Restaurant owners yesterday welcomed the one-year waiver on water tariffs and sewage charges. Families will save up to $800 and $200 respectively in water and sewage charges a year while commercial and industrial sectors could save up to $3,200 and $800 respectively. Flushing water charges will also be waived for a year, with a waiver ceiling of $800 for one year. Families who pay less than $266 and $66 for a four-monthly bill for their water and sewage charges will not need to pay anything in the next 12 months. This means about 80 per cent of households and businesses will not be billed for water and sewage in the next financial year. For operators in 30 specified trades such as the dyeing industry and catering, the effluent surcharge will be cut by 30 per cent a year. It is estimated that 15,000 operators will benefit with an average saving of $4,000. Mr Leung estimated the waiver would cost about $1.3 billion. There are 2.1 million and 1.9 million domestic households paying water and sewage charges respectively. There are also 180,000 commercial and industrial accounts. Ng Tak Leung, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trade, welcomed the relief package. He said an average medium-sized restaurant might be able to save up to $40,000 a year in effluent surcharge. Yip Chi-kwong, the director of the Union Dyeing Works, said the relief was minimal as most dyeing factories had moved to the mainland.