Raintank metering to become available in Auckland


Graham Wood,
Chief Infrastructure
Officer, Watercare
Auckland, New Zealand — (METERING.COM) — January 10, 2013 – Metering will soon be available for raintank households connected to the public wastewater system in Auckland, local water supplier Watercare has announced.

This follows the completion of an independent report by IPS Consulting Solutions Limited, which found that such metering is technically feasible – provided that a number of practical requirements are followed “to ensure effectiveness, reliability and consistency.”

Following recent changes in wastewater charges and the way in which they are collected, the majority of Auckland properties now pay for water and wastewater services based on the amount of water they use. However, a relatively small number of properties – fewer than 8,300 – do not have a publicly metered water supply and are instead serviced by alternatives such as a rainwater tank. These households are levied a fixed annual charge for wastewater services, but the smaller households regard this as unfair as they are paying the same for the services as a large household.

According to the report Watercare approved meters capable of maintaining accuracy with variable head pressures from raintanks should be used to ensure consistency with the rest of the network. Further meters should be located generally on the discharge side of the pump. Where required to protect the meter, filters should be installed, and sufficient head of water must be available to ensure the meter operates effectively and reliably.

Meters should also be located for easy inspection and reading, and should be installed to avoid or minimize accidental damage and be tamper proof, as far as practicable.

“We are pleased to confirm that metering will be an option for raintank customers connected to the public wastewater system,” said Graham Wood, Watercare’s chief infrastructure officer.

However, he cautioned that installing meters would not suit every household.The report found that small households with low water use would benefit from the move to a volumetric wastewater charge, but households of more than two people would probably be better off still paying on the fixed charge.

Watercare is now working through the detailed planning required for implementation of raintank metering, including the possibility of a trial.