A new report by Tasmania’s Independent Economic Regulator has found that despite the investment of $42million in sewerage infrastructure during 2014-2015, Tasmania’s wastewater assets fail to meet public health standards.
Tasmania’s independent Economic Regulator has released the report which details the state of Tasmania’s urban water and sewerage industry.
The 2014-2015 report covers TasWater’s second year of operation since the merger of the previous regional corporations on 1 July 2013.
The Chairman of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator, Joe Dimasi, said the report provides “a detailed review of the industry’s performance and provides consumers and stakeholders with an insight into the industry’s ongoing capability.”
The report says increased investment in water infrastructure in recent years has reduced the percentage of the population receiving water that was not of drinking water quality.
However, at 1.4 per cent of the population, this percentage continues to be much higher than in mainland jurisdictions.
However, the report found that call centre performance has improved considerably in recent years and these gains were consolidated during the 2014-2015 period.
TasWater responded quickly to high priority bursts and leaks, with attendance times within or close to the approved service standards.
Further, customers typically had their water service interrupted for less than 30 minutes throughout the year.
However, despite the investment of a further $42million in sewerage infrastructure, the report finds the performance of Tasmania’s wastewater assets continues to fail to meet environmental and public health standards.
While recognising that TasWater has acknowledged the challenges it faces and is working on addressing these issues, Mr Dimasi said that the continued declining trend in sewage performance is very disappointing.
“Considerable improvement in sewage performance is expected from TasWater which will require it to deliver on its capital works program and meet standards required by environmental and public health regulators,” Mr Dimasi said.