Thursday, May 10, 2007

Highriser on a water mission

This one I am not going to let go of until I have answers. We receive copies of detailed accounts for our building as R is body corp committee member. He was busy getting ready to swan off on his work cruise and asked if I would go through them and respond appropriately by email to the rest of the committeee and the body corp managers. Ah, a chance to have my say. He did check what I wrote before he left.

I came up with a couple of minor matters but what glared at me was the water consumption of the building.

I'll just step back here to the more personal. Our last water bill, and there is no reason for it not be typical, showed consumption of 32 kilolitres for around three months. I don't know how we could use less, but one of our neighbours, a couple too, used 12 kilolitres for the same period. They are away from home a bit and don't cook much at home, but it is an extraordinary difference. 2 showers x 2 each day, rarely more than than three minutes. Maybe seven loads of washing a week. One dishwasher, always full, load a day. Two toilets and as I am the only one who uses mine, I don't flush every time. Do we have a leak somewhere?

I checked at South East Waters website last year and by a comparative table, we are boderline for two people in an apartment. As we are home a lot, that is to be expected.

Now the building. Much water is wasted in the weekly fire testing. I don't know how much, but it is a lot. But we pay a set fee for that and it does not come via the normal meter.

The building has two toilets and one shower, all rarely used. The garden watering system at the front of the building is turned off, as per restrictions, and watered by hand at the appropriate times. A drip system waters the garden beds on the podium at the appropriate times. The pool and the spa top up automatically I think. There would be some usage there for sure. There is a washing machine to wash cleaning cloths a couple of times a week. The cleaners use some water.

But for three months, the building used 1636kl, totally seperate to individual apartments. That averages at around 13kl per apartment. A third of what we use, and the same as our neighbours.

How can this be? It is in the early stages of investigation from all angles, including comparison to other buildings.


  1. If you want a comparison:
    A year ago I lived alone and monitored my water meter obsessively.
    When I averaged the consumption over a week it always came out to around 86 litres per day - averaged.
    This included garden and washing machine, and the minimal WC flushing that living alone affords one.
    I never washed the car with water - my car trick is to use a spray can of furniture polish and an old Tshirt.
    This makes dark color cars positively GLEAM and not a drop wasted.
    Anyhow, one person = less than 90 litres a day.

  2. The shame. 320 litres per day for two. We think quite a lot goes in clothes washing.