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Water Frequently Asked Questions

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WATER RESTRICTIONS

What water conservation measures are in place in the Goondiwindi Region?

From 19 February 2020, all residents and businesses who use Council’s town water supply in Goondiwindi and Texas will be on mandatory MEDIUM level water restrictions.

Click here for more information on MEDIUM water restrictions.

Currently all residents and businesses who use Council’s town water supply in Yelarbon are on mandatory LOW level water restrictions.

Click here for more information on LOW water restrictions.

How does Council determine our water restriction levels?

Council has adopted a Drought Management Plan to assist in determining when water restrictions should be introduced.

Council has three levels of water restrictions (low, medium & high) and each level is determined by the availability of water in storage, water deliverability and any other factors that could have an effect on urban water supplies.

How do I know what my average per person daily use is?

  • Check your water consumption notice.  This shows your daily water consumption for the household.
  • Check your water meter to become familiar with how much you're using each day, week, and even per use of appliance.  This will also help you identify leaks and water theft.

How will the mandatory water restrictions be enforced?

The aim of water restrictions is to extend our water supply (including drinking water) for as long as possible.  Enforcement through fines will be a last resort. When Council identifies a breach of water restrictions, the resident (or business) will be issued a first warning letter. After a second warning letter, further breaches will be subject to a fine. 

Water restrictions are legally enforceable under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.

What should I do if I see someone breaching the water restrictions?

Report it. You can report water restriction breaches by contacting Council or by submitting a report in the ‘Snap Send Solve’ app. Council will then investigate the matter further.

My business requires watering practices outside the water restrictions - what do I do?

Council may grant an exemption in special circumstances – please contact Council to apply.

What happens if I use more water than the set consumption targets?

It is essential that everyone aims for the set water consumption targets to conserve our water supply for as long as possible.

Find tips on ways to reduce your consumption to meet these targets at: www.grc.qld.gov.au/water-restrictions.

Will Council continue to operate the public pools in Goondiwindi, Inglewood and Texas?

Council's intention is to continue to operate Council pools in Goondiwindi, Inglewood and Texas for the remainer of this pool season regardless of current town water restriction levels.  A review will be undertaken in the off-season to determine the appropriate action for the Summer 2020-21 season.

What is Council doing to prepare for the worst-case scenario?

Council has a Drought Supply Plan to identify all of our available options like bores, blending and any dead storage supply and will assist Council in securing any funding we may need in this difficult period.

What is greywater and how do I use it safely?

Greywater is waste water generated from baths, showers, washbasins and laundries. This water can be diverted for use on lawns and gardens.

When can I reuse untreated greywater?

There is no restriction on when you can reuse greywater, however you must not store untreated greywater for more than 24 hours.

Ways to use untreated greywater

  • Manual bucketing - You can collect water from your shower and washing machine by bucket and empty the water onto your gardens and lawn.
  • Connect a flexible hose to a washing machine outlet - Connect a greywater hose to your washing machine outlet and place the other end of the hose outside to water the lawn and garden.  By placing the hose so it runs downhill you'll ensure the washing machine can pump the water.

For further information about how safely use grey water please visit the Qld Government website -

www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/building-property-development/building-construction/plumbing-drainage/greywater

Why are some gardens looking very green despite the current restrictions?

Residents may have rainwater tanks, private bores or riparian licences. These are outside of Council’s jurisdiction. Council encourages reasonable use of water and that those residents using alternative water supplies erect signage acknowledging this. 

If you would like to know more about riparian licence management please visit www.dnrme.qld.gov.au and search ‘Border Rivers and Moonie water plan’ or contact the Department of Natural Resources, Mines & Energy directly.

Who do I report water theft to?

Water is a valuable commodity, and unfortunately we are already aware of individuals doing the wrong thing.  All theft of water in the region, including tampering with Council water meters, is a police matter and should be reported to the Queensland Police.

Where can I get a free shower timer?

Council is offering residents free four-minute shower timers to help residents reduce their water usage.  These can be collected from Council’s Customer Service Centres (in Goondiwindi, Inglewood & Texas) and Yelarbon Rural Traders.

Can I still wash my dog?

Water is for domestic household purposes only, and this includes looking after the welfare of your pets. Where possible, Council recommends reducing the frequency of bathing pets if this does not compromise the health, safety and hygiene of the animal or residents.

Can I still use my evaporative air-conditioner?

Council will not be regulating the use of air conditioning units however Council encourages residents to be conservative with their use wherever possible and service the unit to ensure efficiency. 

It is important for residents to monitor their water usage through evaporative air-conditioners to reduce wastage.  There are many variables that affect how much water is used including the ambient weather conditions (temperature & humidity) of the day and the fan speed that the unit is set to operate on. As a guide, a portable unit might use up to 4 litres per hour while a central system could use as much as 25 litres per hour.

I pay my rates, don't I have a right to use water?

Owners of property connected to reticulated water pay an infrastructure charge and a consumption charge. Property owners/ residents are able to consume as much water as they want provided they pay the cost associated and they comply with any rules applied by Council like those in the Drought Management Plan.

Can I use town water to water my lawn or garden under high water restrictions?

Gardens and lawns can only be watered by buckets within the permitted days and times. Greywater can be used at any time on gardens or lawns.

Will Council reimburse me for my dead lawn or garden?

No. Gardens in the region should be designed or maintained for a variable climate, meaning that amounts of rainfall we receive can change over long cycles. Residents’ expectations of access to town water supplies to maintain gardens should be connected directly to this climate variability.

Council also strongly urges residents to be self-sufficient as much as possible when it comes to outside water usage by installing rainwater tanks that can be used to service plants or smaller areas of lawn, or recycling / reusing household grey water.

Can I  purchase recycled water from the Wastewater Treatment Plant to use on my garden?

The use of recycled water from Wastewater Treatment Plants is strictly regulated and is not permitted to be used for domestic properties. Recycled water will not be provided from the Wastewater Treatment Plans for domestic use, however you can use greywater from your laundry, shower or bath to water the garden.

Can I top up or fill my pool under high water restrictions?

The topping up or filling of new or existing pools under high water restrictions is not permitted. Residents are encouraged to use alternative water supplies such as bores, rainwater tanks or divert water from downpipes for use in pools.

Why didn't Council move to implement tougher water restrictions sooner?

Council has been working over recent months to confirm water demand versus water supply modelling in partnership with Sunwater, the Qld Department of Natural Resources Mining and Energy (DNRME), and Water NSW.  Council is  conscious of the water restrictions placed on our region’s businesses, schools, community and sporting organisations, and each and every resident. Water restrictions are just one way Council is working with the community to reduce water usage and conserve and sustain the region’s water supply.

Should the community be worried about running out of water?

Everyone in the community needs to be vigilant about their water usage and take steps to significantly reduce their water consumption. The water we save now is critical until the region gets rain and to how resilient the region will be as the drought continues. Water restrictions are just one way Council is working with the community to reduce water usage and sustain the region’s water supply.

BULK WATER PURCHASE RURAL HOUSEHOLDS

Can local rural residents buy water from Council?

Yes. Council is committed to offering assistance to farming families, businesses and communities affected by drought within its local government area through the supply of bulk water for domestic household purposes.  This allows local rural residents to access water at the same cost/rate as town residents

To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • The household is located within the Goondiwindi Regional Council area;
  • The household is located within a drought declared area as determined by the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries;
  • The household is not connected to Council’s reticulated town water supply; and
  • The water is for domestic household purposes only.

Please allow a minimum 24 hours notice for your application to be processed.

The water is charged at the same rate as consumption charges for users connected to the Council water reticulation system.

The current 2019/2020 charge is $1.41 per kilolitre (1,000 litres) and is exempt from the $40 collection fee.

Commercial water carters may include additional fees and charges as part of their business operations.

Can rural residents buy water from Council if they live outside the Council area?

Council will consider applications for the supply of bulk water to households outside the local government area on a case by case basis. No applications shall be considered under high water restrictions.  The cost is as per Council's Fees and Charges which for 2019-20 is $3.20 per kilolitre and $40 collection fee per truck load.

How do I apply to buy bulk water?

You need to complete a Purchase of Bulk Water from Depot Application Form which is available on Council’s website or by contacting a Customer Service Office. 

How much water can I buy?

The purchase of bulk water is restricted to a maximum quantity based on the number of persons residing within the household and the water consumption target under the current water restriction level.

For example using the scenario below for a person on HIGH level water restrictions, the household is eligible for 600L per day. If you purchase 24,000L, that is equivalent to 40 days water (24,000L / 600L)

150L

X

1

X

4

=

600L

Water Consumption Target

litres/person/day

 

No. of Households

 

Persons per Household

 

Total Eligible

Litres/Day

 The applicant will not be eligible to apply for additional water for that household until after that 40 day period.

Where can I collect the bulk water from?

Water can be collected between 8:00am and 2:30pm weekdays, excluding public holidays, from the following filling points:

  • Goondiwindi West Street Depot - West Street, Goondiwindi
  • Inglewood Depot/Stores Office - Killen Street, Inglewood
  • Texas Depot

(24 hours notice is required)

Water can not be collected until an application has been approved and fees paid.

Can you guarantee the water quality?

Council makes no guarantee of the drinking quality of the water once collected from our depots. Applicant’s are encouraged to engage the services of an accredited drinking water carrier.

Will Council deliver the water to my house?

Council does not provide this service. It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange for the collection and cartage of all water.