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City West Water is changing the way that water and recycled water meter assemblies are installed on new residential properties in their service area.
The new process aims to reduce theft of brass and copper fittings and meters, which is a common issue on construction sites that sees builders and owners currently carry high reinstatement costs. The changes will also help further reduce the low risk of cross-contaminated water supply in areas where recycled water is available.
The changes to the meter installation process are:
- The new meters will now be manufactured out of durable plastic. The new potable plastic meters will have an integral dual check valve, meaning that a separate backflow device will no longer be required.
- A new purple tag will be installed with the locking pin, advising that it cannot be removed.
- In areas with both recycled and potable water supply, the old bypass connection between the garden taps will no longer be used.
- A new fitting installed by City West Water allows pressurisation using only potable water - and eliminates the connection to the recycled water tap. The fitting includes provision for a temporary tap to be installed during construction by the builder or plumber.
- Full connections, including installing the tap upstands and associated plumbing, will now be made by the builder’s plumber.
Information about the key changes was shared with industry stakeholders ahead of the new process coming into effect. City West Water’s Acting General Manager, Customer Experience, Nathan Bennett, said the changes were implemented following discussions with the local construction industry.
“We’ve listened to plumbers, developers and builders about the need for these changes and to make installing new water meters more efficient and cost effective.
“One of the key changes is that full connections, including installing the tap upstands and associated plumbing, will now be made by the builder’s plumber.
“The fact that new meters are made of fit-for-purpose plastic should also help reduce theft.”
Since plumbers, not City West Water, will be installing the taps and upstands, the changes will also result in further savings during the application stage, with fees for single residential applications reduced by $50.35 in drinking water only areas and by $135.10 in areas where recycled water is also available.
The new process will be introduced for all new water meter applications on 1 February 2020.
To help plumbers understand the changes, a standard meter assembly drawing will be provided with an Approval to Connect (previously known as a PIC).