Watercare pulls storm water scheme
I noted this from the Herald this morning:
From the NZ Herald
By Wayne Thompson 4:15 AM Thursday Apr 3, 2014
Stonefields was to be served by a third plumbing network.
New Zealand’s first environmentally sustainable public “third pipe” scheme, planned to serve thousands of homes with recycled storm water, has been plugged.
Rain falling on Stonefields – a redevelopment of a former East Auckland quarry – was to be fed to a storm water retention pond and treated to feed a plumbing network to toilets and garden taps.
However, despite the network being built at a cost of more than $7.5 million, municipal water supplier Watercare has rejected it on grounds of potential water quality and price issues.
Residents are disappointed..
“The chance of us all realising cost savings from using non-potable water supply and reducing our monthly water bills, including waste water charges, will be removed from us without consultation,” said the Stonefields Residents Association.
A Watercare spokesman said the decision was intended “to protect public health – treated storm water would not meet New Zealand’s drinking water standards and Watercare’s A Grade for water supply could be jeopardised by operation of the third pipe system.”
Watercare also said the cost of running the system would result in Stonefields residents paying five times more than the $1.34 per 1000 litres that Watercare would charge.
So Watercare are rejecting this “third-pipe” which is “treated” because of water-quality and price issues. Yet the water (which a savvy person could also connect a rain tank to as well) was to be used for toilets and garden taps rather than the taps we get our drinking water from. So you will have to forgive me Watercare but I never knew we needed A-grade water for the garden tap and toilet as I never knew I was going to be drinking out of them…
It’s not recycled black-water (water that has come from a sewerage plant) and the storm water is “treated” so what is the issue here?
The issue is most likely Watercare would be upset because they might get a drop in revenue especially around the 80% waste-water charge will honestly stinks. I know from the 100% fresh water I draw from the Watercare mains does not end back down the sewer pipes at the 80% level – especially in the Summer – yet I get hit for it.
I know here where I live in Papakura there is some storm-water ponds that also act as a “lake” for the local park that could be potentially used in a scheme that Stonefields would have got until now.
At the same time I thought Auckland was meant to be an Eco-City and recycling treated storm water for non drinking purposes would have been a good step in reaching those “eco” goals.
Roll eyes material this is – really.