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Effluent Services - Notice

Shoalhaven Water has completed the review on effluent servicing needs as the current contract will shortly expire. Details about the background to the review can be found in the various discussion points below. Information has also been provided in the discussion points about how customers can obtain details on the alternative service providers for effluent or septic tank cleanout services outside of any Council contract arrangement.

Shoalhaven Water currently manages a contract for the removal of human waste from properties not connected to the reticulated sewerage system. This contract expires in early 2018 and it is expected that customers will experience significant cost increases due to a significantly reduced number of properties that require the service.

Shoalhaven Water consulted with customers (and the commercial market) to ascertain the impacts of not continuing with a contracted service. The commercial market consists of waste removal operators both in the Shoalhaven and from surrounding areas and who could undertake a range of similar services.

Shoalhaven Water provided Council with a report containing details of the situation and this was tabled at the Strategy & Assets Committee on 19 July 2017. A further report was submitted to Council once more information was obtained and it included the results of a customer survey which was undertaken to seek feedback from all the effluent customers. The survey was distributed via the annual Christmas extra effluent service letter in 2016.

Although there are a number of private operators undertaking septic tank cleanouts in the Shoalhaven all effluent scheduled and extra services are currently performed under a contract with Shoalhaven Water.

Customers have always had the ability to make their own arrangements to have systems serviced outside of any contract but in the past there hasn’t appeared to be an active commercial market for effluent servicing. This appears to have now changed and with the reduced number of properties requiring the service, it may be a more cost effective way for customers to proceed based on their individual property servicing needs demand. For example;

  • a customer with a property that is only being used during holidays could arrange with a private operator to service the property during that time only and negate the need for a schedule service every 8 weeks under the contract
  • a customer could negotiate pricing with a private operator, again based on their property servicing demand
  • the timeframe to have a service performed or the amount removed could be arranged to suit the customer and/or the operator, and
  • the volume of effluent removed from systems can be negotiated with a private operator.

The continuation of a contracted arrangement following a competitive tendering process will most likely result in higher costs for customers of the service. This is due to;

  • the reduced number of properties now requiring service,
  • the % of cost increase experienced between the current and last contract, and
  • the length of time and cost increases (fuel and labour) since the last tender was submitted in 2012.

The discussion points below have been identified as being relevant to the situation and it is felt worthwhile to address these in point form.

Reader’s feedback is of immense importance at this time and Shoalhaven Water is encouraging the public to seek information which might be of particular interest to them or their property situation and provide us with their comments. As part of this process, Shoalhaven Water is taking feedback by email or phone as follows;

Discussion Points – Update 5 January 2018

Council at its December 2017 meeting resolved to accept the tender for effluent removal services from Staples Pty Ltd. This period of services will be for 3 years commencing 1st March 2018. This decision follows a competitive tendering process wherein Council received 3 submissions from interested companies. The submission by Staples Pty Ltd was assessed as the best value for customers that choose to use the contracted service option.

Keeping the Community Informed 

The following links are a record of ongoing discussion points: