This is a true story about water meters being set well to the rear of leased sites in a residential park and the consequences for home owners leasing the sites. In short, under the water regulations, any leaks on the home owners side of the meters is the responsibility of the home owners, that is, any leaks and wasted water from the leaks, remains a cost to the home owners. Perhaps this is reasonable if a leak is discovered immediately but if the leak is concealed under ground and showing no signs on the surface, then this cost to pensioner home owners can prove significant.
This leads us to a problem that has been reported to us which fits well with the above scenario, however, the issue that adds a more serious aspect to this incident is that the water meters at this park are set well back to the rear of the sites. Then the water pipes leading to the homes are set underground. This means two things. One, any leakage that may take place is easily concealed and two, home owners are responsible for the underground services over an extended distance.
Let us now explain a true incident relative to the above. A home owner was informed by management of a park that the meter for the home was showing excess water usage and on inspection, it was discovered that a leak had occurred somewhere underground near the home. This came as a surprise the home owner because no physical signs of the leakage appeared on the surface. This is/was of no consequence to the park management, the home owner was liable for the repairs. However, the local council who we are told supplies the water to the park and not wishing to miss out on a few extra dollars, charged the home owner for the waste water that occurred due to the leak. Hence the home owner is now responsible for a bill of over $2000.00.
Looked at objectively, this problem for the home owner/s would not have occurred if the water meters were positioned close to the house as is the norm. The question then is why would the park management position the meters so far away from the homes? Any reasonable person could speculate as to why but we leave that to the reader. We have written to the park management on behalf the home owner with copies of the letter to the Housing Minister and the Residential Services Unit (RSU) both of which are responsible for the administration of the legislation. We have also sent a copy of the letter to the Minister for Energy and Water. It will be interesting to see what those responsible in government will actually do!