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Gold Coast Council Water Rates to Increase

Gold Coast Council Water Rates to Increase

Gold Coast council water rates to increase call Whywait Plumbing ServicesGold 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.
Gold Coast council water rates increase in part due to Tugun desalination plant from Whywait Plumbing Services

Tugun Desalination Plant

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.
Gary Mays is a Master Plumber and the owner of Whywait Plumbing Services. Since 1976 Gary has grown Whywait Plumbing into one of Queensland’s most respected, professional and innovative plumbing companies. Gary is a member of Gold Coast North Chamber of Commerce and is trusted by media to speak on matters of local infrastructure and development.

Drinking Water Keeps You Smarter, Slimmer & Younger

Drinking water keeps you smarter, slimmer & younger and best of all its virtually free from your tap.   Critically water keeps your body hydrated because every single cell in your body needs water to absorb nutrients and remove waste products.

If you like the way your water tastes then whole of house water filtration from Whywait Plumbing is the solution you should explore to ensure you drink more water. Once you understand drinking more water is critical to your body functioning there are additional benefits such as:

  • Drinking Water Makes You Smarter: water can increase your cognitive function as your brain needs plenty of oxygen and drinking plenty of water ensures your brain gets all the oxygen it needs. In fact 8 glasses of water a day improves your cognitive performance by as much as 30%.
  • Drinking Water Helps You Loose Weight: water suppresses your appetite plus helps your body burn stored fat. When you drink plenty of water your liver is able to metabolise stored fat efficiently plus flushing toxins from your body and preventing constipation.
  • Drinking Water Keeps You Young: water is great for your skin keeping your skin moisturised plus reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Not drinking enough water makes your body retain what it has and this retention makes your skin puffy.

whole house water filtration gold coast (1)

To get the advantages of drinking water and enhance your family’s wellbeing you need to remove the chemicals in your home’s water. In fact if you knew the dangers that lurk in your water you would already have Whywait Plumbing installing a whole of house water filtration system that ensures clean, odour free, delicious water throughout the whole house guaranteeing a constant supply of delicious water throughout the whole house. Whole of house filters are a convenient, cost efficient way to effectively remove or reduce many of the undesirable chemicals, disinfectant by-products and volatile organic compounds commonly found in your water supply.

By Gary Mays

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:

council logo

 

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

 

logan

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 AquaTripwater 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

 

 

Why Drinking Water is Better Than Drinking Soft Drink

The stresses of a modern diet have for many people turned their bodies into a filter that it was never intended to be. Now a new study that followed over 8,000 men aged 45 to 73 for an average of 15 years illustrates yet again why water should be the drink of choice. The study found that men who drank one soft drink every day are at greater risk of getting more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

“Among the men who drank a lot of soft drinks or other drinks with added sugar, we saw an increased risk of prostate cancer of around 40 percent,” said Isabel Drake, a PhD student at Lund University. Very simply men aged over 45 who drank one 330m/l soft drink a day which is essentially one standard can, were 40 percent more likely to develop more serious forms of prostate cancer that required treatment. The cancer was discovered after the men showed symptoms of prostate cancer, and not through the prostate cancer screening process known as Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA).

The study also found that men who ate a diet heavy on rice and pasta increased their risk of getting milder forms of prostate cancer, which usually required no treatment, by 31 percent. This was in contrast to men who had a high intake of sugary breakfast cereals which raised the incidence of milder forms of the cancer to 38 percent. The men in the study had to undergo regular medical examinations and kept a journal of their food and drink intake.

Isobel Drake confirmed that further research was needed before dietary guidelines should be changed but as everyone is aware there are already plenty of reasons why everyone not just men should cut back on drinking soft-drinks. Previous studies have shown that Chinese and Japanese immigrants in western countries develop prostate cancer more often than peers in their home countries. This reinforces the viewpoint that research on how genes respond to different diets would make it possible to tailor food and drink guidelines for certain high-risk groups.

At Whywait Plumbing we are aware that many people avoid drinking water because of the taste. Often the taste can be improved by the simple diet changes of eliminating sugar and sugary drinks from ones diet and by drinking filtered water. John Hopkins Universty in a recent update on avoiding cancer advocates that you are better off drinking water that is filtered to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. They further recommend to avoid distilled water as it is acidic and not to drink water frozen in a plastic bottle.

It is for these reasons and many others that Whywait Plumbing recommend that  to ensure total protection filtering your water supply at the point of entry to your home is the only guarantee you have to ensure the water you are drinking in and bathing in has harmful chemicals removed. A whole of house water filtration system ensures clean, odour free, delicious water throughout the whole house guaranteeing the following:

  • Constant supply of delicious water throughout the whole house
  • Removes bad taste and odour by removing chlorine, chloramines, carbon based organic compounds (VOC’s) such as pesticides, herbicides and industrial solvents that are in your tap water
  • Enhances the flavour of food
  • Healthier skin by eliminating chlorine from your baths and showers
  • Reduce water problems and unsightly stains throughout your home by using a premium carbon filter
  • Extended life of your plumbing fixtures, taps and pipes by eliminating chemicals in your water
  • Save money and save time by not buying bottled water

Once we understand that the body is more than 70% water and that water controls virtually every aspect of our health, we can begin to understand its true importance. Not just the water we drink, but the water that we shower in…cook with… prepare juices, teas and coffee with. It all has a significant impact on our health. Water is the foundation of the body, and, like any structure, if the foundation is of poor quality, strength and longevity will not be achieved.

Food Allergies? Pesticides In Tap Water Might Be To Blame

Food allergies are on the rise, estimated to be affecting at least 250,000 Australian’s. According to a new study published in the United States in the December issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), pesticides and tap water could be partially to blame.

This authorative study reported that high levels of dichlorophenols, a chemical used in pesticides and to chlorinate water, when found in the human body, are associated with food allergies. “Our research shows that high levels of dichlorophenol-containing pesticides can possibly weaken food tolerance in some people, causing food allergy,” said allergist Elina Jerschow, M.D., M.Sc., ACAAI fellow and lead study author. “This chemical is commonly found in pesticides used by farmers and consumer insect and weed control products, as well as tap water.”

In the United States where 10,348 participants in a US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2,548 had dichlorophenols measured in their urine and 2,211 were included into the study. Food allergy was found in 411 of these participants, while 1,016 had an environmental allergy. “Previous studies have shown that both food allergies and environmental pollution are increasing in the United States,” said Dr. Jerschow. “The results of our study suggest these two trends might be linked, and that increased use of pesticides and other chemicals is associated with a higher prevalence of food allergies.”

It is generally accepted that similar results would be seen within the Australian population where water is treated in a similar manner and similar pesticides are utilised by farmers. To reduce the likelihood of developing an allergy the options are:

  • drink bottled or filtered water
  • purchase natural or organically grown fruit and vegetables

Whilst opting for bottled water instead of tap water might seem to be a way to reduce the risk for developing an allergy this is not the whole answer. More often than not bottled water is not a solution it is a problem because it is estimated about 40 percent of bottled water is in fact regular tap water.

Australians spend over $500 million every year buying bottled water. Potable drinking water from Gold Coast City Council costs $3.27 a kilolitre. Bottled water here is 1070 times more expensive than the water Gold Coast City Council pipes directly to your home. Australian bottled water costs around $3500 a kilolitre and Italian bottled water around $9600 a kilolitre.

The only solution with respect to water is installing a whole of house water filtration system because  Gold Coast City Council potable drinking water distribution pipe line systems contain bacteria killing chlorine.  The intent is simply to provide you with bacteria-free water. Unfortunately, they’re doing more than that because every time you consume tap water from the Gold Coast City Council distribution system you are ingesting a measure of chlorine. Every time you shower or bathe in tap water you are ingesting the free chlorine gas in the water supply.   The telltale signs of unacceptably high levels of chlorine?  Dry flaky skin, and the odour you often detect in your shower, bath, or drinking water.

Chlorine does not kill all the bacteria in the water supply pipelines as scale still builds up inside the pipes requiring the council to regularly clean them. Far worse, chlorine is a chemical and a poison.  Once ingested, it randomly targets what it kills off in your body.  Simply put, chlorine kills all bacteria…good and bad.  It can kill off the natural flora in your stomach. It can negatively affect your digestion. It can build up in fat deposits.  It can settle in your arteries and lead to heart disease.  What’s more, chlorine can cause bladder cancer as the human body is not designed to filter out chlorine.  And yet for the foreseeable future, it will remain in the Gold Coast City Council potable water distribution pipe line systems.

To take control of an important area of managing your own health by purifying your water supply Whywait Plumbing strongly recommend the installation of whole of house water filtration systems to remove one major threat of developing an allergy.