Greener Gardens To Come
Some great news for garden lovers this week with the demise of the Queensland Water Commission bringing to an end the water restrictions that have been imposed on SEQ residents at various levels for the last 10-15 years.
Well what does this mean for you and me? Well essentially, we can sprinkle our lawns and gardens unashamedly! Not for free of course… So, what would it cost you?
Currently in SEQ, water charges are made up of a few different components including both fixed charges and your personal water consumption charges.
As a residential customer, you pay a fixed Water Access Charge (this helps pay for the maintenance and distribution network that delivers water to your home) and a Sewerage Access Charge (this helps pay for the sewerage treatment, maintenance etc. of this system which removes waste from your home).
Water Access Charge – $41.79 per quarter
Sewerage Access Charge – 118.98 per quarter
These costs are fixed to all residents of Greater Brisbane.
Personal Water Charges
This is where is gets a little more complicated… There are three “tiers” of rates which will apply to everyone differently depending on how much water your household is using plus the State Bulk Water Charge. The State Bulk Water Charge covers the cost of treated water that Queensland Urban Utilities buys from the State Government.
|Charges|| Per annum Thresholds ||  91 day cycle Thresholds ||Price pre kL|
|Tier 1 Consumption  ||up to 255kL||up to 64kL||$0.6669|
|Tier 2 Consumption  ||between 255kL & 310kL||between 64kL & 77kL||$0.7079|
|Tier 3 Consumption  ||above 310kL||above 77kL||$1.262|
State Bulk Water Charge – $1.78 per 1kL (1000L) per billing cycle.
Now to work it all out! For arguments sake let’s take a four-person family home currently using SEQ’s average of around 180L per person per day, and on a 91 days billing cycle.
180 litres x 4 people x 91 days = 65520 litres (66kL)
Tier 1 – 64kL x $0.6669 = $42.68
Tier 2 – 2kL x $0.7079 = $1.416 (Usage of 66kL minus Tier 1 threshold of 64kL = 2kL)
Tier 3 – 0kL (no usage over Tier 2 threshold of 77kL)
State Bulk Water Charge – 65kL x $1.787 = $116.16
Add these figures above to the fixed charges and we get a grand total of…
$42.68 + $1.416 + $116.16 + $41.79 + $118.98 = $321.02/quarter
Now armed with this information we are able to calculate the ACTUAL cost of watering our gardens. The average hose connection will run out at between 10-20 litres per minutes, so erring on the side of caution, let’s go with 20 litres. So an hour of sprinkling or hand hosing will be 1200L. If you do this once a week in a 91 day billing cycle, this equates to 15600 litres or 15.6kL. We won’t bore you with the calculations, but taking this increase and adding it to our existing 66kL usage the new total will come to approximately $365.00; around $44.00 a quarter more then usual. Which would mean for this family, the yearly cost of keeping a greener garden is around $180.00 which is around $3.50 an hour.
A word of warning, use this calculation as a guide only and remember the above specific example may not apply directly to you. If your household is already a heavy water user, increasing your usage further may be charged at a higher rate then in the example provided. However, with some careful analysis of your previous water bill and the above calculations, you should be able to work out roughly how much it will cost you to water your garden!
Disclaimer: All water prices and thresholds are correct as of Jan 3rd 2013 – sourced from Queensland Urban Utilities. Centenary Landscaping Supplies intends this article to be used as a guide only. For specific information, prices and estimates regarding your Water Service and Accounts we suggest you contact Queensland Urban Utilities directly on 13 23 64. Centenary Landscaping Supplies takes no responsibility for the usage, correctly or incorrectly of the above information.