January water usage in the Bundaberg Region was 34 per cent higher than the same month over the previous decade because of continuing dry conditions.
Bundaberg Regional Council data shows that water consumption has spiked in recent months after a prolonged period of below-average rainfall.
Highest monthly usage over the past year was 1238 megalitres in January when just 7mm of rain fell.
Average January water usage over the past 10 years is 920ML and long-term average rainfall is 171mm.
February usage of 1002ML was 33 per cent above the decade average of 755ML while rainfall was 51mm compared with the long-term average of 156mm.
Council is beginning a smart-water meter trial soon in the Bundaberg CBD, Burnett Heads, Childers and Gin Gin, which will enable customers in those areas to monitor their water usage electronically.
Meanwhile, contractors are reading water meters throughout the region for normal billing purposes for the half-year period ending 30 June 2019.
Council endeavours to advise ratepayers in writing if their water consumption is considerably higher than normal, as that may indicate a water leak on their property.
However, many residents have used more water as a result of the dry weather conditions, resulting in higher water usage than the previous period.
“If you do receive a high water consumption letter firstly check the meter reading against the reading provided on your letter,” a spokesman said.
Reasons for increased water consumption may include:
- Changes to the number of occupants in the home
- Low rainfall
- Establishing new lawn or gardens
- Change in water habits
- Filling or topping up pools
- New water meter.
Simple checks to see if you have a water leak:
- Turn off all taps, the washing machine, dishwasher and irrigation at your property.
- Read your water meter and write down or take a photo of the numbers (including the red numbers, which indicate litres). Make sure you leave the water meter tap on.
- Wait at least one hour before reading your water meter again – remember not to use any water, even to flush the toilet during this time.
If the reading has changed (last numbers or dial on the water meter), you may have a water leak in which case you may choose to contact a licensed plumber to investigate.
The numbers on a water meter will only move if water is being drawn through it, either due to water use on your property (hose, washing machine, plumbed in fridges, dishwashers, etc) or if there is a leak.
Property owners may wish to check their meters every month to monitor usage.
Either add a reminder to your calendar or “check your flow when you mow”.
For water conservation tips visit: http://www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/services/water