Council Controlled Standpipes

Published: Wednesday, 1 August 2018 at 9:08:56 AM

Council resolved at its July meeting to install two (2) solar powered standpipe controllers with the purpose of achieving better cost recovery for water taken from a Council provided facilities and reduce the misuse of water by outside users. The problem with the standpipe usage within the Shire at present, is the misuse of water by outside users such as contractors and non-residents.

While Council have historically not charged for water usage for the purpose of tendering of stock and household use, Council should not be subsidising the cost of business practices for the purposes of spraying and other such uses. The intention is not to cut off the supply of water, it is purely trying to recover the cost of supply.

 The cost the Council/Ratepayers over the past three years after deducting the cost of Shire roadworks equates to the following, which approximately 2% of rate income:

Year                 Cost                 Recoup $

15/16               $14,500           ($800)

16/17               $16,500           ($700)

17/18               $18,000           ($800)

A company by the name of Waterman Irrigation have designed and manufactured a solar powered standpipe controller which is operated by a swipe card. The information is then stored within the controller and downloaded via a laptop computer from which accounts can be generated once back in the office. Council have a total of eight standpipes within the shire and 3 strategic emergency use only water tanks.

Council suggested that we trial the use of Standpipe Controllers at high use, high access strategic sites such as the ones located in the Carrabin and Walgoolan townsites.

It is then suggested that Council budgets for at least one (1) additional controller each year, until the more strategic standpipes are fitted.

As part of the roll out, it is also suggested that an extensive media campaign occur to ensure that affected landholders have sufficient time to make “on farm” arrangements. Council anticipate that the roll out of the project will occur in December 2018.

 Access to Emergency Service vehicles such as the local fire brigades will also be investigated. This will be alleviated by placing swipe cards in the emergency vehicles and if water was used on a farmer’s card then they would advise Council to have the charge deleted.

 For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact Jamie Criddle at the Shire Office on 9046 7063.

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