Reducing Energy Use
Energy efficiency measures introduced in July 2003 made it a requirement for all new dwellings and additions to have measures taken to make the use of heating and cooling the dwellings more effective by:-
Each year, as the Building Code is upgraded, the Energy Efficiency measures will become more important.
- The installation of insulation in the roof space
- Having the “R” (insulation) rating of walls meet a predetermined level
- Providing breeze paths for ventilation.
Reducing Water Use
The Department of Water has compiled a collection of brochures to assist in reducing water in and around their homes. These brochures can be downloaded from the links below.
The City and Sprinkler Use
Why are the sprinklers operating in the rain?
From time to time residents may see sprinklers in parks and street gardens running while it is raining!
It would be reasonable for residents to assume that the City is wasting water.
What is Actually Happening?
The City is allocated by the Department of Water a groundwater abstraction volume of 7500 kilolitres per hectare to irrigate its reserves and streetscapes. The City allocates a percentage of this overall allocation for each month of the year. The percentage allocation is based on recommended industry rates of application so sufficient water is applied to maintain turf and garden beds to an acceptable standard.
Irrigation programmes are calculated so as the optimum volume of water is applied per month within the percentage allocated for that month. Unless the rain is significant it is not usually sufficient to meet the monthly application requirements and irrigation is therefore still required. As most rain events are unpredictable in the volume of actual millimetres of water on the ground reticulation maintainers typically do not alter irrigation programs for the chance of rain but make assessment and alter programs after the rain has fallen. Many of the City’s irrigated sites are fitted with rain sensors and should the rain be of a sufficient volume the rain sensor will turn of the irrigation.
The City closely monitors its usage through water meters fitted to each of its bores. The City monitors its usage monthly and must report annually to the Department of Water on its usage which must be within the allocated budget.
Why are the sprinklers operating in winter?
From time to time residents may see sprinklers in parks and street gardens running during winter!
It would be reasonable for residents to assume that the City are not abiding with Department of Water Winter Sprinkler Bans and are wasting water.
What is Actually Happening?
Irrigation systems under the care and control of the City have been programmed to automatically activate once every two weeks during the winter period for maintenance purposes. In circumstances where industrial grade irrigation systems are left dormant during winter, it is common for them to malfunction when activated at the beginning of summer, because of a build-up of scale and algae in the pumps, pipes, valves and sprinklers. The result is loss of grass and shrubs, requiring the use of even more water to re-establish them, compared with that used to maintain the systems during winter.
To ensure that each system is running for the shortest possible time to achieve the maintenance objective, each group of sprinklers has been set to run for a period of time no greater than that required for their control valve to fully open and then immediately begin to close down. This flushing cycle usually takes no longer than two to five minutes.
By undertaking winter maintenance we ensure that the City’s 200 irrigation systems complete with 1920 control valves and approximately 20,000 individual sprinklers are functioning at the beginning of each summer period. In so doing, the aesthetic quality of grass and garden areas is not compromised and the City saves water in the long run.
The Department of Water acknowledge that operating of irrigation systems for the maintenance of the systems is required and endorse the practice of restricted irrigating for maintenance purposes.
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