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The Ultimate Guide to Your Water Bill

Living costs are an unavoidable part of life. From gas and energy costs to petrol and water, most of these costs are rising all the time. In Western Australia, the state Water Corporation charges homes and businesses for water every two months for all forms of water use, from plumbing to irrigation and more. 

A tiered pricing system has been designed to encourage careful water use, which is charged per kL alongside defined household or business service charges. Let's take a detailed look at water costs in WA, including four great tips to help reduce your water bill.

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What is the WA Water Corporation?

The WA Water Corporation is the principal supplier of water, wastewater, and drainage services in the state of Western Australia. Operated by the WA Department of Water, this organisation provides an essential service to over two million people.

WA residents get their bill directly from the Water Corporation, which includes an account summary, daily water use comparison, water use pricing tiers, water meter readings, water use charges, service charges, business sewerage volume charges, and payment options.

What is the Average Water Bill in Perth?

In WA, residents are obliged to pay water use and service charges. When residing in their own property, owners are responsible for paying both water use and service charges. 

When renting a property, tenants are responsible for paying water use charges, and owners are responsible for paying water service charges. However, the details of this split depend on the rental agreement.

Water prices in WA vary significantly based on consumption rates, pricing tiers, and additional charges. Based on data from a Canstar Blue survey completed in January 2023, the average quarterly water bill in WA was $204. This was slightly lower than the national average of $208.

There's often a significant difference between household and commercial bills, with businesses consuming a larger amount of water and incurring separate sewer volume charges and service charges. 

Sewer volume charges are based on the water used and returned to the sewer as wastewater at the current rate of $4.041 per kL. However, these charges only apply to businesses that discharge more than 200 kL of wastewater annually.

WA water bills can be categorised into these four types:

  • Water use charges only, for tenants with service charges paid for by property owners

  • Water service charges only, for property owners who have redirected water use charges to their tenants

  • Standard household water bills, which include both water use and water service charges

  • Commercial water bills, which include additional sewer volume charges and non-residential service charges

How are Water Use Charges Calculated?

When you pay a water bill in WA, you pay for water use and service charges. Use charges are the most significant component, and they're based on ongoing water consumption. 

A tiered pricing system is used to encourage intelligent water use, and different prices are set for the Perth metro area compared to regional parts of the state. In WA, different prices are set for south and north regional areas.

Wherever you reside, each water account starts in tier 1, which is 0-150 kL per year. Tier 2 is 151-500 kL per year, and tier 3 is more than 500 kL per year. The cost of water rises significantly between tiers, with tier 3 currently more than double the price of tier 1. 

Regional prices are a little more complicated, with individual towns and areas falling under several price classes.

What Else Impacts Your Water Bill?

Along with water use, households and businesses must pay service charges, and large companies have to pay sewer volume charges. A single uniform service charge is set for households throughout the state at $275.70 for the 2022-23 financial year. 

Business service charges are much more complicated, as they're based on the property's size and the number of water meters. Sewer and drainage service charges are also set for businesses, with the former based on the number of major sewerage fixtures and the latter based on the property's Gross Rental Value (GRV).

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How to Reduce Your Water Bill

Whether you own a small house in the Perth suburbs or run a large agricultural business in the country, everyone wants to lower their water bill. Luckily, there are lots of easy ways to reduce your water consumption and make your money go further.

With the following four tips, you can be more water-wise:

Be Smart About Consumption

While it might sound obvious, committing to reducing water consumption on your property is the best way to lower your water bill. There are many ways to do this, so be mindful and try to set new habits. 

You can turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, fill the sink when doing dishes - or use the dishwasher instead - and reduce the time of your average shower. Changing your gardening habits can also help, especially if you choose native plants and find a way to recycle your greywater. 

Buy Efficient Household Goods

Household appliances are a major source of water consumption, so be careful about what you buy and how you use it. When purchasing new appliances, check the water efficiency rating - evaporative air conditioners are a good example of such an appliance. 

This is particularly important for washing machines, but it also applies to dishwashers. Some household components also impact water consumption, so buy an efficient showerhead and invest in a dual-flush toilet.

Use Rainwater When You Can

You can lower your water bills significantly by installing a rainwater tank on your property. Tanks vary widely in price based on size, materials, strength, and finish. Rainwater can be used for any outdoor application, and you can get it plumbed directly into your property. If you want to reduce your hot water bill, you can also install a solar hot water system on your roof. 

Find and Fix Leaking Pipes

Australians lose water every day through leaking pipes. Not only does this compromise the safety of your property and risk your family's health, but it also has a very real financial cost. 

To fix a leak, you need to shut off the valve, access the pipe, and install new couplings and replacement pieces. Discovering and repairing a leaky pipe can be challenging, however, so it's always best to call in the experts.

Get Trusted Plumbing Advice from the Experts at Tunnel Vision

If you want to save money on your Perth water bill, you need a professional plumber to check your water pipes. Even when you're careful about how much water you consume, a single faulty pipe can end up costing you big. Please get in touch with Tunnel Vision to find intelligent solutions for all your plumbing needs.

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