Wastewater Charge Set for April 2011

August 17th, 2010 by Guernsey Water

THE new Wastewater Charge agreed by the States last year is due to be implemented in 2011.

The charge, which was originally approved by the States of Guernsey in January 2009, was considered by the Privy Council, and received Royal assent on the 21st July 2010. It has since been registered with Guernsey’s Royal Court, and will need a Commencement Ordinance in order for it to be implemented.

Deputy Bernard Flouquet, Minister, Public Services Department said “I anticipate the States will be asked to agree the introduction of the new charges from April 2011.”

Income from the charge will be reinvested into the wastewater network. All domestic and commercial properties will be liable to pay the charge. Part of the income is ear-marked for investigatory work to improve the Island’s sewage treatment.

Deputy Flouquet added: “Currently the wastewater network is funded by the States of Guernsey’s general revenue, so the income from the Wastewater Charge will reduce reliance on the central fund. This will in turn free up States resources which can be used for other things.”

The charge will cost customers an average of £150 per household per annum, and will consist of a standing charge of £30 per annum and additional charges relating to wastewater discharged (metered customers) or the TRP of the property (unmetered customers). The final portion of the charge will be a fixed fee of £50 per annum per household/business which will be used for sewage treatment investigation works. The latter fee will only be collected for a four-year period, from 2011 to 2014.

It is intended that the charges should be as fair as possible to all customers while ensuring that sufficient funds are generated to offset the costs of operating the sewerage network. At the same time every effort has been made to keep the system as simple as possible.

For those properties which have cesspits, they will still be liable for wastewater charges. However, as pledged in its 2007 report, the Department intends to introduce a reduced cesspit emptying charge. It has decided to set this at approximately half of the usual charge.

Guernsey Wastewater, a business unit of the Public Services Department, will be responsible for the administration and collection of the new Wastewater Charge. Director of Water Services, Andrew Redhead, said: “We are preparing ourselves to make sure that our systems and staff are ready for the introduction of the charge. All being well, we should be able to start collecting the charge from the beginning of April 2011.”

In an effort to reduce administration costs, Guernsey Wastewater will be collecting the income from the wastewater charge through Guernsey Water’s billing system. This means that customers will be able to pay using the same methods as they would for their normal water bill. Guernsey Water customers who are already on Direct Debit for their water charges will not need to do anything, as their wastewater bill will automatically be debited from their account when the charge is introduced. Direct Debit customers will of course be informed of the amount that will be debited from their account in advance as per the Direct Debit Guarantee.

Further information about the charge can be found at www.water.gg/wastewater. An advice leaflet will also be sent out to customers with Guernsey Water’s first quarter billing run (January – March 2011).

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