How much will a leak add to your Gold Coast water bill?

How much will a leak add to your Gold Coast water bill?

Whywait Plumbing how to read your water meterYour Gold Coast water bill issued by the City of Gold Coast as a Water and Sewerage Rate Notice arrives every three months. Currently, every water meter is manually read every three months with your Gold Coast water bill coming soon after. The cost of water is set every year as part of the budget process with the detailed current water pricing for 2020-21 available from Gold Coast Water.

What are the costs on your Gold Coast water bill?

For most homeowners who use around the average daily water usage of 451 litres, the highest costs in the quarterly Gold Coast water bill are their sewerage and water access service charges. If you look closely at your water bill you can see that you have the following access charges:

Residential Charges Cost
Sewerage access charge per quarter

$181.03

Water access charge per quarter

$53.02

Total Access Charges per Quarter

$234.05

The usage charges per kilolitre as measured by your water meter are made up of council charges and Queensland Government charges as below:

Residential Charges Cost

City of Gold Coast water per kilolitre

$1.090

Queensland Government water per kilolitre

$3.122

Total Cost of Water per Kilolitre

$4.212

In reality, even if you did not use one drop of water, you would still pay for water and sewerage access service charges of $234.05 every quarter or $936.20 every year.

In our experience, the average water use of 451 litres or 0.451kL per property is not an accurate guide to your water use. Most homes with more than one occupant will use 1-2 kL every day. Remember your water usage will vary every day based on the number of occupants at home each day, and their water use behaviours. That is why we recommend you read your water meter weekly as that will give you a better guide about your average consumption but will also alert you to a potential water leak.

The real cost of water dripping from a tap

What will cause your usage charges to blow out is having leaking water. Leaking taps and toilets are frequently overlooked and put off to another day. A dripping tap that drips one drop every second will use 40 litres of water a day. The reality is that it becomes 280 litres a week and then 1214 litres a month and then 14560 litres a year. This is all water charged for on your Gold Coast water bill that you never utilised for any useful purpose.

If we translate the litres wasted to the cost of water, then the numbers become real.

Cost of a Dripping Tap at 1 drip per second Residential Cost at $4.212 per kL or 1000 litres Business Cost at $8.662 per kL or 1000 litres

1.66 litres per hour

$0.007

$0.014

40 litres per day

$0.169

$0.347

280 litres per week

$1.180

$2.425

1214 litres per month

$5.114

$10.516

14560 litres per year

$61.327

$126.119

The real cost of a leaking underground water main

A dripping tap or running toilet you can visually sight but the real killer to your Gold Coast water bill is your underground water main pipe leaking. For residential users, these are usually leaking polypipe water mains that were never installed correctly when the house was built. Only occasionally is a water leak apparent and bubbling to the ground. Most of the time they are a silent Gold Coast water bill killer leaking 24/7 undetected.

There is no real average for any leaking water main because it depends on the type of break in the pipe and what the incoming water pressure is.  Currently, we have a small leak where we have water monitoring installed that is leaking on average of 44 litres per hour, so we use that as a basis for what a leaking water main will cost on a Gold Coast water bill.

Cost of a leaking underground water main at 44 litres per hour Residential Cost at $4.212 per kL or 1000 litres Business Cost at $8.662 per kL or 1000 litres
44 litres per hour

$0.185

$0.381

528 litres per day

$2.223

$4.574

3696 litres per week

$15.568

$32.015

16016 litres per month

$67.459

$138.731

192192 litres per year

$809.513

$1664.767

A leak at 44 litres per minute is only a small leak. It is highly unlikely to show up bubbling to the ground unless it is directly under the grass in a shallow trench. Even looking at your water meter, it will not be evident unless you are testing your water use at the meter by checking for a water leak.

How much does a leak cost per litre

We have always recommended that you test your water usage through your water meter every month. By having comparable figures, you will soon ascertain whether you have a leaking pipe.

We have always recommended that you install an AquaTrip water leak detection system after your water meter. An AquaTrip Water Leak detection system with an integrated automatic shutoff valve supplied and installed by Whywait Plumbing is a permanently installed leak detection protection system that quietly protects against leaks 24/7. It is a one time only insurance payment.

With our modern leak detection methods, it’s a much easier job to find a leak but unless you have an AquaTrip installed or use our water monitoring service you will still pay for a lot of lost water before you become aware of the leak.

If you think you have a leak contact us because every litre that you lose is costing you $0.004212 for residential properties or $0.008662 for businesses on your Gold Coast water bill. If you believe that is inconsequential, we have just rectified a leak for a business client that was in a 40mm underground pipe that was leaking 96 kL every day, which is 96000 litres every 24 hours. This leak was costing $831.55 every day.

Your Average Gold Coast Water Bill is Always Out of Date

Your Average Gold Coast Water Bill is Always Out of Date

Most property owners on the Gold Coast have just received their City of Gold Coast Water and Sewerage Rate Notice for January. Under Queensland law, you must receive a quarterly water bill. The City of Gold Coast issues their water bills in January, April, July and October.

gold Coast water meterWhenever water bills arrive, we get clients asking us why their Gold Coast water bill is always out of date. From experience, we can guarantee the average Gold Coast Water bill is still out of date. For example, most water bills issued in January were for water that was used between July and October. This is due to the contractors who read each water meter having set routes and timelines to read your meter so yes your usage charges are always at least two months out of date. This is why we suggest you monitor your water meter weekly and read how to do it on our page “How To Read Your Water Meter”.

For most homeowners who use around the average daily water usage of 451 litres, the highest costs in the quarterly water bill are their sewerage and water services charges. If you look closely at your water bill you can see that you have the following charges:

  • Sewerage service charges – sewerage access                   $181.03 per quarter
  • Water service charges – water access                                  $53.02 per quarter
  • Gold Coast Water – water usage per kilolitre                          $1.09
  • Queensland Government – water usage per kilolitre              $2.91

In reality, even if you used no water, you would still pay for service charges of $234.05 every quarter or $936.20 every year.

Average water use of 451 litres or 0.451kL per property is not an accurate guide to your water use. In our experience, most homes with more than one occupant will use 1-2 kL every day. Remember your water usage will vary every day based on the number of occupants at home each day and their water use behaviours. That is why we recommend you read your water meter weekly as that will give you a better guide about your average consumption but will also alert you to a potential water leak.

If you suspect a water leak, call Whywait Plumbing and ask for our leak detection service.

Gold Coast Council Water Rates to Increase

Gold Coast Council Water Rates to Increase

Gold Coast council water rates are about to increase again. For both homeowners and business owners, this could be a double whammy when you couple this with the increases in power bills in recent years.

The Increases are likely to continue in coming years even though the City of Gold Coast has not increased its portion of your water bill at all for three years. Bulk water charges for the City of Gold Coast are recommended to increase by the Queensland Competition Authority a further $12 a year for the next two years.

The City of Gold Coast has now finalised the 2018-19 budget. Your Gold Coast council water rates charges will not increase on the retail and distribution component of the water and sewerage charges from the last financial year.

However, the significant portion of your water cost which is Queensland Government’s bulk water price will increase in line with the recommendations by the Queensland Competition Authority. The bulk water price will increase by 2.5% from $2.74 per kilolitre to $2.91 per kilolitre.

Contrary to some urban myths City of Gold Coast no longer owns Hinze Dam and the desalination plant. Gold Coast Water buys the water that you use through your meter from Seqwater owned by the Queensland Government. The price paid for the bulk water is itemised in your water bill.

Essentially the bulk water charges levied by the Queensland Government makes up the bulk of your water bill.

These charges are still reflecting the poor planning from 20 years ago that resulted in the multi-billion dollar water grid construction in 2007-08 which resulted in supply pipes connecting all of South-East Queensland being built. To a large extent, the pipe grid was constructed without dams being built and to lesser extent dams constructed without pipes which also resulted in the construction of the seldom-used Tugun desalination plant.

For 2018-19 your Gold Coast council water rates will increase on 1 July for your water and sewerage which will comprise of the following charges:

  • Queensland Government bulk water charge $2.91 per k/L
  • City of Gold Coast distribution           $1.09 per k/L
  • Total water consumption charge    $4.00 per k/L 

The water and sewerage access charges will remain the same as in previous years being:

  • water access charge of $212.08 per year
  • sewerage access charge of $724.12 per year.

Currently, water charges are relatively stable, but significant problems are looming. Long term planning is required to address the issues of aging infrastructure and their maintenance costs which will impact Gold Coast council water rates.

Infrastructure Australia in a major report has predicted water bills will go the way of power bills increasing by at least $50 every year. They predict today’s average annual water bill of $1200 will increase to $2500 within 20 years.

The report correctly says we need to start planning now as our dams are relatively full which gives us the rare opportunity of “….clear thinking and long-term planning to meet our future needs.”

As we all know from the water management supply crisis of 2007-09 South East Queensland can be adversely effected quickly with a combination of natural disasters, poor planning and below average rainfall.

Very simply if we don’t start long-term planning now for planning our future water needs the drastic increases in water bills will cripple family and business budgets in the same way power bills are now.

Average Gold Coast Water Bill

Average Gold Coast Water Bill

Increases continue for average Gold Coast water bill in 2014

The average Gold Coast water bill continues to increase. Did you know another water bill will arrive soon, in October despite the fact you have not yet received your six-monthly water account for the first half of 2014?

Due to legislative changes as from 1 July 2014, your water account will be issued quarterly, usually in July, October, January and April of each year.

The rationale behind this law change is that quarterly bills will assist in monitoring your water usage plus the bills will not be as large as they have been previously when bills only came out every six months.

average gold coast water bill is inflated by Tugun desalination plant costs

Tugun Desalination Plant that was constructed entirely from borrowed money that we repay for now in our water bills even though it only operates in “hot standby” mode when there is a critical supply emergency

For most clients of Whywait Plumbing that means you will be getting another bill from Gold Coast Water or Logan Water in October, albeit only about half of the one you will receive for the first six months of 2014.

Many of us remember when water was virtually free on the Gold Coast 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 thanks to poorly costed projects such as the construction of the South-East Queensland water grid and the Tugun desalination plant.

The reality of today is that water is expensive. The only guarantee anyone can give you on the cost of water is that it will continually increase every year.

For Gold Coast and Logan residential property owners who use the average water consumption of 250k/L annually your yearly bill on the Gold Coast will be $1887.20 compared to Logan of $1939.60 which is a slight difference of $52.40.

Ultimately we all have to be vigilant in ensuring that the integrity of our household water reticulation pipes is maintained at all times because a small water leak left to flow can add up to thousands of dollars in a very short time. This is why Whywait recommend every home should have water leak monitoring installed.

What’s Your Hourly Rate For Plumbers?

What’s Your Hourly Rate For Plumbers?

One of the more common questions clients ask us over the phone at Whywait Plumbing is “what’s your hourly rate for plumbers?”

Hourly rates are utterly subjective to the point of being meaningless. Unfortunately, the majority of Gold Coast plumbers focus on hourly rates for pricing rather than the cost of the job in its entirety because they are frequently not competent enough to calculate out the value of the job in advance.

hourly rate for plumbers is subjective & not a comparison tool when using Whywait PlumbingHourly rates were abandoned as a method of pricing by most industries over 20 years ago. Ultimately all a client cares about is the total price of having a plumbing job undertaken not the component prices of which labour is only a proportion of the cost of undertaking the job.

Using hourly rates for plumbers as a comparison tool is meaningless as clients do not want the price to vary. It’s an unfortunate fact that too many Gold Coast plumbers use ridiculously low hourly rates for plumbers as a means of getting you to invite them into your home to do the job. Invariably this leads to bill shock as it’s akin to turning on a taxi meter except you had no idea when it was turned on and when it will be turned off.

There is nothing worse than the stress and aggravation of getting a more massive than expected bill once a job is completed. That is why, in reality, there is no such thing as a free plumbing quote.

At Whywait Plumbing, we have guaranteed upfront pricing. This means every job is priced in advance and approved by you before we commence work after an on-site diagnostic evaluation of the work required.

Imagine the confusion and shock if every business had to charge for their service by the hour that their clients pay for every day without a second thought. Imagine if you to pay hourly rates for a cup of coffee or a haircut.

Using a coffee purchased from Zarraffa’s as an example lets calculate their hourly rate for you to buy a Masai size (20oz) Americano coffee:

Time in seconds to make an Americano 60
How much does an Americano coffee cost $5.45
Size of an Americano 20oz
cost of coffee beans, water and cup for Americano $0.93
Hourly Rate for making a Zarraffa’s Americano Coffee $322.35

Now let us calculate the value of a haircut at Toni&Guy where you would have a cut and blow dry at their Broadbeach salon from a stylist:

Time in minutes for a cut and blow dry 15
How much does a cut and blow dry by a stylist cost $89.00
Total material costs for gel, shampoo, water etc. at retail price levels $2.50
Hourly Rate for a Cut and Blow Dry at Toni&Guy $346.00

As can be seen by the examples of hourly rates above for the cost of labour, they are a meaningless component of the overall price of providing a business service.

As a bonus when you call us at Whywait Plumbing, we come to your home or business with service available 24/7. In contrast, if you have to go to a Zarraffa’s coffee shop to purchase your coffee or to Toni&Guy’s salon in Broadbeach to get a cut and blow dry you can only go at times they choose to be open.

Ultimately the only cost you should ever focus on when getting plumbing services is the total price, not an hourly rate for plumbers.

 

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