduction

    Who is Yarra Valley Water?

    We are the largest of Melbourne’s three metropolitan water and sewerage corporations, providing water and sewerage services to over 1.9 million people and over 50,000 businesses in the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Our purpose is providing water and sewerage services that contribute to the health and wellbeing of current and future generations.

    We maintain and operate over 19,000 kilometres of water and sewer mains, 46 water supply tanks and ten sewage treatment plants. We purchase our water from Melbourne Water, who also operates the major sewage treatment works that serve Melbourne.

    We are committed to providing you with the highest quality water and sewerage services as well as offering responsive customer support. We are also dedicated to ensuring our services are delivered in a way that has minimal effect on the environment.

    Our commitment

    This Charter outlines your rights and our obligations and is based on the Customer Service Code issued by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The ESC is the economic regulator of the Victorian water industry and their responsibility is to protect the interests of water and sewerage customers.

    This Charter also incorporates feedback from customers about what matters the most to them when it comes to their water and sewerage services. We engaged extensively with customers as part of our five year planning process for 2018-2023 (every five years we are required to propose the prices we will charge and our service standards to the ESC). This has helped us identify what customers prefer and value the most and has led to the creation of seven service outcomes based on what customers expect and value.

    Customers expect:

    • Water that is safe to drink.
    • Water and sewerage services they can rely on.
    • Fast response and effective restoration of their service when it is interrupted.

    Customers value:

    • Support for customers having difficulty paying their bill.
    • Modern, flexible services and advice that suits their needs.
    • Saving water now so it’s available in the future.
    • Looking after the environment.

    Detailed information about our commitments can be found in Appendix 2.

    About this charter

    This Charter focuses on the particular needs of business customers, including customers that discharge trade waste and customers on private extensions. Please note there is a separate Charter for customers that discharge trade waste, go to yvw.com.au/charters or call 1300 304 688.

    You may enter into a separate agreement with us however such an agreement cannot reduce your rights or increase your obligations under the Customer Charter without us returning some corresponding benefit. We want to serve you better. If you have special needs, we would like to know. We may only change the Customer Charter after discussing it with our Community Advisory Group and receiving the approval of the Essential Services Commission.

    Hearing impaired services can also be obtained, please call 13 3677.

  • Our service commitments

    Your rights to water supply

    We will ensure that the water we supply:

    • is in accordance with the Customer Service Code.
    • meets the minimum flow rates set out below.
    • is safe, clear and free from objectionable odour and taste. In addition, recycled water complies with the quality objectives defined in the Environment Protection Authority Victoria publication, 464.2 Guidelines for Environmental Management: Use of reclaimed water.

    Subject to its general obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, Yarra Valley Water will ensure the supply of drinking water to the outlet of the meter, or to the property boundary if there is no meter, and that the quality of the water complies with the health related parameters of the Safe Drinking Water Act, or any other requirement set by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    For business customers supplied by a private extension service, these standards apply up to the connection point of our mains to the private extension, after which the property owner (i.e. private extension owner) is responsible.

    Subject to water law, where you request connection to a service that is available, we will connect or approve connection to the property within 10 business days, or such later date as agreed, if:

    • you have paid or agreed to pay all applicable connection fees and
    • you have complied with all reasonable terms and conditions of connection.

    Diameter of the property service pipe (millimetres)

    20

    25

    32

    40

    50

    Minimum flow rate (litres per minute)

    20

    35

    60

    90

    160

    Note that:

    • the flow rate is measured at the water meter (or where no meter is installed, at the tap at the property boundary).
    • otherwise, the flow rate is measured at the outlet of the property service pipe. For safety reasons, measurement at the outlet of the water meter should only be done by Yarra Valley Water or a licensed plumber.
    • For property service pipes greater than 50mm flow rates are determined on a case by case basis.

    Yarra Valley Water is not required to provide a customer with the minimum flow rate if:

    • the property service pipe is the customer’s responsibility to maintain and is damaged or in poor condition, or
    • there is a planned or unplanned interruption of the customer’s water supply, or
    • there is a water shortage due to peak summer demand, or
    • there is a water shortage due to a drought or an emergency, or
    • recycled water is reduced due to a shortage, or
    • recycled water is reduced in accordance with a water corporation’s permitted use rules, or
    • supply is restricted or disconnected in accordance with the Customer Service Code, or
    • Melbourne Water Corporation has informed Yarra Valley Water that the water supply should be reduced to avoid a water shortage in the future such as during water restrictions and permanent water saving rules.

    For a breach of restrictions or permanent water saving rules, Yarra Valley Water may restrict the supply of water to a customer’s property. Please see yvw.com.au/waterrules for further details.

    Your rights to water supply for fire services

    Fire services are installed to facilitate fire fighting. Fire services may only be used for the purposes of fighting fires or testing of the service by an accredited testing agent. We will randomly monitor use of fire services to check for any signs of misuse or theft.

    Your obligations with regard to backflow prevention

    If your business type or practice presents a significant backflow risk to our water supply system, we may require you to fit a suitable backflow prevention device at the outlet of the meter.

    Your rights to sewerage and trade waste services

    We will supply you with sewerage services in accordance with the Customer Service Code. We will also take reasonable care in operating our sewerage system to avoid odours. As part of your business activities you may generate other industrial or commercial liquid waste (known as trade waste). This may contain substances such as chemicals, fats or detergents, or it may be liquid food waste.

    You may discharge this trade waste into our sewers only if you have a trade waste agreement with us, or otherwise have our consent. We will accept trade waste only where there is no danger to people, the environment or the sewerage system. You have the right to independent mediation in the event of a dispute. Further details about trade waste and information specific to customers that discharge trade waste, are provided in the Trade Waste Customer Charter. To obtain a copy go to yvw.com.au/charters or call 1300 304 688.

    Your rights where services are below standards

    If you believe that we are not meeting the standards defined in this Charter, you may ask us to conduct tests. If it is found that we are not compliant, we will rectify the problem as soon as possible or within a time agreed by you. If the service is shown to be compliant, you may be liable for the cost of the tests.

    However if the problem can be attributed to the private extension infrastructure, it is the responsibility of the property owner (i.e. private extension owner) to rectify. The general rule is that we are responsible for maintaining the water service up to and including the property meter, and for the sewer branch up to the property connection point.

    Our commitment to continuous service

    We understand that any interruption to your drinking or recycled water supply or sewerage service is inconvenient and disruptive. We work hard to provide you with continuous access to these services, however this is not always possible. We will make every reasonable effort to minimise the number of interruptions to your water supply and sewerage services and to provide a timely response to an emergency.

    We will:

    • give you one week’s written notice of any planned interruptions to our services (including when they will occur and for how long).
    • liaise with you, where possible, to agree to the most convenient timing for that interruption (planned interruptions will take no longer than five hours).
    • ensure that there are no more than a total of two unplanned interruptions to either your water supply or sewerage service in total in any 12 month period.

    Where there is an interruption to these services we aim to:

    • restore water supply within four hours of notification.
    • ensure that you have access to emergency drinking water supplies.
    • ensure that information about the interruption and how to obtain emergency drinking water supplies is available from us on our 24 hour faults and emergencies line on 13 2762.

    Sewer blockages

    If your sewer becomes blocked please contact us for advice on 13 2762. If the blockage is our responsibility, we will correct the fault ourselves. If the blockage is your responsibility, you will have to engage and pay for a licensed plumber to rectify it.

    Our commitment in relation to sewage spills

    Where a sewage spill occurs on your property due to a failure in our system, we will:

    • respond swiftly, endeavouring to get to your property within an hour of being notified of the problem.
    • minimise the damage and inconvenience to you.
    • ensure that the spillage is contained as soon as possible - within one hour if the spill is inside your premises and within four hours for other spills on your property.
    • clean up the affected area as quickly as possible and in such a manner that the risk to human health is negligible.

    Your right to compensation

    We will provide our service with due care and skill and will meet our obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Any materials provided in connection with this service will be reasonably fit for the purpose for which they are intended.

    Buying or selling a property

    If you are buying or selling a property we guarantee to provide prompt, accurate information to you, your conveyancer or solicitor, through our PropertyFlow service. Contact us for more information on 1300 304 688.

  • Charges and billing

    Charges and rates

    We bill you for:

    • service charges for water supply system and sewerage system connections.
    • water usage and sewage disposal charges.
    • trade waste charges (where applicable).
    • fire service charges (where applicable).
    • charges on behalf of Parks Victoria for Parks services and Melbourne Water for waterways and drainage from customers who own a property within Melbourne Water’s Waterways Management District.

    We will bill Owners Corporations or central bodies for a business site for usage charges relating to common land and facilities, e.g. a common grounds watering system.

    Owners of commercial properties are financially responsible for all water and sewerage charges incurred at the property, as per the Water Act 1989. Owners of commercial properties can recover these outgoings from tenants. Owners will need to have an agreement with tenants for paying these charges.

    Yarra Valley Water is not responsible for any agreement commercial property owners enter into with their tenant about recovering these costs. If you have any queries please contact us on 1300 304 688 or at [email protected].

    Reducing your account

    Using water efficiently can help to reduce your usage charges. We can provide you with advice to help you save. Visit yvw.com.au/business or contact us on 1300 304 688 for further information.

    Payment arrangements

    If you are concerned about being able to pay, we have assistance options available including short term payment extensions and instalment plans to suit your business.

    A flexible payment plan will:

    • state how the amount of the payments has been calculated.
    • state the period over which you will pay the agreed amounts.
    • specify an amount to be paid in each period.
    • be able to be renegotiated at your request if there is a demonstrable change in your circumstances.
    • be confirmed in writing as soon as practical after the flexible payment plan commences.

    We are not required to offer a flexible payment plan if you have, in the previous 12 months, had two flexible payment plans cancelled due to non-payment unless you can provide reasonable assurance you will comply with the plan. Call us on 1300 304 688 for more information.

    Not for profit rebate

    A rebate is available to not-for-profit organisations throughout Victoria which serve their community in the fields of:

    • education
    • hospitals or nursing care
    • religious worship
    • charity
    • outdoor sporting or recreation
    • war veterans’ organisations.

    A not-for-profit organisation is one that applies its profits in promoting its objectives and prohibits the payment of any dividend or amount to its members. The rebate will apply to Water Supply System and Sewerage System Charges and the Fire Service Charge (if applicable). The annual rebate is referred to the State Revenue Office for approval. Please call 1300 304 688 or contact the State Revenue Office for further details.

    Your rights on charges

    Our prices are available online at yvw.com.au/pricing or on request by phone or email. When there are any changes to the service, usage or trade waste charges, we will tell you about them with your first bill after the change takes place. We calculate your Sewage Disposal Charge using a standard approach. You have the right to ask us to review the applicability of the formula and to make an adjustment if the standard approach overstates the volume and does not properly reflect how water and waste are managed your business. You need to provide reasons in support of your request for the estimate to be reviewed. Any request for a review should be made in writing to the Manager, Customer Contact Centre, Yarra Valley Water, Private Bag 1, Mitcham VIC 3132 or email [email protected].

    You also have the option of metering outside taps and/or separate buildings on your site (at your own cost). This will provide an exact assessment of the Sewage Disposal Charge, applicable for your site. Please call 1300 304 688 for further details.

    Billing cycles

    In most cases we will bill you every quarter for:

    • Water Supply System and Sewerage System Charges.
    • Usage Charges - water usage and sewage disposal charges.
    • Trade Waste Charges where applicable.
    • Fire Service Charges where applicable.
    • Other Authority Charges – waterways and drainage rates on behalf of Melbourne Water and Parks Victoria for Parks services.

    If you use high volumes of water then you may be billed monthly for service and usage charges. All business customers are billed annually for the Parks Charge. We will include information on your bill to help you understand the account.

    If you have special billing preferences please let us know. We will do our best to meet your needs. We can issue a bill to a customer or a customer’s agent at their physical or electronic address if the customer has made a written request to do so.

    Under or overcharging

    If you are overcharged, we will inform you within 10 days of confirming the error and you will receive a credit or refund. If you are undercharged due to our error, we will only seek to recover sums incurred during the 12 months prior to your last account. You will be able to pay the amount to be recovered in instalments or under a flexible payment plan. If you feel you have been over or undercharged, contact 1300 304 688. Where we have undercharged because of a customer’s illegal use we will estimate the usage for which the customer has not paid.

    Paying your account

    You must pay your account by the due date as shown on your bill. Payment methods include:

    • Direct debit by bank account.
    • BPay.
    • Credit card - online at yvw.com.au/paying, via your online account at yvw.com.au/online or by phone on 1300 362 332.
    • Cheque - mail to GPO Box 2860, Melbourne VIC 3001.
    • In person at any post office, phone 13 1816 or go to postbillpay.com.au.

    For the latest payment methods, please refer to your account, visit yvw.com.au/paying or call us on 1300 304 688.

    Buying, selling and leasing property

    If you are buying or selling your property, you do not need to request a final bill. All charges, final readings and transfer of account ownership will be managed by your solicitor or conveyancer as part of the settlement process.

    If you are leasing a commercial property

    • The owner of the commercial property is responsible for all water and sewerage charges incurred at the property, as per the Water Act 1989.
    • If you are a tenant moving into a commercial property you only need to contact us if your business discharges Trade Waste.
    • If you are a tenant moving out of a commercial property, you only need to contact us if you have a Trade Waste Agreement.

    If you have any questions, please contact the owner or your property manager.

    Additional bill or meter reading

    You may request an additional bill or meter reading outside your normal billing cycle. If the meters need to be read then a fee may apply.

    Restriction or disconnection

    We will make all reasonable efforts to help you pay your account. However if you have not paid 28 days after we sent the first account, have been contacted by us or sent a warning notice in reference to non-payment, we may take legal action or restrict your water supply in order to recover the debt. You are likely to face additional costs if either of these steps are taken. We will not restrict your water supply or commence legal action where:

    • you owe less than $200.
    • you are a tenant and your landlord is responsible for the debt.
    • you are a tenant and have a claim against the landlord in respect of a water bill pending at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
    • the amount in dispute is subject to an unresolved complaint procedure in accordance with our complaints policy.

    This clause does not restrict our rights under water law to pursue a debt owed to us by a person who is no longer a customer.

    Specifically we will not restrict your supply:

    • where we believe that the restriction will cause a health hazard.
    • it is a day of total fire ban declared by the Country Fire Authority in the area in which the property is located.
    • after 3pm on Monday to Thursday, on a Friday, a weekend, a public holiday or the day before a public holiday.

    We may also restrict or disconnect your water supply if, for example, the pipes on the property are not properly constructed or maintained, or you have failed to comply with a notice to remedy a breach of the Water Act 1989.

    If your water supply is restricted, the flow rate will be at least two litres per minute at the tap nearest to the meter. We will issue reminder notices if payment is not made by the due date and warning notices at least seven days prior to taking action for non-payment.

    Restoring supply

    When the reason for restriction has been resolved, we will restore your water supply on payment of a fee. This will be done within 24 hours.

  • Meters

    Your water usage is based on the amount of water measured by a meter. The Sewage Disposal Charge is calculated by a formula that also uses the amount of water measured by a meter. In some cases, meters are required to measure water used from fire services and trade waste volumes.

    Access to meter

    The meter(s) must be accessible so our staff may read it regularly. Where we cannot read your meter(s), we may ask you to do so on our behalf. If you refuse, we may estimate the amount of water you use. The estimation will be calculated on your water usage history and any necessary adjustments will be made the next time we read your meter. If you cannot make your meter(s) accessible to us, you may, on payment of a fee, arrange for us to fit a remote reading device.

    A remote meter reading system may be installed in a multi-unit development so that meters can be read from a single location. The installation of a remote meter reading system must still comply with access requirements as laid out above.

    Testing your meter

    We take all reasonable steps to ensure your meter reads accurately. If you think that your meter is inaccurate, you may request us to test it. All meter testing is carried out by an independent company to a nationally approved standard. We will provide you with the results of the test within five working days of its completion.

    If the test shows that the meter is not meeting required accuracy standards, we will replace it. We will also credit your account with any amount you were overcharged. If the test shows that the meter was working accurately, you will be liable for the cost of the test.

    Special meter reading

    At any time, including when you’re moving in or out of your property, you may request an additional account or meter reading outside the normal billing cycle. If the meter needs to be read, a fee may apply.

    Metering of fire services

    To minimise risk of water contamination and the misuse of fire services, we may require your fire service to be fitted with a meter and an approved backflow prevention device.

    Metering of trade waste

    In some cases, customers that discharge trade waste are required to install one or more flow meters to measure and record trade waste discharged to our sewerage system. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that this meter is calibrated and incapable of being reset to zero. Further information about trade waste metering can be found in your Trade Waste Agreement or consent and the Trade Waste Customer Charter.

  • Rights and responsibilities

    Responsibilities for maintenance

    Water supply and sewerage services

    Yarra Valley Water is responsible for maintaining:

    • The property water meter, pipes and fittings from our water main to the water meter on your property.
    • The water service to the property boundary if the meter is more than two metres inside the property boundary.
    • The sewer and its branches up to the property connection point or a maximum of one metre from the sewer main (whichever is shorter).
    • Up to the first stop valve or tap inside the property boundary where there is no meter.

    In the case of an Owners Corporation or central body of a business site, we are responsible for maintaining:

    • The water service up to and including the main property meter which is usually located at the property boundary.
    • The water service to the property boundary if the meter is more than two metres inside the property boundary.
    • Up to the first accessible stop valve from the water main if the meter is located in a structure or building.

    You and/or the Owners Corporation are required to maintain any pipe work on your side of the property water meter, at your cost. We will maintain the property meters and individual meters that are installed.

    If the property has a private fire service, Yarra Valley Water is responsible for maintaining up to the stop valve at the main.

    Property owners are responsible for maintaining:

    • private fire services (excluding the valve at the water main) including general service if combined.
    • private extensions.
    • property service pipes
    • from private extensions.
    • backflow prevention devices.

    Building works

    We rely on the cooperation of our customers to maintain the integrity and stability of our water and sewerage systems. Property owners must:

    • seek Yarra Valley Water’s consent for any building or construction work which might interfere with a service or system.
    • not alter any works connected to any Yarra Valley Water service, system or works without our consent.
  • Our rights and your right of review and appeal

    We can require property owners to remove trees and contribute to the cost of works undertaken by us. We will exercise these rights in accordance with the Water Act 1989 and the Customer Service Code.  If you object to a decision made by us in exercising our rights, you may have the decision reviewed by us and, in some cases, by the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. We will explain your rights when exercising our rights or making decisions.

    Notice of works

    Our activities may affect your business even if your water supply or sewerage service is maintained, e.g. when we need to dig up the road. We will give you one week’s notice of works which may affect you, except in an emergency. Where we undertake any works, we will leave the street or property in a state similar to which existed prior to the works commencing. Any works undertaken by us will be in accordance with safety standards set by VicRoads or any other relevant safety standard.

    Entry onto your property

    We have the right to enter your property for a number of purposes, such as reading a meter or in an emergency. We will give you one week’s written notice of our intention to enter your property to carry out any works, except in an emergency, or unless you consent to a shorter period. We do not have to give you notice to enter your property to read a meter or to carry out a trade waste inspection when it is reasonable to believe that the business is in operation. Our employees or contractors will carry identification that they will show you at the time of entering your property.

    We request that you inform our employees and contractors of anything on your property that may be dangerous to them, for example, a guard dog.

    If we hold keys to a customer’s premises, the keys will be held in safe custody and returned to you upon notification of the customer’s vacation of the relevant property or if access is no longer required.

  • Consultation and information

    Engaging and involving customers

    We value the contribution that customers make to the running of our business. We have established a Community Advisory Group to enable customer input into our service planning and decision making. We need to know if we are doing a good job, therefore we survey a sample of our customers about our performance throughout the year. This survey group includes a representative sample of business customers. We value your opinion and welcome your feedback, email us at [email protected] or call 1300 304 688.

    Water quality, conservation and the environment

    Excluding private extensions which we do not control, we will:

    • monitor drinking water quality and publish the results annually at yvw.com.au/waterqualityresults.
    • provide water and sewerage services that meet sustainable standards of environmental care - this will be achieved by continuously improving our environmental performance and by addressing the expectations of our customers, the community and the government.
    • publish the results for the corporation’s environmental performance on an annual basis to provide customers with a record of performance achieved over the previous 12 months and the targets for the forthcoming year.

    Requests for information

    We will provide you with information you request such as:

    • copies of this Charter.
    • copies of the Customer Service Code.
    • your account history including water used, charges and payments (your last three years’ history is available on computer so that questions may be answered over the phone).
    • an Information Statement (for a fee) stating encumbrances or outstanding orders, and outstanding charges in respect to any property in our area.
    • a current list of prices and contact numbers.
  • Enquiries, complaints and disputes

    Enquiries

    If you have an enquiry you may call us on 1300 304 688. You will receive a prompt, courteous response and the name of the person who is handling your enquiry. If you experience any problems with your water or sewerage service, please call us on 13 2762. We are available to take your call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also make an enquiry by writing to Yarra Valley Water, Private Bag 1, Mitcham VIC 3132 or at [email protected]. We will reply to correspondence within four working days of receiving your enquiry or one working day of receiving your email.

    For information on our complaints and disputes handling process, please visit yvw.com.au/feedback.

    Complaints

    If you have a complaint please let us know by calling 1800 051 379. You may write to us at Yarra Valley Water, Private Bag 1, Mitcham VIC 3132 or email us at [email protected]. We will respond promptly to your complaint and will do our best to make sure the problem is solved to your satisfaction. Our reply will give the reasons for our decision.

    If you are not satisfied with the reply, our disputes procedure gives you the following rights:

    • You may have the complaint re-assessed by a senior manager.
    • You also have the right to seek external resolution of a problem that cannot be resolved to your satisfaction by other means. You may contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria by phone on 1800 500 509 or by mail to Reply Paid 469, Melbourne, VIC 8060 or online.

    The Ombudsman provides an independent complaints and dispute resolution scheme to assist water and energy customers. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may also contact the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Environment Protection Authority or the courts. Our Customer Relations Team will advise you further about these options.

    Yarra Valley Water keeps information about its customers confidential and complies with the Privacy and Data Protection Act (Vic) 2014. For further information on our privacy obligations please visit yvw.com.au/privacy or call 1300 304 688.

    Disputes over money

    If your complaint involves a dispute over money you owe, we will not seek payment of those sums unless the dispute has been resolved in our favour. However, you must pay any other amount which does not directly relate to your complaint.

  • Appendix 1

    Definitions

    Backflow prevention device means an approved device as defined under AS/NZS 3500 as a device which will prevent the reverse flow of water from a potentially polluted source into the water supply systems.

    The Charter is a summary of the Customer’s rights and obligations as outlined in the Customer Service Code issued by the Essential Services Commission. It is intended to be a guide for practical purposes, and is not intended to have legal effect or be a substitute for statutory, contractual or other legal requirements.

    Complaint means a written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction about an action, a proposed action, or a failure to act by Yarra Valley Water, its employees or contractors.

    Customer broadly means someone who owns or operates a business in a property connected to Yarra Valley Water’s water and/or sewerage systems. A person is a customer and is covered by the charter if they:

    • own and occupy a serviced property connected to Yarra Valley Water’s water and/or sewerage systems.
    • own a serviced property connected to Yarra Valley Water’s water and/or sewerage systems, but do not occupy it – for example, a landlord or an owner of an unoccupied property.
    • occupy a property connected to Yarra Valley Water’s water and/or sewerage systems and are liable to pay water usage and/or sewage disposal charges.
    • have entered into a separate written agreement with Yarra Valley Water for water supply and sewerage services and/or the discharge of trade waste.

    Enquiry means a written or verbal approach by a customer which can be satisfied by providing written or verbal information, advice, assistance, clarification, explanation, or referral about a matter.

    Interruption means, in the case of a customer’s water supply, a total loss of water supply to the customer; or in the case of a customer’s sewerage service, the customer is unable to dispose of sewage through the sewer pipes on their property into Yarra Valley Water’s sewerage system.

    Landlord means any person who leases a property to a customer.

    Maintenance includes repair and replacement.

    Meter assembly means the apparatus consisting of a water meter, stop valve, strainer and any additional valves, but does not include a backflow prevention device that has been installed downstream of the outlet of the meter.

    Owners Corporation development means a group of allotments that share common property. This may include infrastructure or land. An Owners Corporation development is incorporated by registration of a plan of subdivision.

    Planned interruption means an interruption which is caused by Yarra Valley Water to allow planned works to be carried out.

    Property service pipe means the pipe from Yarra Valley Water’s main to the meter assembly, or to a stop tap near the property boundary where no meter is fitted.

    Private extension means the pipes and associated fittings from the water and sewer property connection points (usually located at the property boundary) to the customer’s premises. A private extension may supply a single residence or multiple residences in the case of an Owners Corporation development or multi-resident development. The property owner is responsible for maintenance of private extensions. Private extensions also covers assets previously defined as trunk services and combined drains.

    Recycled water means Class A recycled water supplied by a third pipe and as defined in the EPA Victoria publication 464.2 Guidelines for Environmental Management: Use of Reclaimed Water.

    Sewage means any human excreta or domestic waterborne waste, whether untreated or partially treated. It does not include trade waste or stormwater.

    Sewerage services means the functions described in Part 9 of the Water Act 1989.

    Tenant means a customer who leases or rents a commercial property from another person.

    Trade waste broadly means any industrial and commercial liquid waste apart from normal domestic sewage. It may contain chemicals, fats or detergents. It is typically wastewater as a result of a washing, cleaning or rinsing process. It may also be liquid food waste. A detailed definition is given in regulations made under the Water Act 1989.

    Unplanned interruption means an interruption which is caused by a fault in Yarra Valley Water’s system or a fault which is the maintenance responsibility of Yarra Valley Water as set out in the Customer Service Code.

    Water means both drinking water and recycled water unless otherwise stated.

    Water law means the relevant requirements contained in or made under the Water Act 1989 and the Water Industry Act 1994.

  • Appendix 2 - Customer service code standards

    Consistent with the requirements outlined in the ESC’s Customer Service Code, we have also set additional service and other commitments to our customers that we will aim to meet over the coming years. These commitments do not attract a rebate and are stated in the ESC’s Customer Service Code: Urban Water Businesses.

    Approved service commitments

    WATER

    2018/19 to 2022/23

    Average time taken to attend bursts and leaks (priority 1) (minutes)

    43.7

    Average time taken to attend bursts and leaks (priority 2) (minutes)

     

    87.9

    Average time taken to attend bursts and leaks (priority 3) (minutes)

    801.7

    Average frequency of unplanned water supply interruptions (per 1,000 customers)

    0.29

    Average duration of unplanned water supply interruptions (minutes)

    110.3

    Average duration of planned water supply interruptions (minutes)

    127.5

    SEWERAGE

    2018/19 to 2022/23

    Average time to attend sewer spills and blockages (minutes)

    82.3

    Average time to rectify a sewer blockage (minutes)

    242.6

    Spills contained within five hours (%)

    97.2

    Average frequency of unplanned sewerage interruptions (per 1,000 customers)

    0.01

    Minimum flow rates

    Property service pipe diameter (millimetres)

    20

    25

    32

    40

    50

    Flow rate (litres per minute)

    20

    35

    60

    90

    160

    Customer driven outcomes for 2018/19 to 2022/23

    When we consulted with customers during our five year planning process for 2018/19 to 2022/23, our customers told us that the following seven outcomes are important to them.

    We are committed to achieving these targets and if a target is not achieved, we will reduce prices to customers in the following year, by $1.5 million for each target not achieved.

    OUTCOME

    MEASURE

    TARGET

     

     

    2018/19

    2019/20

    2020/21

    2021/22

    2022/23

    Safe drinking water

    Compliance with safe drinking water standards

    100%

    100%

    100%

    100%

    100%

    Reliable water and sewerage services

     

    Percentage of customers who experience three or more unplanned water or sewerage service interruptions in 12 months

    0.96%

    0.96%

    0.96%

    0.96%

    0.96%

    Timely response and restoration

     

    Percentage of customers whose service has been restored within four hours

    91.1%

    91.1%

    91.1%

    91.1%

    91.1%

    Fair access and assistance for all

     

    Percentage of customers who believe that Yarra Valley Water helps customers experiencing difficulty paying for their water and sewerage services

    89%

    89%

    89%

    89%

    89%

    Water availability and conservation

    Total water usage (litres/per person/per day)

    221

    217

    213

    211

    210

     

    Modern flexible service

     

    Percentage of customers who are satisfied with their most recent customer interaction

    86%

    86%

    86%

    86%

    86%

    Care for and protect the environment

    Percentage reduction in emissions (cumulative)

    5.8%

     

    16.1%

    32.8%

    47.1%

    53.4%

  • Appendix 3

    Recycled water

    Recycled water is produced according to strict guidelines developed by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services. These high standards are ensured through process control and quality assurance systems including continuous monitoring throughout the treatment facility.

    Testing and monitoring the quality and integrity of the recycled water system may involve occasionally adding substances to recycled water to allow us to detect noncompliant connections.

    From time to time at our discretion, we may need to temporarily supply your property with drinking water instead of recycled water. When drinking water is supplied instead of recycled water you will still be charged at recycled water rates.

    While recycled water has been treated to a high standard, it is not intended for human consumption and is only acceptable for the following uses:

    • washing clothes.
    • flushing toilets.
    • garden use.
    • washing cars.
    • filling ornamental ponds*.
    • industrial uses approved by the Department of Human Services.
    • fighting fires (except for sprinkler type fire systems).

    * The water may need to be changed regularly as algae may grow due to the nutrients in recycled water.

    Class A recycled water is not suitable for:

    • drinking.
    • cooking, food preparation.
    • or other kitchen use.
    • showering and bathing.
    • bidets and sanitary sprays.
    • evaporative coolers.
    • indoor house cleaning.
    • swimming pools or spas.
    • children’s slip and slides or other water toys.

    Yarra Valley Water will need to determine whether or not you are required to be on a recycled water agreement and develop an environmental improvement plan prior to connecting to our recycled water infrastructure. You must have Yarra Valley Water’s approval for uses of recycled water other than those stated above.

    If you would like to discuss the use of recycled water in your business, please contact us on 1300 304 688.

  • Contact us

    Enquiries

    1300 304 688

    Faults & emergencies

    13 2762  (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

    Translating & interpreting service

    Arabic العربية

    1300 914 361
    http://www.yvw.com.au/online/Arabic 

    Cantonese 廣東話

    1300 921 362
    http://www.yvw.com.au/online/cantonese 

    Greek Eλληνικά

    1300 931 364
    http://www.yvw.com.au/online/greek 

    Mandarin 普通话

    1300 927 363
    http://www.yvw.com.au/online/mandarin 

    Other languages

    For all other languages please call 1300 976 224 (local call cost in Australia) 8.30am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.

    Email [email protected]

    Lucknow Street Mitcham Victoria 3132
    Private Bag 1 Mitcham Victoria 3132
    ABN 93 066 902 501
    yvw.com.au