In this beautiful environment that we live in, we have a big problem. It’s a $100 million problem and it’s going down the drain. In 2009 the Council estimated that the future cost to ratepayers for excess water use was $27,397.26 a day, every day for ten years. We can’t afford to have this problem or to ignore this message so Council has started a campaign to reduce water use.
Why does water cost so much?
We have a lot of water in our lakes and rivers but the cost is in the journey from the lake to your tap. All the pipes in the ground (414 km) and all the reservoirs (22) and all the pump stations to treat the water cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The power alone to make the pumps work costs Council $918,977 every year across the district.
Every drop costs
This year Council committed to save $100 million over the next 10 years by: reducing leaks on Council and private land; reducing household use; and reducing the peak summer usecreated through watering, irrigation and visitors.
What’s the deal with leaks?
Almost one third of treated water in our district disappears through leaks. Council must fix an aging network and it’s a big job but it is underway. Leaks are also found on private property. Between your house and the road look for damp areas or slumping. This could indicate a leak. If you think you have a leak on your land then call a plumber.
- Check for leaks on your property.
- Check for drips in the house
- Think about how you water your garden – don’t water the footpath and get a timer to water at night
- Think about how you use water and never leave a tap running (for example brushing teeth or shaving)
- Use efficient cycles on appliances and only use when full.
Saving Water Starts at Home
We have a lot of water in our lakes and rivers but the cost is in the journey from the sky to your tap. Pipes, reservoirs, pumps, generators, intakes, maintenance and treatment all cost this community millions of dollars. The Council needs to save $100 million from the cost of water over the next ten years. Council needs to play its part and fix leaks and we all need to use water wisely, starting at home. You can help by saving two buckets a day, every day.
♦ Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth.
If you brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, and leave the tap running, you could be wasting around 12 litres (or just over a bucket) of water a day. That’s over 4,300 litres per person, per year.
♦ Use a plug in the basin when shaving rather than letting the tap run or shaving in the shower.
Install a water efficient showerhead – using less hot water means you’ll also save on your energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You’ll also save lots of water.
♦ Reduce your shower time.
Every minute you cut from your shower time could save up to 20 litres a day. Use the half-flush option whenever possible. For older toilets put a filled bottle in the cistern (tank), it can save you a litre of water every flush. Check for toilet leaks by putting a few drops of food colouring into the cistern and waiting for 30 minutes. If you have a leaking toilet, you will see coloured water in the toilet bowl and need to contact a plumber. A slow, barely visible leak into your toilet bowl can waste more than 4,000 litres of water a year.
♦ Use a bucket for washing and rinsing your car.
If you leave the hose running while washing your car, you could be wasting 20 litres of water a minute. Use greywater. On average, a two to three-person household can generate around 3-500 litres of greywater per day from the hand basin, shower, bath and laundry – plants love greywater so think of ways to reuse it.
♦ Buy efficient whiteware.
Ask questions about water efficiency when buying whiteware and only run full loads, which can save up to 3,700 litres a month.