There are a number of common myths and objections that arise when a strata committee recommends that the owners corporation pays for services such as Waterfix® inside apartments. They’re easier to dispel when you’re aware of the facts.
“I already pay the water myself”
Most owners don’t understand how water is billed in apartment buildings with only a single common meter. They think because they get a quaertly bill from the water utility then they must have their own water meter and be paying for water consumption themselves.
You just need to educate them on how water metering & billing actually work in your building.
“We’re in a new building, so we don’t have to worry”
Any showers and taps purchased since the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme was introduced in 2005 SHOULD be water-efficient.
Sadly, we all know about defects in new buildings, and the same applies here – except that flow rates of taps and showers are probably never assessed as part of defects reports. Whole buildings have water fixtures and fittings imported from overseas that do not comply with Australia standards.
“Why should I pay for work in someone else’s apartment?”
Most owners are already paying for water consumption in other apartments that’s disproportionate to that in their own apartment. When there’s only a single meter, owners are paying for all water used in a building in proportion to their lots unit entitlement. Tenants don’t pay anything for water. Reducing consumption makes it fairer and cheaper for all owners. The following diagram simply highlights the real differences that can exist between actual water usage in an apartment and what owners pay for. Even if an owner has already installed water-efficient fixtures and fittings, if the building benchmarks poorly for water consumption it’s still well worth their while to contribute to the solution.
“Water-efficient showers are terrible!”
Times have changed, and so has the performance of showerheads. Anything you’re buying in Australia today is water-efficient – whether it costs $6 or $600, you can’t buy less than a WELS 3-star (7.5 - 9 l/min)
“There’s some physical reason it won’t work”
There were some horror stories in the early days about low-flow showerheads in apartments. Reputable service providers now understand the different pressure zones in apartment buildings now, and know what to do, and what not to do. Some tweaking may be needed in a small minority of cases.
“It’s too expensive”
No it’s not. Payback is generally less than 2 years, and there are additional hot water savings for all residents
“The problem is with the commercial lots”
No it’s not. The research has shown otherwise. “It won’t make a difference” Yes it will, and there is a growing body of proven results. Look at the case studies listed to the right.
“It’s too hard”
Not any more! Sydney Water and others have tailored their services specifically for apartment buildings.