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New strata service to reduce water charges in Sydney buildings

Early results from Sydney Water’s WaterFix strata service show the program could save one Sydney CBD apartment building up to $44,000 a year in water charges.

Owners and tenants at the high-rise Windsor Plaza have seen significant water and cost savings following implementation of the service, which included the repair and replacement of leaking taps and toilets.

Sydney Water Senior Project Officer Tony Robinson said that aside from fixing dated and damaged water fixtures, the service also offers a performance guarantee.

“The service, for eligible strata buildings, comes with the added incentive of a performance guarantee, where customers pay for the service with the savings that are achieved. This means that the customer pays nothing up front for the service, but continues to pay their water bill at the same historical rate until the service is paid for,” Robinson said.

“After this time, which normally takes around three years, the body corporate will see significant reductions in their water bills.”

Head of Windson Plaza Strata Committee Andrew Whittaker said early indications look promising, with more efficient taps and toilets saving a significant amount of water.

“Initial reports showed that we were using 575L per bedroom per day on average across the 154 apartments, which is excessively high. Typical use is between 200-300L, Whittaker said.

“Early results are showing a 34% reduction in total water usage, which will save the Body Corporate at Windsor Plaza around $44,000 a year in water usage charges plus there will be a significant reduction in hot water gas bills for apartment owners and tenants.

“The initial inspection by Sydney Water saw dripping taps and leaking toilets, which accounted for 28% of the total water consumption of the building.”

Whittaker said it was time to find a solution to the building's water consumption rates, with the outdated taps and toilets causing worrying levels of water waste.

“Total average water consumption before the WaterFix program was progressively increasing – there was a 10% rise from 1 January to 1 May this year,” he said.

“The great project management by Sydney Water meant that the work took just two weeks to complete, which was absolutely outstanding. As soon as they had finished, the total water consumption plummeted from an average total daily usage of 184kL to 115kL per day.

“Our tenants are really, really happy with the way this has gone.”

Learn more about Sydney Water’s WaterFix program here.