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Disconnecting from ACTEW water supply?

By baldilocks - 16 April 2009 11

Does any Rioter know if it is legal/allowable to disconnect from the Actew water supply in suburban Canberra, and exist on tank water alone?

I previously lived just over the border in NSW & existed quite happily on what was collected from the roof, and I have an aversion to paying buckets of money to Actew with them telling me when and how I can use the water I’m paying for.

(I had a 90,000 litre tank, and never ran out even during the driest of the last 10 years.)

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Disconnecting from ACTEW water supply?
ant 10:53 pm 21 Apr 09

What on earth do you people think that all those folk who live in the countryside outside the ACT do? Do you think we are all on piped water? what do you think those round things are? We certainly don’t live in mansions, and no we don’t boil our water either! I had some Canberra friends over teh other day for lunch, and I didn’t hear of any of them coming down with cholera. Most septic systems now are miniture sewerage plants, and a damn sight less smelly than the Fyshwick pooh farm.

The only issue with depending totally on tank water in a Canberra suburban house woudl be the size of tank required to collect and store enough water. Unless it was submerged under the house before the house was built on top, there wouldn’t be enough room.

Deano 1:13 pm 16 Apr 09

Joker said :

You’d only save on the water supply charge. About $80 a year.

Except that you have to pay an ‘unconnected charge’ (seriously, its listed here – http://www.actewagl.com.au/publications/water/WSscheduleOfCharges.pdf) of $85 per year.

dvaey said :

As water charges are also sewerage charges

No, they are separate charges but on the same bill.

monomania 11:32 am 16 Apr 09

I don’t think its cool. I can’t see the point economically or environmentally. You are doing your bit through water frugality.

You must have minimal water demand if you expect to meet your requirements from rainwater falling on say a 150 square metre roof.

A maximum average volume of 600mm X 150mxm X 90%* = 81KL. This assumes that there is no overflow. You would need bigger than 10KL tank for the above average rain storms in wet years and the fact that your tank’s volume decreases so slowly.

Your water bill would be a connection charge of          $85
plus supply of                  81KL X $1.85/KL =                  $150
                                                                                             =$235

Hardly worth the cost let alone the embedded energy and carbon cost of a rainwater harvesting system.

Of course The water you might collect in a dry year could be as little as 40KL.

A 90KL tank is extremely large. Farm type. Are you sure it wasn’t being fed from multiple buildings or a farm dam?

*The roof index is a nominal figure given because not all rain falling on a roof actually reaches the tank. Some evaporates or is blown or bounces off the roof or overflows the gutters. This could be as high as 20% in some instances but has never been measured.

In Queanbeyan the connection charge is $262 a year. But the supply charges are lower

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:16 am 16 Apr 09

For 80 bucks a year it’s cheap insurance…

Joker 11:08 am 16 Apr 09

You’d only save on the water supply charge. About $80 a year.

chewy14 11:04 am 16 Apr 09

You would be paying far more money for ACT Health to inspect a septic tank, than you would be for the Actew charges.

p1 11:01 am 16 Apr 09

I think Deano and Dvaey are probably right. And since I don’t think you are supposed to be putting a septic system in a suburban yard, they’ll have a pretty good argument to keep charging you.

Besides, Having it connected (even with a tap turned off) is a nice backup in case your tank cracks, or a possum dies in it.

grundy 10:43 am 16 Apr 09

dvaey said :

Why not just stop using any water from mains, and presumably you’ll then have zero usage and hence zero bill? Or am I missing the point?

There are still access charges etc.

dvaey 10:24 am 16 Apr 09

As water charges are also sewerage charges, I dont think you’d be able to disconnect completely. At least, not without providing evidence of your own waste treatment abilities. Why not just stop using any water from mains, and presumably you’ll then have zero usage and hence zero bill? Or am I missing the point?

Deano 10:11 am 16 Apr 09

Yes you can physically disconnect from the ACTEW mains but you are still required to pay the service charge for the ‘privilege’ of having the pipes run past your house.

rosebud 9:51 am 16 Apr 09

Don’t know, but very cool. Do you boil the water before drinking it? Given that it from the roof and possums poo on the roof?

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