Customer Connections

Changes to Pricing from 1 July 2022

The Tasmanian Economic Regulator has determined that there will be no regulated prices for water and sewerage connections from 1 July 2022. From that date the prior distinction between the price for a standard connection (which was a regulated price) and the price for a non-standard connection (which was quoted price) ceased and all connections commenced being carried at a quoted price by a TasWater approved panel member. See more detail below and in this FAQ.

Lead Times
With the current demand across Tasmania's building industry, and current impacts of managing the risks of COVID-19, timeframes have been impacted for TasWater’s pre-approved contractors to complete connections to TasWater infrastructure. While we are working on expanding the panel please allow adequate time for work to be completed.

Connections to TasWater infrastructure
In the course of development, a new connection, relocation, upgrade or disconnection of a connection may be required to TasWater’s infrastructure. These connections must be done to required standards to ensure the security of our reticulation networks.
Our Connections Policy specifies the criteria that must be met before we will permit such works. In most circumstances, a Planning Permit (including a Submission to Planning Authority Notice (SPAN)) and/or Certificate for Certifiable Work (Building) and/or (Plumbing) is required, that references the approved design and approves the connection with any relevant conditions.

Applying for Connection to TasWater’s infrastructure

If you require a disconnection, a new connection, an adjustment or relocation of an existing connection to TasWater infrastructure, or a new water meter or meters, an application for Development Services form for Water and Sewerage connections needs to be completed. Prior approval must be granted. It is important you fill out all the required information for your connection including the date the works are required and the name and phone number of the site contact. This helps our contractor get in contact to find out any particular requirements you may have and for us to program the connection for when you require it.

Costs

A cost will be provided once the connection has been approved and the scope of works has been determined. For this to occur TasWater will issue a Request for Quotation to one of our Accredited Contractors and they will provide a cost and details of the works required. Costs could include items such as, traffic management, asset locations, site excavations, permit to work in a highway/traffic management and surface reinstatement. 
We will then provide you with a copy of the quote and you are able to discuss the cost and timeframe with the contractor. The quote will be valid for 60 days and if you do not accept it within that period, a new quote will be required. This may also mean a re-application for your connection. Payment will also be required before a work pack is issued to the accredited contractor. 

What you will receive with a connection

A connection includes everything you need to have a functioning water and/or sewer service to your development and/or building works, but there may be additional components that TasWater will not supply as part of the works.
For example, an above ground meter assembly may require a vandal proof cage installed as part of the works but the cage and concrete slab is not part of the included works and is the property owner’s responsibility. In addition, a water meter in a driveway requires a trafficable lid and surround and this is not installed as part of our standard connection service.
Our Property Connection Standard Drawings detail the different connection types and also show the limits of TasWater’s responsibility.

 

Connection Drawing

In addition, a single water connection can (at sizes above 20mm) include more than one water meter, and this will be required where multiple dwellings are being constructed such as a unit or strata development. 
For the most common connection types;

  • 20mm water connection in an eligible location as per the Locational Limitations includes the connection to the water main terminating with an isolation valve and water meter inside a standard PVC box at the location specified on the TasWater endorsed plan.
  • 25mm water connection in an eligible location as per the Locational Limitations includes the connection to the water main with either;

- An isolation valve and 25mm water meter inside a PVC meter box at the location specified on the TasWater endorsed plan; or

- A manifold and two 20mm water meters each with an independent isolation valve and standard PVC meter boxes at the location specified on the TasWater endorsed plan.

TasWater has a number of data and technical requirements to ensure our Geographic Information System (GIS), billing, safety and asset information teams have everything they need to improve our service and the fee you pay for a connection also pays for the collection, administration and upkeep of those records. 

Distinctions between the prices for standard connections and non-standard connections

While the prices for standard connections and non-standard connections are now all quoted from our panel of contractors, the distinction remains for the following reasons, as set out in our Connection Policy:

  • For a standard  water connection or a standard sewerage connection  we will permit (by issuing a Certificate for Certifiable Work or other approving document) a property to be connected to our infrastructure within 10 business days of the application being received;
  • Standard connections are defined fully in the Connection Policy. In short, and noting a range of exclusions apply, they are 20mm water connections and/or 100mm sewerage connections to existing unconnected residential properties in our Serviced Land area
  • A range of conditions in the Connection Policy (excluding a qualified standard connection) include:

- Difficult construction conditions such as excavation deeper than 1.5m; and

- Excavation extending into the road pavement (please refer to the Connection Policy for full details on exclusions); and

  • The Connection Policy clarifies that all connection applications not qualifying as a standard connection are defined as non-standard connections and other considerations and/or charges may apply.

Questions?
TasWater is happy to answer any questions you may have about a new customer connection. Please send us your questions and suggestions by emailing: [email protected]

For an Application for Land Information Certificate please click here.

 

FAQs -Connections 

Note: *Quoted prices from TasWater’s pre-approved panel members have added to them (by TasWater) the cost of materials supplied to the contractor by TasWater, typically meters and fittings and trafficable boxes and lids.

New water and sewer connections

Yes, the cost of standard connections has increased. From 1 July 2022, customers will, for all types of connections, be charged the price competitively quoted* to TasWater by its pre-approved panel of contractors.
Standard connections previously had standard (fixed/regulated) prices applied to them with the remainder (non-standard connections) receiving the quoted* price obtained from our panel of preapproved contractors.
With standard connections receiving the quoted* prices from 1 July 2022, from this date both standard and non-standard (i.e. all) connections will receive the price competitively quoted* by our panel of pre-approved contractors.
Quoted* prices reflect the timing, risk and complexity of the connection works as well as the market price for labour, plant, materials, asset locations, permits and reinstatement.

In short, this is because we cannot refuse to permit a standard connection.
If your connection fits the definition of a standard connection (per the Connection Policy) then under our regulatory framework we must permit (by issuing a Certificate for Certifiable Work or other approving document) that connection within 10 business days of the application being received.
Standard connections are defined fully in the Connection Policy. In short, and noting a range of exclusions apply, they are very simple 20mm water connections and/or 100mm sewerage
connections to existing unconnected residential properties in our Serviced Land area.

Full cost recovery: All connections will be charged the price competitively quoted* to TasWater by our panel of pre-approved contractors. The price reflects the timing, risk and complexity of the connection works as well as the market price for labour, plant, materials, asset locations, permits and reinstatement.

Definitions: Some minor changes have occurred to the definitions of standard and non-standard connections within our Connections Policy. (Where previously these definitions separated the market priced non-standard applications from the fixed priced standard applications such pricing distinction no longer applies.)

Direct engagement (pending): Based on feedback, we will be gradually introducing the opportunity for willing customers to directly engage our pre-approved contractors to perform their connections. A range of conditions apply, in particular that GST will apply when a pre-approved contractor is directly engaged by a customer. (Note that connections remain GST-free when TasWater engages the contractor).

To be fair to our general water and sewerage customers from 1 July 2022 we removed a cross subsidy from them to our standard water and sewer connection customers.
Previously, the standard (fixed/regulated) prices charged by us to customers for standard
connections were below the quoted* prices charged to us by our panel of contractors for completing the standard connection works.
This resulted in an accumulation of significant deficits on standard connections. These deficits could only be funded from other sources of revenue, including revenue from our general water and sewerage customers.
We needed to correct this situation by ensuring standard connection customers are charged the price competitively quoted* to TasWater by our panel of pre-approved contractors.

Our panel was established following open tendering processes, with no limitations on who could submit a tender or express an interest, except that they must be able to meet our standards.

All members of our panel of pre-approved contractors performing new water and sewer connections have undergone rigorous pre-approval processes to ensure:
• Quality of workmanship – work is performed to our high standards
• Quality of work health and safety systems – worked is performed in a safe manner
• Quality of customer service – work is scheduled and undertaken in a customer friendly way
• Quality and timeliness of data provision – once work is completed, accurate and timely data is provided to us

We regularly audit our panel of pre-approved contractors to ensure their overall compliance to these standards.
The prices quoted* by our pre-approved panel of contractors are reflective of their investment in people, processes, systems (especially safety systems) and equipment that meets our standards and appropriately manages the risks inherent in the work. It is worth noting that most water and sewer connection works are typically performed outside the property boundary, involving higher risks posed by a range of factors including property owned by third parties (typically requiring permits for works), traffic (both vehicle and pedestrian) and other infrastructure (gas, power, NBN, rail).

Works performed inside the property boundary are within a controlled site and have very much lower risk and complexity.

Meter in grass_gravel high res

Changes From 1 July 2022

Several changes impacting new customer connections came into effect on 1 July 2022, either directly or indirectly related to commencement of our new Price and Service Plan, as follows:

Quoted price for all connections:

All connections are now subject to a quoted price from TasWater’s approved panel of contractors. This means that all applications for connection works (both standard and non-standard) will from 1 July 2022 be charged the price quoted to TasWater by the panel of contractors.

The quoted price reflects the timing, risk and complexity of the connection works as well as the price for labour, plant and materials, and removal of the previous cross-subsidy that applied to standard connections.

Conditions will be applied to ensure that only those genuine connections applications reasonably submitted prior to 1 July 2022, qualifying as standard connections at that time, and scheduled for completion a short time thereafter, will receive the regulated price approved by the Economic Regulator for the period prior to 1 July 2022.

Definitions – Standard Connections and Non-Standard Connections:

To improve clarity, some minor changes have been made to the definitions of standard and non-standard connections within our Connections Policy. The changes more clearly define those connections applications which are standard connections and qualify for the regulated timeframe of 10 business days for our required permission to connect. No regulated timeframes apply for non-standard connections. (For clarity, from 1 July 2022 pricing to customers for both standard and non-standard connections will be the price quoted to TasWater by the panel of contractors.)

Gradual introduction of an option for direct engagement:

Based on feedback from customers, we will be gradually commencing introduction of an option for willing customers to directly engage with the panel of contractors for both standard and non-standard connections i.e. to directly obtain their own quotes, make payment and liaise directly with the panel of contractors. A range of conditions will apply when commenced, including that GST will be payable by a customer who directly engages a contractor. The option to proceed by TasWater engaging the contractor will remain and continue to be GST-free for customers.

Expansion of the Panel of Contractors:

Following a thorough Expression of Interest process, TasWater is substantially expanding its panel of approved contractors able to perform customer connections. After a thorough on-boarding process across July and August 2022, thirteen new members of the pre-approved panel of contractors will be admitted to the existing panel of 6 members. It is anticipated that when complete this will deliver a range of improvements to the process.

TasWater’s Approved Customer Connections Panel Members

Due to the risk, complexity, and criticality of TasWater’s infrastructure, a plumber or contractor that works on TasWater infrastructure without TasWater’s consent commits an offence and can be issued with a penalty.  As water and sewerage connections to TasWater infrastructure are particularly important in keeping TasWater customers and the environment safe, TasWater requires all contractors to work on these connections to be approved by TasWater and meet certain standards.

Through an open tendering process in late 2021, TasWater invited submissions from plumbing businesses operating in Tasmania to join its panel of pre-approved contractors permitted to connect into TasWater infrastructure.  Those businesses that met TasWater’s standards for quality of workmanship, work health and safety systems, customer service and data provision entered into a contract with TasWater and joined the panel.  

The list of providers that were approved by TasWater to undertake connections are available here :TasWater's Approved Customer Connections Panel Members | TasWater

While the connections panel services all areas of Tasmania, to assist in scheduling and cost considerations, panel members were invited to identify local government areas in which they primarily operate (noting that all panel members are free to undertake works across the State, including outside of the locations they primarily service).  TasWater regularly audits its panel, with review of the panel being undertaken every year.  All Panel Members provide plumbing and/or other services to the general public and other businesses as well as TasWater. 

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