Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Unit blocks an other strata-titled properties could collect, manage and recycle water on site to take pressure off mains water – and potentially sell the oversupply to neighbors, a University study suggests.
Individual unit owners could communally own their water and wastewater supply infrastructure in order to service their water needs. Water shortages during the recent drought have renewed concerns about the sustainability of urban water management, but with local systems owned communally it would take the pressure off the government-owned systems and save considerable power that is currently consumed pumping water over large distances.
Such decentralisation of water management could signify that local water is sufficient to service the occupants of the scheme and provide irrigation for the grounds of a development. It could also allow for on-selling any excess water to third parties to help pay for a system’s operational costs.
Redevelopments of inner-city sites in areas with high rainfall were strong candidates for the systems, so there could be an increase in housing without putting pressure on existing water infrastructure.
This can be done by installing communal rainwater tanks and greywater or blackwater treatment and recycling systems. In this environment, wastewater treatment plants can be connected to sewer mains to guarantee the safe discharge of untreated water.
The key findings of the study were that body corporates should retain ownership of all infrastructure and employ a resident or facility manager to monitor an maintain the system.
Properties with 50 to 250 or more units should have a water technology company operate their facility and the lots should be individually metered to provide water-saving incentives, the report said.