Water bills causing a pain in the Upper Hunter Shire as residents call community meeting

AFTER a very dry summer Upper Hunter Shire residents, particularly those in Scone, are reviewing their quarterly water account – and they aren’t happy.

Following a community meeting held this morning at the Thoroughbred Hotel where around 40 residents voiced concerns surrounding the soaring price of water bills amongst themselves and to Hunter Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Hunter region spokesman John Preston, Upper Hunter Shire Council has responded to the community’s frustration.

Council says the most recent review of water accounts found many have used more water than last summer.

Furthermore, according to Council, figures on water coming from Glenbawn Dam show there has been a substantial rise in the water drawn for town use over this summer, which reflects the results of the water meter readings.

“Overall in the three months of November 2016 to January 2017 there was 466,383 kilolitres pumped from Glenbawn Dam into the Scone water supply,” Upper Hunter Shire Council Mayor Wayne Bedggood said.

“In the same period, this last summer, 593,498 Kl was used in Scone, an increase of nearly 30%.”

Council says more water use means higher bills and water charges not only cover day-to-day cost of water but the cost of building and maintaining infrastructure.

“There may be rare cases of malfunctioning water meters and we ask people who are concerned to take a few simple steps to check their meter is working accurately and check they do not have water pipe leaks on their property,” Cr Bedggood said.

Steps include checking for leaks within your property by reading the meter and then waiting overnight or any period when no water was used, and check it again.

If the meter has moved when you are not using water, then you have a leak.

Council has urged any residents who still believe their water account is unusually high to Council on 6540 1100 and ask for a review of their account.