Help! Just Received a $27,000 Water Bill! 1

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Help! Just Received a $27,000 Water Bill! 2

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Help! Just Received a $27,000 Water Bill!

Imagine opening your mail to find a water bill for $27154.83.

We all know water is the basis of all life and an absolute necessity of life, but I’m sure we all agree a $27154.83 water bill is not what anyone would want.

This property is a commercial property where the normal water bill for 6 months is around $4000 and as the exasperated owner said, “why has water got so bloody expensive?”  The very simple answer to that question is that water costs are a direct reflection of appalling state government planning between 1990 and 2007.

Many of us remember when water was essentially free and the only time you got charged for it was if you used excess water over and above the very generous allowance that was paid for as part of your council rates.

However, cheap water is the past. The reality of today is that water is expensive if you use vast quantities for irrigation or have a concealed water leak as in the situation above. We all have to be vigilant in ensuring that the integrity of our household water pipes is maintained at all times. The only guarantee anyone can give you on the cost of water is that it will continually increase every year.

If you live on the Gold Coast or in Logan then water costs are comparable. Have a look at annual costs below:

Water Service Charge $205.74
Sewerage Service Charge $703.34
Water Consumption Charge $3.5167 per k/L
Annual Cost to use 250 k/L of water   $879.18
Annual Service Charges   $909.08
Total Annual Cost $1788.26
Water Service Charge $279.00
Sewerage Service Charge $661.60
Water Consumption Charge $3.5813 per k/L
Annual Cost to use 250 k/L of water   $895.33
Annual Service Charges   $940.60
Total Annual Cost $1835.93

As you can see Logan is marginally more expensive and if you used 250 kilolitres of water then you would pay $47.67 more for living in Logan.

However where a concealed leak has occurred and eligibility criteria have been met Logan is definitely more understanding and generous in their relief on payment over a 3 year period.

Logan City Council allows:

  • a claim once every year
  • provide a reduction of 50% of the difference between the consumption for the billing period and the average of the previous consumption history as recorded by council over the preceding four billing periods

City of Gold Coast allows:

  • a claim once every three years
  • provide a reduction of 60% of the estimated water loss attributed to the concealed leak
  • the water loss through a concealed leak must be in excess of 50 kilolitres
  • relief increases to 85% if you receive a pensioner water subsidy.

So for example if you normally used 250 kilolitres but had two concealed leaks resulting in an increase to 900 kilolitres in a 3 year period, which is not an unusual occurrence then you would receive relief from payment of $2327.84 at Logan but only$1377.51 on the Gold Coast.

As a rule of thumb YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for any water leak after the council meter that is on your property. Therefore I recommend that you at least check your water meter reading every month and seriously consider the installation of an AquaTrip water leak detection and control system.

In reality the convenience of reliable, good quality drinking water from your tap is still inexpensive if you compare it to:

Product Litre Cost Kilolitre Cost
Coca Cola   $2.33   $2330.00
Just Juice   $1.17   $1170.00
Nudie Juice   $2.50   $2500.00
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Shiraz $24.00 $24000.00
Johnie Walker Black Label $71.43 $71430.00
XXXX Gold   $7.35   $7350.00
Woolworths Milk   $1.00   $1000.00
Standard Petrol   $1.52   $1520.00
Mount Franklin Spring Water   $4.65   $4650.00
Logan Water   $0.0036        $3.58
Gold Coast Water   $0.0035        $3.52

When you look at the real cost of water compared to other products you purchase to drink it not only puts it in perspective but makes you appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to turn on a tap and receive drinking water that is free of bacteria and virus’s so we are not forced to purchase bottled water at $4650.00 per kilolitre to drink.

Yours sincerely,
Gary Mays

Why Is My Hot Water Cloudy?

hot-water-from-kitchen-tap

cloudy hot water from the kitchen tap

Whywait Plumbing Services install, service and repair hot water systems on the Gold Coast

Cloudy hot water is one of those perennial issues that arise for the plumbing technicians at Whywait. Generally the question is always based around the same theme, “what do you think causes cloudy (white not dirty) water that comes out of the kitchen tap when on hot. It doesn’t do it on cold and if you boil cold you don’t get the same residue. The photo attached is the residue after 30 seconds when the water settles.”

Very simply in most cases cloudy hot water is caused by dissolved gases in the water. To get cloudy water from your hot tap you have to create the right set of circumstances for everything to come together at the same time.

To explain this a little more you have to understand that all your water is stored in your water pipes under pressure. Therefore water under pressure has a greater capacity to hold dissolved gases and when water under pressure is heated the capacity to hold those dissolved gases is reduced. Essentially what happens then that is cold water is heated to become hot water under pressure and which results in super saturation occurring with dissolved gases and those gases are released when you turn the kitchen tap on.

Another way to look at it is that when you turn the hot tap on you create that same kind of effect as when you pop the cork off a bottle of champagne because all that pressure has to go somewhere.

The reason your water is milky or cloudy when you first turn the water on then is because turning on the tap releases the pressure, which is often an initial highly pressurised burst, and because the dissolved gas comes out of the water in the form of tiny gas bubbles right throughout the water volume. The gas bubbles then rise to the surface of the water and burst so that the water has a cloudy or milky appearance. This will clear in a few seconds, from the bottom up, which you can observe in a glass.

The good news is that dissolved gas or air in water in reasonable quantities is not uncommon and means that the water is in a “healthy” condition. We guarantee cloudy water does not mean you have a faulty hot water service or your water is contaminated. Generally gas bubbles in your hot water supply will increase with the increase in temperature of your water because the hotter your water the lower the amount of gas bubbles that can be held.

By Gary Mays

 

 

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