WANNON Water tapped into a bigger revenue stream to post a $4.9 million profit before tax last financial year, up by $3.5m.
Extra income flowed from greater demand for water and trade waste sales with a significant boost coming through a new $11.9m pipeline system linked to the Mortlake power station, according to the corporation’s annual report tabled in State Parliament last week.
Core business revenue rose by almost $22m to hit $74m.
Water sales totalled $21.6m, trade waste contributed $6.2m, sewer service charges totalled $22.4m and water service charges raised $9.4m.
Recycled water is also generating increased revenue with the total volume going for non-drinking purposes in agriculture, industrial and recreation up by 477 megalitres to 1249 ML last financial year.
Customers include Origin Energy’s Mortlake power station which uses recycled water from the town’s water reclamation plant.
Origin constructed the transfer pipeline which was handed over to Wannon Water.
The corporation also re-used 100 per cent of its available biosolid from treated sewage sludge which was spread as soil conditioner and is working on an innovative project using goldfish to clean-up sludge.
Operating expenditure rose by $5.2m to $40m including $700,000 in electricity costs. Depreciation jumped by more than $12m due to a revaluation of assets.
Board chairman John Vogels and chief executive Grant Green said $19.9m of key projects had been completed in the past financial year including a new sewer main in Dennington, upgrading the Camperdown industrial water reclamation plant, installation of meters in the Otway system to identify water losses and a start on a $13.4m upgrade of the Portland reclamation plant.
“Near the end of its heavy capital works program, Wannon Water will refocus investment on industry innovations that maximise efficiency and deliver value-for-money solutions to our customers and industry,” they said.
“Sound business has laid the groundwork for Wannon Water to keep its prices affordable for customers throughout the next regulatory period and no water and sewerage tariff increases other than annual CPI adjustments are proposed through to 2017-18.”
More than $24m of capital works will be undertaken this financial year. A new sewerage system to connect 168 customers on the Dutton Way to the Portland sewerage system will be completed.
Water consumption in the corporation’s headquarters on Gateway Road, Warrnambool, fell by 38 per cent in a year to 249 kilolitres.
Before relocation to Gateway Road the daily usage spread across several offices was 3759 litres a day — now it is only 680.
Across the whole base of 41,236 customer properties, efficiency has continued to improve with a 30 per cent reduction in per capita consumption since 1997, five years ahead of schedule.
Warrnambool had the largest number of customers with 13,556 residential properties using a total of 2106 megalitres while 1527 non-residential properties used 1380 megalitres.