While it is often assumed that pools, spas, gardens and retail tenants are to blame for large water bills, studies using sub-metering show this is rarely the case. It is common for 90% or more of water use in an apartment building to be used inside the apartments – in showers, toilets, taps, leaks, washing machines and dishwashers.
The 2011 summary findings from Sydney Water’s HiRise Pilot show the average water consumption breakdown of all participating buildings as:
The consistency of the findings from this study indicates that they would be applicable across apartment buildings of any size (not just hi-rise buildings)
How Does Your Building Rate?
Also thanks to Sydney Water and BMT BWM Pty Ltd, we now have a realistic benchmark against which buildings can rate their consumption – in terms of litres per bedroom per day.
This can easily be calculated once you know:
- Your annual building-wide water consumption, by reviewing your water bills for the last 12 months. If you don’t have them, your strata manager will.
- The total number of bedrooms in your building
Once you have this data, you can use our simple water usage calculator to see how your building rates.
Consumption ratings and comparisons can never be exact when apartments aren’t individually metered – however for the first time we have realistic and strata-specific data to help our analysis and decisions.
You can see more on how water works in your building in this presentation by Sydney Water in November 2011.
Water Use on Common Property
Even though most of your consumption will be inside apartments, you should still conduct an audit of usage on common property - what uses water, in what amount, how often is it used or how often does it need to be replenished