ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL
SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING
SUSTAINABLE WATER USE
Water recycling
Water conservation
In 2015-16, we produced 12,874 ML of recycled water
We continued to encourage our customers to maintain
at our sewage treatment plants, of which 3,906 ML or
responsible water use practices, to help protect the long-term
30.3% was reused. This reused volume was an increase
security of our water supplies and reduce the cost of supply
of 6.6% in comparison to 2014-15.
augmentations including the following:
distributed water efficient showerheads under our
We connected 2,911 properties to Class A recycled water
Showerhead Exchange Program. A total of 190,563,
and constructed 27km of recycled water mains.
have been issued since the beginning of the program;
Water recycling continues to be a key component of our
provision of the Schools Water Efficiency (SWEP)
integrated water cycle management servicing strategy for
program to over 190 schools, the program includes free
the Northern Growth Corridor. Provision of recycled water
data loggers to participating schools, giving teachers and
to all homes via a third pipe system for toilet flushing, garden
students alike access to timely information about water
watering and laundry use provides significant efficiency
consumption using an interactive website. Complementing
and environmental benefits to the entire community.
this information is a tailored curriculum resource which
aligns with maths and science concepts for students. As
a result of the program schools have been able to identify
SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT
efficiencies and save over $1.5M; and
WATER SERVICES SYSTEMS
engaged more than 120 schools within our service area,
which have integrated material from ‘Water - Learn It!
Water quality
Live It!’ initiatives into water efficiency curriculum units.
Since its inception, 1,080 classroom presentations have
During 2015-16, we maintained our commitment to provide
been completed to more than 21,000 primary school
safe, high-quality drinking water. This year we received
children within our district.
2.9 complaints for every 1,000 customers, maintaining
performance from previous years.
A combination of factors including improved management
OTHER STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS
of operational changes, and targeted cleaning of 250km of
water mains using a combination of cleaning methods have
Victorian Biodiversity Strategy
all contributed to maintaining lower customer complaints.
Yarra Valley Water follows the directive of ‘Victoria’s Native
We achieved 91% customer satisfaction with the overall
Vegetation Management: A Framework for Action’, which
quality of drinking water provided, maintaining performance
was developed as an offset measure to support the Victorian
from previous years.
Biodiversity Strategy. We work with multidisciplinary
companies and involve ecologists early in the preliminary
design phase of projects to complete them in a more
sustainable manner. This includes conducting complete risk
assessments, life cycle analyses, net gain assessments and
offset management plans and preliminary flora and fauna
options assessments.
We liaise with stakeholders such as the Department of
Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)and other
water utilities on a project-by-project basis to determine
how best to conserve Victoria’s biodiversity. We liaise directly
with DELWP on ongoing growth and development of all
native offset areas established as part of these projects.
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Victorian Waterway Management Strategy
The first phase of a collaborative study with Melbourne Water,
local Councils and DELWP on the Merri Creek waterway was
Yarra Valley Water strives to deliver our services within the
completed. The study found that utilising an outcomes based
carrying capacity of nature and reducing our environmental
approach, the key threats to the waterway outcomes sought
footprint is a priority.
were from stormwater pollutants. The risk and impacts
of wastewater overflows into the Merri Creek and also
To improve waterway health we continued to manage our
downstream waterways was negligible. The study identified
nitrogen discharges to Port Phillip Bay in accordance with
a number of alternate projects to deliver which would yield
our self-imposed nitrogen cap of 87 tonnes. In 2015-16,
far greater benefits to the waterway outcomes. The next
our discharge was 59.5 tonnes.
stage of the project involves developing an action plan
and commencing works on the highest priority projects.
To comply with river and aquifer health requirements
as per our Statement of Obligations, Yarra Valley Water
undertakes regular (weekly, monthly) sampling at each
of our sewage treatment plants to ensure they comply
with our Environment Protection Authority Victoria
(EPAV) Corporate Licence Requirements.
A summary of our sewage treatment plants’ performance is
reported to the EPAV on an annual basis. Additionally, water
quality and flow data relating to waterways is reported to
the Essential Services Commission, the National Pollutant
Inventory and the Bureau of Meteorology.
State Environmental Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria)
During 2015-16, the following projects underwent
construction to prevent wastewater discharges to
the environment during rainfall events less than a
1 in 5 year average recurrence interval:
••
Glenroy Branch Sewer
••
Golf Links Branch Sewer
We commenced hydraulic options assessments
on the following projects:
••
Blackburn Branch Sewer
••
Brunswick Branch Sewer
••
Eley Rd Branch Sewer
••
Scotchmans Creek Branch Sewer (completed)
An investigation into the benefits of addressing inflow and
infiltration at the source is ongoing in the Heathmont sewer
catchment. All issues with customer plumbing have been
resolved and a number of inflow prevention devices to prevent
water ingress through manhole lids have been installed.
We will continue to trial interventions and monitor the
benefits as part of this ongoing research project.
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
101

 

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL
SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
AND NET ENERGY CONSUMPTION
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions brought about by our showerhead exchange program continued to offset
our own GHG emissions, ensuring that we had no net GHG emissions for the eighth year in a row. We are also working
with our business partners and suppliers to encourage them to reduce their emissions each year.
GHG (Tonnes of CO2e)
2015-16
2014-15
2013-14
2012-13
2011-12
Water treatment and pumping
7,950
7,660
7,399
5,296
5,385
Wastewater treatment
18,499
18,206
17,709
17,204
16,153
Wastewater pumping
4,316
4,469
*4,399
3,124
3,107
Office use
1,959
1,927
2,158
2,823
2,940
Vehicle fleet
1,038
993
1,051
1,065
1,042
Total GHG emissions
33,762
33,255
*32,716
29,512
28,627
Offsets purchased
0
0
0
274
272
Other offsets
33,762
33,255
*32,716
29,238
28,355
* Sewage pumping was omitted from 2013-14 figures.
We offset our greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the Showerhead Exchange Program, since water efficient showerheads
reduce the amount of energy required to heat water.
GHG (MJ)
2015-16
2014-15
2013-14
2012-13
2011-12
Water treatment and pumping
25,327,434
23,369,492
22,766,154
16,021,513
16,021,488
Wastewater treatment
58,934,867
55,543,729
54,489,231
52,045,714
48,058,512
Wastewater pumping
13,750,088
13,634,237
13,535,385
9,450,756
9,243,967
Office use
6,241,062
5,878,983
6,640,000
8,540,168
8,747,107
Vehicle fleet
3,306,903
3,029,492
3,233,846
3,221,849
3,100,165
Total
107,560,354
101,455,933
100,664,616
89,280,000
85,171,239
Conversion factor of 1 kWh = 3.6 Megajoules (MJ) used.
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Energy Use (MJ Per ML)
2015-16
2014-15
2013-14
2012-13
2011-12
Bulk water volume *
140,689
132,384
131,916
132,997
120,489
(ML)
Water treatment
and pumping
Energy use
180.0
176.5
172.6
120.5
133.0
(MJ/ML)
Wastewater volume
treated at Yarra Valley Water
10,914
10,263
10,323
10,073
10,560
Sewage Treatment Plant
Wastewater treatment
(ML)
Energy use
5399.9
5,412.0
5,278.5
5166.9
4551.0
(MJ/ML)
Wastewater volume
transferred to
90,071
119,995
117,281
118,078
123,493
Melbourne Water
Wastewater pumping
(ML)
Energy use
136.2
104.7
106.1
73.7
69.0
(MJ/ML)
Energy figures only include Yarra Valley Water usage (exclude Melbourne Water treatment and transfer usage).
* Metered water supplied to Yarra Valley Water customers.
2015-16
2014-15
Community service obligations
$’000
$’000
Provision of concessions to pensioners
48,162
45,707
Rebates paid to not-for-profit organisations under the Water and Sewerage Rebate Scheme
1,300
1,243
Utility Relief Grant payments
1,120
827
Water concessions for life support machines - Haemodialysis
22
23
Total
50,604
47,800
YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
103

 

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL
SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING
PROVISION OF CONCESSIONS
UTILITY RELIEF
TO PENSIONERS
GRANTS SCHEME
Customers who hold either a Pension Concession Card,
The Utility Relief Grants Scheme provides assistance for
a Gold Repatriation Health Care Card for All Conditions
residential customers unable to pay their utility accounts
or a Health Care Card are entitled to pay a concessionary
due to a temporary financial crisis. Customers need to
amount instead of the full balance outstanding on their
demonstrate that unexpected hardship has left them
accounts. When a customer pays this lesser amount,
seriously short of money so that they cannot pay their
the difference is billed to and paid by the Department
utility account without assistance.
of Human and Health Services (DHHS).
WATER CONCESSIONS FOR LIFE
REBATES PAID TO NOT-FOR-PROFIT
SUPPORT MACHINES - HAEMODIALYSIS
ORGANISATIONS UNDER THE WATER
The State Government of Victoria provides a rebate
AND SEWERAGE REBATE SCHEME
for customers required to use a dialysis/life support
machine at home, to compensate these customers
Customers who are not-for-profit entities are entitled
for water usage and sewage disposal charges relating
to pay a concessionary amount instead of the full balance
to the use of such a machine.
outstanding on their accounts. When a customer pays this
lesser amount, the difference is billed to and paid by the
The rebate amount is determined by the DHHS based
State Revenue Office.
on the estimated annual water usage of a dialysis
machine (168 kL). This rebate is in addition to any
other pension or concession entitlements.
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YARRA VALLEY WATER ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16