Residential Customer Charter (summary)
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.
Who is Yarra Valley Water?
Yarra Valley Water provides water and sewerage services to over 1.9 million people living and working in Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs. Our purpose is to provide 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, which also operates the major sewage treatment works that service 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 to you
As a valued Yarra Valley Water customer, your satisfaction with our services is important to us. This summary Customer Charter outlines your rights and our obligations 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.
- 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.
- 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.
We are committed to achieving these targets and if we don’t meet a target, we will reduce prices to customers in the following year, by $1.5 million for each target not achieved.
A Community Advisory Group which comprises representatives from our community, contributed to the development of our Customer Charter. Any changes to our Customer Charter require the approval of the ESC. A copy of our entire Customer Charter is available at yvw.com.au/charters or by contacting us on 1300 304 688.
Our water supply and sewerage service commitments to you
As a customer you can expect:
- a drinking water supply that meets regulatory health requirements established by the Department of Health and Human Services and is safe, clear and free from objectionable tastes and odours.
- a water flow rate that meets minimum service standards. For a standard residential dwelling this is 20 litres per minute to the property boundary.
- continuous water supply that is not interrupted more than two times a year due to unplanned events.
- a sewerage service that is not interrupted more than two times a year.
- one week’s written notice of any planned interruptions to our services (including when they will occur and for how long).
- planned interruptions to your water supply will not occur during peak hours (5am to 9am and 5pm to 11pm) and will take no longer than five hours.
- unplanned water supply interruptions will be restored within four hours of notification.
- that where a burst water main threatens substantial or moderate property or environmental damage, we will attend the site as soon as we can after being notified.
- interruptions to your sewerage service will be assessed and contained within four hours of notification. If a sewage spill occurs inside your home, we will assess and contain the spill within one hour.
- A flow rate of at least two litres per minute at the tap nearest the meter, if your water supply is restricted. If the restriction will cause a health hazard, contact us on 13 2762.
Our maintenance responsibilities
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 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 from the water main when there is no meter.
In the case of an Owners Corporation or multi-resident developments, 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 inside 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 the private fire service.
Private water mains
We are not responsible for maintaining any shared or single service private water mains, also known as trunk services. We will maintain individual water meters where they are installed on these services.
Residential customer rebates
Yarra Valley Water is committed to delivering high standards of service.
If we fail to meet this commitment to you by not meeting our Guaranteed Service Levels, you will be eligible for a rebate on your next bill. Sometimes though we need to turn off the water to replace a pipe or interrupt sewer service to unblock or replace a sewer pipe.
In the case of a planned interruption, we will give you a $50 rebate if:
- we fail to give at least one week’s notice of planned water interruptions.
- your water supply is interrupted for more than five hours.
- the interruption is longer than we said it would be.
- your water supply is interrupted between 5am and 9am or 5pm and 11pm.
In the case of an emergency where our water mains burst or sewers become blocked, we need to turn the water or sewer off without warning. We will give you a $50 rebate if:
- your water supply is interrupted for more than four hours – you will receive an additional $50 if this extends to more than 12 hours.
- we fail to restore a sewerage service interruption within four hours – you will receive an additional $50 if this extends to more than 12 hours. This does not include sewer service interruptions caused by your pipe work.
- you experience more than two unplanned water or sewerage service interruptions in any 12 month period – you will receive $50 for the third and any subsequent unplanned interruptions.
- we do not reply to your contact within four working days.
A $300 rebate will be given if:
- we commence legal action or take steps to restrict water supply prior to taking reasonable endeavours to contact the customer and provide information about the help that is available for customers experiencing financial difficulty.
The following rebates will be given if:
- we fail to contain a sewage spill inside your house within one hour of the spill being reported to us - $1,000 rebate.
- you experience a subsequent sewage spill inside your house within 12 months which isn’t contained within one hour of it being reported to us - $2,000 rebate.
- we fail to contain a sewage spill on your property within four hours of the spill being reported to us - $1,000 rebate.
- you experience a subsequent sewage spill on your property within 12 months which isn’t contained within four hours of it being reported to us - $2,000 rebate.
- If we do not provide an adequate water flow rate (unless there is a restriction in place), we will waive the Water Supply System Charge until we meet the minimum standard.
- If you contact us about two or more separate water quality issues in a 12 month period, you will receive a $50 rebate for the third and each subsequent issue.
Customers do not have to claim a rebate as they are provided automatically. Please note, the rebate will be made to the customer occupying the property and will not be given if an event is caused by, or the responsibility, of the customer concerned or a third party.
Your quarterly account will generally include two types of charges. The first are fixed water supply system and sewerage system charges, and the second are volumetric charges relating to water usage and sewage disposal, based on meter readings which are taken four times a year.
We also collect 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.
If we inadvertently overcharge you, we will either give you a credit on your next bill or offer you a refund. If we undercharge you, we will discuss any necessary adjustments and tailor a repayment plan to suit.
If you are having trouble paying your account please contact us on 1800 994 789. We will help you by:
- providing information on government assistance that may be available to you.
- arranging an alternative payment scheme that takes into account your capacity to pay.
- providing access to free and independent financial counselling.
Anyone holding a recognised concession card such as a Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or Gold Card (for all conditions except Dependent) is eligible for State Government funded concessions on their water and sewerage charges.
Our Financial Hardship Policy is available at yvw.com.au/hardship or on request by calling 1800 994 789.
Paying your account
We request that you pay your account by the date shown on your account. This will be at least 14 days after the date of issue. Yarra Valley Water provides several options for paying your account, which are outlined on the account itself.
Payment methods include:
- Direct debit.
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
- 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.
- Centrepay if you receive a Centrelink payment.
For the latest payment methods, please refer to your account, visit yvw.com.au/paying or call 1300 304 688.
Yarra Valley Water is committed to providing excellent customer service.
If you have a complaint please let us know by calling our Customer Relations Team on 1800 051 379. You can also write to us at Yarra Valley Water, Private Bag 1, Mitcham, VIC 3132. We will respond promptly to your complaint and will do our best to make sure the problem is resolved to your satisfaction. Our reply will give the reasons for our decision. If you are not satisfied with the reply, you may have the complaint re-assessed.
You also have the right to seek external resolution of a problem that cannot be satisfactorily resolved 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.
For information on our complaints and disputes handling process, please visit yvw.com.au/feedback.
We recognise that your privacy is of great importance and are committed to ensuring your personal information is protected.
We collect personal information for the purpose of providing water and sewerage related services. We must keep your personal information confidential and comply with binding privacy laws such as the Information Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
1300 304 688
Faults & emergencies
13 2762 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Translating & interpreting service
1300 914 361
1300 921 362
1300 931 364
1300 927 363
For all other languages please call 03 9046 4173 (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