Revenue from sewerage charges doubled within a decade

10/08/2010 15:00

Municipal authorities expect revenue from sewerage charges to double in 2010 compared to 2000. This is due to higher costs for maintenance and construction of the sewerage system and the fact that a larger part of the costs is funded from sewerage charges.

Revenue from sewerage charges

Revenue from sewerage charges

Growing expenses

Revenues from sewerage charges are projected to amount to 1,303 million euro this year, as against 651 million euro in 2000. The doubling is partly due to an increase in costs. Over the past six years, sewerage-related costs have grown by an average of 4.2 percent annually. Revenues increased by 7.3 percent annually over the same period. Municipal authorities are allowed to impose tax to cover the costs of water management.

In recent years, operating costs of the sewerage system have risen as overdue maintenance had to be dealt with and as a result of more stringent environmental regulations and more houses situated in remote areas being connected to the sewerage system. Since 2008, the costs of separate discharge of rainwater and groundwater management are also covered by sewerage charges.

Sewerage charges

Sewerage charges

Cost-effectiveness increasing

Revenues from sewerage charges have also increased, because municipalities – more often than in the past – tend to fund the costs of the sewerage system from sewerage charge revenues rather than from general revenues. In 2004, 84 percent of the costs of maintenance and construction of the sewerage system were paid from sewerage charges as opposed to nearly 100 percent in 2010.

Abolishment of the property tax for consumers in 2006 made it more difficult for municipal authorities to pay the costs of the sewerage system from general revenues. Many municipalities raised their sewerage rates or extended their range of activities. A number of municipalities introduced a sewerage tax. In 2004, twenty municipalities did not impose a tax for sewerage services, whereas in 2010, Terneuzen is the only Dutch municipality not to impose sewerage charges.

Paul van der Beek