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  # 1706791 21-Jan-2017 02:56
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Done properly water meters work out good for low users. Former North Shore City Council in Auckland. Water cost $1.30 per m3 (1,000L) Meters read 6 monthly. If usage calculated to less than $15 then you were charged $15. But that is equivalent to only 63L per day, So you would have to be a very low user to use less than that. And $160 per year fixed fee on rates bill for sewage.

 

I once had 8 people in my house. Over 1200L per day used. Bill was $190 something for 6 months. So only about $32 per month. So it was expensive enough that leaks got fixed. But cheap enough that paying it was not a burden. If you had a big leak you could apply for a remission on part of the cost caused by the leak. Invoice from a plumber as proof of a leak. And you could also get a refund if water gets used for firefighting. So you wouldn't be out of pocket if the fire service pumped out your swimming pool to use for a fire on a neighbouring property.

 

But under the supercity, they reduced the water charge to $1.20 then added a volume based sewage charge. So the new cost is now $3.37 per m3 plus a $205 per year fixed fee. And Len Brown then said that the $1.20 charge meant that water was now cheaper under the super city. Even though you still had to pay the sewage fees. And the volumetric sewage charge meant a big cost increase for renters. As landlords are allowed to charge variable fees to tenants. And due to the cost a landlord would be silly not to charge the tenants in case they are wasteful.

 

Not having meters is definitely very wasteful. An old time plumber told me that before meters people would install fountains in their gardens. That were simply a pipe coming from a hose tap to the fountain. As for the owner that was cheaper than paying for power to run a small pump that used the same power as a light bulb. Yet the power the council had to pay for just to pressurise the water used by the fountain was far more. Plus of course all the other costs in providing clean water. And if the mains had to be turned off for any reason, the scummy pond water would backflow into the council mains. Another one was using the water for cooling on commercial refrigerators / freezers. Instead of using a fan and a radiator for cooling the refrigerant gas. Water was used instead. Why pay to run a 60W fan when you can leave water running 24/7 even when the compressor is not running.

 

More recent case - block of terraced houses in a body corp. One had a massive underground leak. Only 1 common water meter with the body corp paying the bill. Owners only got the leak fixed as they got annoyed with the constant hissing sound going through the pipes at night.






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  # 1706793 21-Jan-2017 06:26
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for Auckland its currently

 

Volumetric charges
Water $1.444/kL
Wastewater $2.454/kL
Fixed charges
Wastewater  $205.000 pa

 

Waste water usage is calculated at 78.50% of your water usage. so if you do a lot of watering you could be overpaying your waste water bill

 

We pay about 60-70 per month for 2 adults and 2 under 5's, and we use about 400L per day

 

 

 

Watercare are also pretty good about leaks

 

https://www.watercare.co.nz/about-watercare/about-this-site/terms-of-use/Pages/LeakAllowanceTerms.aspx


 
 
 
 


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  # 1706820 21-Jan-2017 09:10
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mattwnz:

 

There are cities in the Wellington region that don't have any meters, although they have tried to bring them in, it was voted down. Meters IMO are a bit of a slippery slope. eg If you have a leak that was through no fault of your own (eg a pipe just bursts or starts leaking(which is quite common), or a rupture occurs after an earthquake), you can end up with a huge bill for water that probably won't be covered by your insurance policy.

 

 

If its from an earthquake, then it would be covered.

 

Why is this a problem? I have had a moderate leak and the damage was under $100 which heaps got credited back when I gave them proof in the form of a plumbers bill for repairing the old watermain under the driveway. Its since split in about 4 other places, 3 of which I have fixed myself and each time the small leak gave about $20 on the bill before I fixed it. Got another leak happening at the moment, stupid 50 year old plastic trash pipe gets pinholes, but again, nothing major.

 

If the pipe was to totally sever off, you would have a major geyser happening and the water bill would be the least of your worries.





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  # 1706840 21-Jan-2017 10:10
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Geektastic:

 

Interesting story about opening the water supply market to competition in the UK. I can only imagine the chaos if we did that!

 

 

Ticket-clippers have been trying to charge for water for private profit for years. They have had some success in the UK. Very little over here unless you see every plastic water bottle in restaurants as charging for something we used to get for free in a glass.

Paying for water as anything other than a cost-recovery utility is a completely unnecessary cost imposed on society by greedy people. Claims of efficiency are bogus as all they do is reduce investment, maintenance and wages.

It's a scam. The UK fell for it. We haven't.....so far.   





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  # 1706845 21-Jan-2017 10:24
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richms:

 

mattwnz:

 

There are cities in the Wellington region that don't have any meters, although they have tried to bring them in, it was voted down. Meters IMO are a bit of a slippery slope. eg If you have a leak that was through no fault of your own (eg a pipe just bursts or starts leaking(which is quite common), or a rupture occurs after an earthquake), you can end up with a huge bill for water that probably won't be covered by your insurance policy.

 

 

If its from an earthquake, then it would be covered.

 

Why is this a problem? I have had a moderate leak and the damage was under $100 which heaps got credited back when I gave them proof in the form of a plumbers bill for repairing the old watermain under the driveway. Its since split in about 4 other places, 3 of which I have fixed myself and each time the small leak gave about $20 on the bill before I fixed it. Got another leak happening at the moment, stupid 50 year old plastic trash pipe gets pinholes, but again, nothing major.

 

If the pipe was to totally sever off, you would have a major geyser happening and the water bill would be the least of your worries.

 

 

I bought a house with a leak in the water connection. The house had been moved, but the water still came from the old meter in the completely different street. It ran under a new development of about a dozen infil houses. The leak was costing me about $300 / month. This was with no one in the house and no water being used. I had a taop under the house on the main connection and turned it off. No difference. The only way to stop it was to turn the water off at the meter. 

I paid a leak detection service to find it, but they reckoned one of the new houses had put a deck or patio - illegally - over my water access. It's actual location was never documented anyway. Essentially, the leak was not fixable. I needed a new connection.......across 5 properties (about 200m). I had the right.....but the logistics were scary. How much of someone's illegal patio or fence-to-fence deck do my plumbers rip up to put my new pipe in? 

I engaged a major plumber to oversee the moving of my water connections from the old street to the new one. But just as they were scheduling that in the leak went to $675 actual in a month. In the final month before work began the leak became very bad and I was billed over $3500 for one month. Basically most of a million litres a month just being lost. 

I spent the $18,000 on the new connection - including trenching and repaving 130m of a driveway shared among 5 houses. Water use fell to $70 /month. 

I applied for the rebate and the Council only look 3 months back and 1 months forward.....so you can't be slow to fix it if you want to ckaim any more than that. WaterCare rebated about $5000 worth of the bills. They then billed me $576 for the period between when they had last read the meter and the next reading after the fix. They did not read the meter on the day they moved the meter. You;d think they might.....but no. Anticipating this, I had taken a photo of the meter at the earliest opportunity after the fix (I was overseas for a few days after). I appealed the assessment, included photos of the meter reading, and they revised it by $300.

It was a pain, but we got there in the end. So you can claim rebates, but be sure to document *everything* with photos if possible.  

I'd hate to think how it would have gone if this was all for profit. Give money back? No incentive at all.....quite the reverse.





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  # 1706991 21-Jan-2017 14:50
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Linuxluver:

 

Geektastic:

 

Interesting story about opening the water supply market to competition in the UK. I can only imagine the chaos if we did that!

 

 

Ticket-clippers have been trying to charge for water for private profit for years. They have had some success in the UK. Very little over here unless you see every plastic water bottle in restaurants as charging for something we used to get for free in a glass.

Paying for water as anything other than a cost-recovery utility is a completely unnecessary cost imposed on society by greedy people. Claims of efficiency are bogus as all they do is reduce investment, maintenance and wages.

It's a scam. The UK fell for it. We haven't.....so far.   

 

 

 

 

It's not a scam at all. The UK water industry is very efficient, very technologically advanced and their expertise is sought around the world (they designed and supervised the construction of Moa Point sewage treatment works in Wellington, for example).

 

The regulation of the monopoly suppliers in the UK is far more stringent than here. See this recent example.








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  # 1706995 21-Jan-2017 14:53
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Linuxluver:

 

richms:

 

mattwnz:

 

There are cities in the Wellington region that don't have any meters, although they have tried to bring them in, it was voted down. Meters IMO are a bit of a slippery slope. eg If you have a leak that was through no fault of your own (eg a pipe just bursts or starts leaking(which is quite common), or a rupture occurs after an earthquake), you can end up with a huge bill for water that probably won't be covered by your insurance policy.

 

 

If its from an earthquake, then it would be covered.

 

Why is this a problem? I have had a moderate leak and the damage was under $100 which heaps got credited back when I gave them proof in the form of a plumbers bill for repairing the old watermain under the driveway. Its since split in about 4 other places, 3 of which I have fixed myself and each time the small leak gave about $20 on the bill before I fixed it. Got another leak happening at the moment, stupid 50 year old plastic trash pipe gets pinholes, but again, nothing major.

 

If the pipe was to totally sever off, you would have a major geyser happening and the water bill would be the least of your worries.

 

 

I bought a house with a leak in the water connection. The house had been moved, but the water still came from the old meter in the completely different street. It ran under a new development of about a dozen infil houses. The leak was costing me about $300 / month. This was with no one in the house and no water being used. I had a taop under the house on the main connection and turned it off. No difference. The only way to stop it was to turn the water off at the meter. 

I paid a leak detection service to find it, but they reckoned one of the new houses had put a deck or patio - illegally - over my water access. It's actual location was never documented anyway. Essentially, the leak was not fixable. I needed a new connection.......across 5 properties (about 200m). I had the right.....but the logistics were scary. How much of someone's illegal patio or fence-to-fence deck do my plumbers rip up to put my new pipe in? 

I engaged a major plumber to oversee the moving of my water connections from the old street to the new one. But just as they were scheduling that in the leak went to $675 actual in a month. In the final month before work began the leak became very bad and I was billed over $3500 for one month. Basically most of a million litres a month just being lost. 

I spent the $18,000 on the new connection - including trenching and repaving 130m of a driveway shared among 5 houses. Water use fell to $70 /month. 

I applied for the rebate and the Council only look 3 months back and 1 months forward.....so you can't be slow to fix it if you want to ckaim any more than that. WaterCare rebated about $5000 worth of the bills. They then billed me $576 for the period between when they had last read the meter and the next reading after the fix. They did not read the meter on the day they moved the meter. You;d think they might.....but no. Anticipating this, I had taken a photo of the meter at the earliest opportunity after the fix (I was overseas for a few days after). I appealed the assessment, included photos of the meter reading, and they revised it by $300.

It was a pain, but we got there in the end. So you can claim rebates, but be sure to document *everything* with photos if possible.  

I'd hate to think how it would have gone if this was all for profit. Give money back? No incentive at all.....quite the reverse.

 

 

 

 

You'd have simply served statutory notice on the water provider to give you a new connection and cap the old pipe when you'd moved the house if you'd been in the UK. Cost to you, nil.






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  # 1707001 21-Jan-2017 15:23
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I think privatising water wouldn't be that helpful.  The 'market' relies on competition to deliver efficiency. 

 

But there are regional monopolies on water reticulation infrastructure and in most cases the water sources as well.





Mike



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  # 1707262 21-Jan-2017 22:57
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MikeAqua:

 

I think privatising water wouldn't be that helpful.  The 'market' relies on competition to deliver efficiency. 

 

But there are regional monopolies on water reticulation infrastructure and in most cases the water sources as well.

 

 

 

 

Well, I suppose it depends on all manner of things. We probably lack the population to make use of the share ownership but that could be useful.

 

Realistically we could do it with two companies - North Island Water and South Island Water. At the moment we have a myriad of tiny organisations doing it in different ways, with different qualities of staff, methodologies of working and all the inefficiencies of duplicating everything multiple times.

 

I've not seen a great deal of professionalism to date running it as a small part of most local council operations in amongst libraries and whatever else they do. I would think having it done by dedicated specialists with no other calls on their time or budgets, the ability to better apply uniform standards across a wide geographical area  etc might be a good improvement.

 

We certainly need to improve our water quality across  the entire environment and I think dedicated companies looking after that might be more effective - certainly worth exploring. I remember an engineer saying to me 15 years ago when I asked why we were discharging the treated end product from the waste water treatment into the same river we were extracting drinking water from "Well, the treated waste water is now so clean that we could simply build the water treatment works next door and supply the treated water from the waste water process directly to the potable water treatment system, but the public would not like that so we do not do it!"

 

That is the kind of quality I would like to see here - not people applying for consents to dump raw sewage into rivers and the sea. That is not good for us and it is not good for NZ Inc.






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  # 1707299 22-Jan-2017 09:29
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mattwnz:

 

There are cities in the Wellington region that don't have any meters, although they have tried to bring them in, it was voted down. Meters IMO are a bit of a slippery slope. eg If you have a leak that was through no fault of your own (eg a pipe just bursts or starts leaking(which is quite common), or a rupture occurs after an earthquake), you can end up with a huge bill for water that probably won't be covered by your insurance policy.

 

 

 

 

The bill for water is the least of your problems. Anything after the meter (which is the 'demarc / connection from the street'), is the landowners responsibilty i.e. the three waters (water, waste and storm pipes/sumps/drains), except for any mains system deep down under as part of the main network and shown on titles/easements. 

 

 

 

 


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  # 1707309 22-Jan-2017 09:55
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We pay $250.51 annual amount plus get a bill every 6 months for metered use. According to council 2 people use about 10-15 cubic meters per month which is charged at 0.4957 so two people would have about $50 every six months to pay. Sewerage charge is $324 annually.

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