Whangaparaoa Community Trust

(wctrust.co.nz) and the Whangaparaoa Ratepayers and Residents Association Inc (www.wrrai.co.nz)
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Whangaparaoa Residents and Ratepayers Assoc

Tank Water households can save on wastewater charges by installing your own water meter

Save $100’s on Wastewater costs from Watercare

If your house is on tankwater for its water supply and on reticulated sewage (not a septic tank or private system) you could save money on your monthly wastewater charge.

An ‘estimated’ amount of $627 (or $52.25 per month) is charged per year for properties in this situation because Watercare does not know the water consumption that is also used to calculate wastewater.  The ‘estimated’ amount is expected to increase each year.

Many tank water households with low water use (including single, retired couples, holiday homes and water conservers) are effectively overcharged for their wastewater.  This may amount up to many hundreds of dollars per year.


The Whangaparaoa Ratepayers and Residents Association has had an ongoing campaign to put households on tank water on the same basis as those with reticulated water – especially so that tank water households can make savings and not be charged what for many is an excessive fixed charge.

We know that people on tank water are careful with their water use – so we would expect many households to make considerable savings.  This applies especially to single person households, vacant and holiday homes – notably those unoccupied when people are away on holiday.

After successfully convincing Watercare to allow households to connect water meters through Watercare approved plumbers (who were not local), we then convinced Watercare to allow the householder to choose their own plumber – but the discounted price of $115 for the 20mm meter and ‘y’ strainer was no longer available.  So not too many people took advantage of the potential savings because the meter and installation cost was too expensive to make it worthwhile.

The new situation - as from now - is that we have: sourced meters at the discounted price, identified local plumbers who are experienced in installation and available, provided information to explain the process (here) and make understanding easy.

What you can do

Householders are now able to have a water meter fitted to their tank water supply so that they can be charged volumetricaly for their wastewater based on the amount of water coming into the house.  You pay for and own the meter

Is it worth it

How worthwhile it is paying for a water meter to be installed depends on:

How much the installation will cost

The water meter and ‘y’ strainer can be sourced for $115 including gst.  Watercare charge a $50 application charge.  Then there is the cost of installation – you will need to get a price from a certified plumber on this.

The meter is required to be installed after the pump and on the main water supply to the house.  It must be located so that Watercare’s meter reader has safe and unobstructed walk-up access to read the water meter. In some situations this may be impossible or too costly.

It may be that you can have some of the installation work done yourself – short of the plumbing

How much water you use

The easiest way to work this out is by taking some examples.

If your water consumption is zero then all you will pay under the metered arrangement (after your installation, meter and application costs) is the fixed charge per year of $205 (which includes gst) – which works out to $17.08 per month

This compares with the ‘estimated’ fixed cost of $627 per year (including gst) – which works out to $52.25 per month.

At this rate you would be saving $35.17 per month ($52.25 - $17.08) or $422 for a year.

Zero water consumption is unrealistic unless the house is vacant – but does give an idea of the maximum possible saving.

The amount of water you use depends on how many people in the house and how much each person uses.

A low water use household (like a single person that conserves water) could be as low as 12 cubic metres charged a year, but probably more like .  Remember the actual consumption is nearly a 1/3 higher because the wastewater volume is charged at 78.5% of actual consumption.

At the opposite extreme when water use charged is as high as 170 cubic metres – or 220 cubic metres actual consumption (this is 602 litres per day) – there is NO SAVING. 

Does it stack up

Taking a hypothetical example of say $115 for the meter and strainer, $50 Watercare application and say $200 installation by a certified plumber ( a total of $365 all up) – about 80 cubic metres actual consumption gives you breakeven in the first year; ie:  the $365 has been paid for by your savings compared to not being on a meter.  Any water consumption less than this gives you further savings.

If the water meter costs more to install then the time taken to get a saving will take longer.

So what to do next

Have a look at the information on Watercare’s website.  Go to www.watercare.co.nz then residential, then water meters, then Raintank water meter.

There is a lot of useful information to download at the bottom of the page.  We recommend you read it.

If it looks like having a meter installed can work for you then contact a plumber

We have identified two local plumbers who have experience in installing water meters on water tank households:

Willie Snep  027 4948118

Dean Thomas 021 437802

Both these plumbers are local and know what they are doing.  They are both certified plumbers

They know what Watercare’s installation requirements are.

It is up to you whether you get a quote or estimate

It is important to consider in advance whether a water meter installation at your house is feasible

They can supply the meter – or you can purchase it yourself at a total of $115 (or $52.25 per month).  This is for a 20mm meter and strainer.


Water meters that meet Watercare’s requirements – Elster Kent – can be purchased direct from:

Arthur D Riley

8 Beatrice Tinsley Crescent, Albany.  Phone 4442350

This is on the North Shore.

Riley will accept cash or cheque but not cards.  Direct debit is ok

-           Account Name: Arthur D Riley & Co. Limited

-          Bank Account Number: 06-0501-0063165-00


If paying by direct debit in advance of pick up or delivery you will need to email A D Riley first for them to confirm and to provide the information they require to process the sale (see the form below).  This includes:

Name (company and personal)

Delivery address (or postal address if they are collecting)

Phone number

Order number (if applicable)

Method of payment

Delivery or Collection

Signed statement that this meter is for rain tank metering only.

Email address – So we can email out an ‘order acknowledgement’ which has all the details for Direct Debit payments.  A receipted invoice will be sent with the meter.


Please note that A D Riley are also able to courier the water meter for an additional cost of $8.63.  This gives a total of $223.63 for water meter and ‘y’ strainer couriered to you (Auckland)


Make sure you have read and understood Watercares Terms and Conditions

Please read Watercare’s ‘Rain Tank Meter Installation Guidelines’

If it looks like the project is worthwhile and the certified plumber has fitted the meter to Watercre’s specifications, then the next step is to apply to Watercare.  Go to their website and download the form for application, fill it in and send off to Watercare.


Email to: admin.akl@adriley.co.nz

Water meter order




Name (company and personal)



Delivery address (or postal address if they are collecting)




Phone number



Order number (if applicable)




Order for 20 mm Elster Kentwater 20mm water meter plus ‘y’ strainer


Method of payment



Delivery or Collection



Signed statement that this meter is for rain tank metering only.



Email address– So we can email out an ‘order acknowledgement’ which has all the details for Direct Debit payments.  A receipted invoice will be sent with the meter.






Published Wednesday, July 6, 2016 2:02 PM by admin


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