The Shire of Mingenew currently has two fixed water standpipes located within the Shire for use by the Shire, for firefighting purposes and the community. The Water Corporation recently contacted rural Western Australian Local Government Authorities (LGA) and advised them that as of 1 July 2019, new water charges will apply to fixed standpipes based on the category of the standpipe and requested that all Local Governments in WA re-categorise their standpipes.
The Water Corporation presented options for LGAs to categorise their standpipes into, for the purpose of water usage billing. These options were discussed at Council’s 20 February 2019 meeting. To view those minutes, click here.
Due to the significant increase in the commercial service water charges being introduced by the Water Corporation, and a desire to better control commercial access to standpipes, the Shire of Mingenew has chosen to classify one of the two existing standpipes as Local Authority standpipes and padlock them as of 1 July 2019. This standpipe, located on the corner of Linthorne and George Streets (opposite the Shire Depot) can only be used by the Shire, during emergency fire events and declared times of drought. Water availability for a fire emergency will remain the same, with all Bush Fire Control Officers (BFCO’s) being issued with a key to unlock the fire control padlocks.
The need to have a standpipe to provide water to the community is important. The standpipe identified to provide this service is to be the one located on Victoria Road Mingenew, on the southern edge of town (past the Shenton Street Intersection). This standpipe will be classed as a commercial standpipe for the purchase of water and will attract a higher charge for water consumption than that of the Local Authority standpipe.
Customers wishing to purchase water from the commercial standpipe will need to visit the Shire Office to gain access, and fees will apply.
This standpipe will also be available for firefighting. There is no charge for water used during a fire event.
The proposed changes in water charges by the Water Corporation on rural fixed water standpipes have necessitated LGA to make changes on the way they manage their standpipe assets so as to:
- Recognise that water is a valuable, but scarce commodity;
- Provide a cost efficient standpipe service to the public and other users with a user pay system that can be effectively monitored;
- Provide water during fire emergencies; and
- Provide water to farmers in times of declared drought.
The changes to standpipes are planned to take effect from 1 July 2019 with the current arrangement for standpipes to remain in place until that time. Should you need further clarification or wish to comment then please direct your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 08 9928 1102.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are the Standpipes being locked?
Due to the new charges being introduced by the Water Corporation on Local Government standpipes starting from 1 July 2019, Local Governments have been required to categorise their standpipes in order to manage their usage and cover costs. Water will be available for purchase from a commercial standpipe located on Victoria Road to the south of town.
Which standpipes can I use for firefighting?
All standpipes can be used for firefighting. BFCO’s will be issued a key to unlock the padlock during a fire incident.
Which standpipes can I use to purchase water?
There will be one standpipe where you can purchase water. The standpipe is located on Victoria Road to the south of town (past the Shenton Street intersection). You will need to contact the Shire to gain access and purchase water.
What happens in the event of a declared drought?
During a declared Water Deficiency Event (drought) made by the State Government, farmers are able to access the water at a concessional rate in accordance with the declaration from any standpipe.
Can I fill up my firefighter tanks free of charge from standpipes for preventing outbreak of fires on my property?
No. You should fill up your firefighter tanks with a local water source from your property and not utilise potable water for that purpose. In the event of a fire, you can use any standpipe to fill your unit.
When will these changes take effect from?
The changes to standpipes will take effect from 1 July 2019. The current arrangements for standpipe use will remain in place until that time.
How much will water cost from the Commercial Standpipe?
The Shire has not set a fee yet (this will happen as part of the budgeting process for 2019/20), however the rate will not be less than the rate to be charged by the Water Corporation. That is up to $8.353 per kilolitre.
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