Results vary on water saving
By PETER CATON
CONCERNS have been raised over whether the Tweed Shire Council practises what it preaches when it comes to water consumption.
The council has given away nearly 10,000 water-saving shower heads and whacked up the cost of water by more than half to make residents reduce consumption.
However, it is difficult to work out whether the council has managed to reduce it's own water consumption.
Despite a week of trying, the Daily News was yesterday told the figures for consumption at various council complexes, such as the Murwillumbah Memorial Pool complex and the Murwillumbah council headquarters would not be released because they could not reflect savings that had been made.
The council did confirm leaks in their ageing pools had caused some increase in consumption.
As well, the administration centre has been ex-panded and extra toilets have been added for staff.
Environment and health services manager Geoff Edwards said the council had, however, saved water by installing a number of waterless urinals in its buildings and at the Murwillumbah Memorial Swimming Complex had installed a 100,000-litre tank to re-use water.
The tank holds water from backwashing operations to clean the pool filters with the water then used to irrigate lawns.
Mr Edwards said the council had also agreed to supply the Condong sugar mill electricity co-generation plant, due to be commissioned later this year, with treated effluent from the Murwillumbah sewerage plant.
The water will be used to drive the boilers in the new power plant ? avoiding the use of town water.
The council has also given away 9400 AAA-rated shower heads, estimated to save 48,000 litres per household annually.
Mr Edwards said that was a saving of up to 156 million litres of water in the Tweed each year.