Water is one of our most important assets. Residents, industry, businesses and farms depend on a supply of safe, affordable water.
Water is one of our most expensive services.
Each year Council spends about $10M to keep our water supplies working.
Clutha District Council looks after 22 water schemes that supply water to 15 towns and more than 2,000 rural properties, providing water for households, workplaces and for livestock.
However, not all the water Council produces makes it to the tap.
100% - $10,000,000
70% - The amount of water produced by Council that gets used.
30% - The amount of water produced by Council that gets lost along the way.
Council recently undertook an audit of all water supplies to develop a Water Balance strategy. This uses standard methods to identify potential water losses by looking at water produced, metered users, and estimated consumption.
While small losses in any water distribution system are inevitable, the results for Clutha show that not all water produced reaches the Customer. Significant amounts are lost along the way, from the Council’s distribution system as well as within customers’ properties.
Safe drinking water suitable for domestic and livestock use is produced at a cost to ratepayers, and so water loss can be a significant cost. This makes targeting water losses an important area for improving performance and keeping costs low.
We all need to do what we can to ensure that water losses are reduced and more of the water makes it to customers.
What is Council doing next?
To help Council make good decisions about getting on top of water losses, more detailed information is needed and this includes targeted metering, identifying high loss zones, and capturing service requests where Customers become aware of leaks or water delivery issues.
In a move towards improving our performance in this area, Council will be installing additional water meters at key point in all of the water schemes. These will provide more detail about the water loss in each zone which can then be detected by various means for fixing.
Where does it go?
Council operates a network of water pipes, many of which were installed in the 70s and 80s and some of which have been doing their job for even longer.
Over time water can start leaking from the system.
If you have an older house in the Clutha District, you may have a galvanised pipe connecting you to the mains at your toby. These pipes are getting to the end of their lives, and will be starting to leak.
This can be a sneaky leak which is not obvious. You may not have a waterlogged area in the garden, and the water pressure in your house may still be fine. However, as our urban water pressures are generally quite high, it’s possible to have a significant leak that doesn’t show up.
What can you do?
Check what kind of pipes you have connecting your house to your toby. If they are galvanised, you might like to get them replaced before they actually become a problem.
Check your Toby
Listen to your toby. Make sure there’s no water being used inside your house, and check if you can hear water flowing at the toby. Night time is a good time to do this when there are fewer other sounds.
Fix those drips
Once water gets into your house, there are other places it can escape. We all know about dripping taps, and dripping toilet cysterns. But what about the hot water cyclinder which is dripping water out of it’s vent pipe.
Check your outside taps.
Why is it important?
Council spends money on the infrastructure to supply water, and on the treatment needed to make that water safe to drink.
With all of our our help, Councl’s infrastructure can continue to cope. However, if we do not use our treated water responsibly there is a chance we could run out during the summer dry. For this reason Council puts water restrictions in place during the Summer months.
If we all fix our leaks, then the water system will be cheaper to run and more able to cope with the increased demand.
During the summer we can also help by only watering our gardens in the way permitted, during the hours allowed.
REPORT A WATER PROBLEM TO COUNCIL
Call 03 419 0200 or 0800 801 350 (Toll Free in NZ)
After Hours or Emergency call 0800 801 350