Trial water meter readings in Edgecumbe

File photo.

All Edgecumbe properties with water connections will have a trial water meter reading undertaken on March 1 or 2, as a preliminary step towards the introduction of water rates which are partly based on consumption.

Whakatane District Council Infrastructure General Manager Tomasz Krawczyk says next week’s readings will provide a base number and will be followed-up with a second trial reading on April 12 or 13.

“Edgecumbe property owners currently pay a flat rate of just under $461 (plus GST) per year … as indicated in the information provided prior to the development of the Otumahi (Paul Road) scheme, water charges from July 1 2018 will be based on a connection charge and a consumption charge for the actual volume of water each property uses."

Tomasz says anyone with a suspected leak will receive a letter confirming the details by early-May. Property owners can then arrange to have their water lines checked and, where necessary, have leaks fixed prior to July 1.

“Edgecumbe’s average usage is higher than other parts of the District, which may indicate that there are leaking water lines on some properties. Property owners are responsible for the water lines on their properties and this trial reading will allow us to identify properties where the volume of water being used is higher than expected. Where that is the case, we’ll follow-up with advice to the owners concerned.

“We want to ensure that when people’s water rates invoices arrive, they don’t bring a nasty surprise as a result of an unidentified leak … people with low water consumption will pay less than properties with high usage. That ensures high users are paying a fair share … it also helps conserve water by alerting people who may have a leak on their property.”

Consumption charges are set at a level which will cover the expected cost of water treatment, pumping and maintenance across the District’s water supply schemes. If that results in a surplus in any one year, the unused revenue goes into a reserve fund which is used to offset future cost increases.

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