Water meters worth a look

by Nick Lawrence, Plumb Tight

Watercare is increasing its wastewater charges by 3.3 percent on July 1, so it might be a good time for householders to look at how they can potentially make savings.

Watercare says that the price increase reflects “the higher investment required in wastewater infrastructure as the city grows and demand for these services increases”.

Whenever there’s a price increase, whatever the service (power, phone, internet), it is always a good idea to take the opportunity to check out alternative suppliers. The problem with wastewater is that there are no alternatives, as it is a service provided by Watercare for Auckland Council.

But all is not lost. Many people don’t realise that they can potentially reduce their wastewater charges, depending on their circumstances.

Wastewater charges are not unlike electricity charges. If you make sure that you are on the right plan for your circumstances, you can potentially save money. For example, there are different electricity plans to suit the consumption of couples, singles or large family households.

This same thinking applies to our tank and wastewater on the Hibiscus Coast. Whether or not you are on tank water, every household pays wastewater charges and this is where potential savings can be made.

Watercare says that the benefits of rain tank water metering for fixed/volumetric wastewater charging depends on the amount of water your household uses and the cost of your water meter installation.

A trial undertaken by Watercare in 2013 showed that households of 1-3 people who are careful with their water use could save around $10 to $25 per month. Households of four or more people who are very low water users may also benefit.

Of course, there is the cost of meter installation to take into consideration. Installation cost (including the meter) is usually between $400-$600 (GST inclusive), depending on ease of access and location. Get a quote and work out how quickly you could pay back the cost, based on estimated savings.

The Watercare website has information on the installation of rain tank water meters and whether there are potential savings.

Info: www.watercare.co.nz (look for rain tank water meters).