First Look Blog

Articles written by the First Look team.


Sewage Charges Directly Relate to Water Consumption...but should they...???

Published by Ken Nunes on 20/08/2015


It has been well documented throughout the blog posts of First Look that there are two costs relating to water consumption in schools (although not only schools):

1. Water Charges - ±20.00 per KL including VAT

2. Sewage Charges - ±20.00 per KL including VAT

Sewage charges directly relate to the total water consumed, (measure by the Municipal water meter), where the total water consumption (in KL) is then assumed to have been discharged into the Municipal sewage system.

This is, in principle, (let’s accept) understandable.

However, many schools use Municipal water for irrigating sports fields, watering gardens throughout the premises, topping up swimming pools, etc, where clearly, the water does not “return” via the path of the sewage system.

The question therefore begs to be asked...why should sewage costs apply to this consumption?

The actual volume of water used for these purposes is, of course, not metered (i.e. the consumption is not measured nor questioned), therefore the Municipality applies the 100% rule.

From online-line monitoring being carried out in various schools by Suntricity, this use can be “assessed” to be between 30% and 50% of actual consumption, which implies potential savings of 15% to 25% on water costs for the school.