Single water meter in sectional title scheme.

tawdry

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
93
Hi Guys
So there are 20 apartments in my building yet we only have 1 water meter.
I have 2 people in my unit while at least 2 units have up to 6 people.I suggested that instead of everyone paying the same amount split by unit that we should take in account how many people are living in a unit and split the water that way. The chairperson said that this had been tried in another building and has since been ruled unconstitutional so we couldn't do it.

Anyone know if there is any truth to this suggestion been unconstitutional?Why is it not unconstitutional that I should pay for someone overcrowding there unit.

Anyone know any articles on this topic?
 

Marsie27

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
755
Tell them to install 20 water meters, charge by use
We did that in an 8 unit complex where we own a unit (not our primary residence) and where most of the units are occupied by tenants. The cost of water-wastage by a few was being funded by everyone. After the issue was raised at the AGM we installed individual meters on the incoming feed to each unit. This was nearly 3 years ago, just when Cape Town's water situation got really bad. The meters are read (and photographed) each month and the owners are billed for the amount used. Each cost about R1400 including fitting. Problem sorted.
 

stiller26

Well-Known Member
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Mar 4, 2017
Messages
392
I was thinking about this today. In my rented out unit there are two people, and I’m tired of funding other people. Now the complex has installed sprinklers for the lawn and the water usage has dramatic gone up.
 

Cius

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Jan 20, 2009
Messages
6,790
Same issue in our complex. 72 units, one bill. Zero incentive to save water as it benefits you so little. Has been discussed a few times to get individual meters but the water mains where the meters would be attached are in inaccessible places for most units so it keeps stalling. Would need a wireless solution that can cost a lot.
 

PhireSide

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Dec 31, 2006
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Same issue in our complex. 72 units, one bill. Zero incentive to save water as it benefits you so little. Has been discussed a few times to get individual meters but the water mains where the meters would be attached are in inaccessible places for most units so it keeps stalling. Would need a wireless solution that can cost a lot.
Do you stay in our complex? :ROFL:

70-odd units, also paying per quorum currently. We are two people in a large-ish house, while there are other homes that are maybe 30% smaller but with 6 occupants - guess who pays more?

We have our AGM next month and it is to be brought up, but the first meeting around this it was said that to redo the pipes and fittings and fit meters would cost each unit something like R7000, and then the meter would have to be replaced every seven years (???)
 

Cius

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Jan 20, 2009
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6,790
Do you stay in our complex? :ROFL:

70-odd units, also paying per quorum currently. We are two people in a large-ish house, while there are other homes that are maybe 30% smaller but with 6 occupants - guess who pays more?

We have our AGM next month and it is to be brought up, but the first meeting around this it was said that to redo the pipes and fittings and fit meters would cost each unit something like R7000, and then the meter would have to be replaced every seven years (???)
Yes, I'm in a complex. Its a huge issue and not cheap. Even simple water meters can cost R2000 per unit after installation cost and we have a lot of units who are so hard up even that cost is high enough that they are just not interested. In our case a lot of the meters are in back passages. I can hardly get to my passage as its blocked off by crap in my garage. Even if we had units send in photo's it would be a nightmare to administer as people forget. If you have that situation there are wireless providers that have decent meters for about R4K I seem to recall but then batteries need replacing every 6 to 8 years on the meters. Big advantage is you can spot big leaks early. Twice now our complex had a major underground leak that went undetected for extended periods costing the complex huge water bills. The wireless online providers at least have a system of warning you within an hour or two of unusual spikes.
 

signates

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,401
Same issue in our complex. 72 units, one bill. Zero incentive to save water as it benefits you so little. Has been discussed a few times to get individual meters but the water mains where the meters would be attached are in inaccessible places for most units so it keeps stalling. Would need a wireless solution that can cost a lot.
I have an ONTEC water meter that can be monitored on their website. Was less than R2k and is sold on takealot. I have it now for over a year and it works well. Its a normal Honeywell water meter with their own logger attached to the meter that records the usage and transmits it on their own network.
 

Lupus

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
33,340
Yes, I'm in a complex. Its a huge issue and not cheap. Even simple water meters can cost R2000 per unit after installation cost and we have a lot of units who are so hard up even that cost is high enough that they are just not interested. In our case a lot of the meters are in back passages. I can hardly get to my passage as its blocked off by crap in my garage. Even if we had units send in photo's it would be a nightmare to administer as people forget. If you have that situation there are wireless providers that have decent meters for about R4K I seem to recall but then batteries need replacing every 6 to 8 years on the meters. Big advantage is you can spot big leaks early. Twice now our complex had a major underground leak that went undetected for extended periods costing the complex huge water bills. The wireless online providers at least have a system of warning you within an hour or two of unusual spikes.

Prescribed management rule (“PMR”) 29(3)(a) provides the mechanism for the installation of separate water meters. A body corporate must, if so directed by a resolution of members install and maintain separate meters to measure the supply of electricity, water, gas or the supply of any other service to each member’s sections and exclusive use areas and to the common property. In terms PMR 29(3)(b) the body corporate must recover from members the cost of such water supply to sections and exclusive use areas based on the metered supply.

https://www.paddocks.co.za/paddocks-press-newsletter/consuming-water-in-sectional-title-schemes/

I think it's best to get the ball rolling and have it sorted out. If someone is so hard up they cannot pay for a water meter they make a plan with the managing agent and pay it off. But it should come from the funds of the complex though, isn't that what this CSOS thing is supposed to be for? I don't know I got out the complex game 3 years now and couldn't be happier.
 

blowdart18

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
898
There are some property management groups that will install it for you "free of charge", however they recoup the installation cost through increased tarrifs for the first 5 years.

Some schemes don't have large capital outlays for jobs like this so it might be worth looking at doing this.
 

Cius

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
6,790
I have an ONTEC water meter that can be monitored on their website. Was less than R2k and is sold on takealot. I have it now for over a year and it works well. Its a normal Honeywell water meter with their own logger attached to the meter that records the usage and transmits it on their own network.
Thanks, I have sent on to our chairman as it looks like it is definitely worth investigating.
 

Big Rat

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
720
6 people living frugally of water vs 2 wasters. Could even be that the 6 use less water.
Not saying it is the case here, just an example. I live in open complex and we have one old guy who just ignored all the rules bout water restrictions. watered his garden whenever he wanted to. one person took a photo of all the water meters, and the one old chap user double the water the next biggest user was, a house of 4 people.
So while splitting by bod count may seem more even, it is by no means more accurate.
 

isie

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
12,461
Hi Guys
So there are 20 apartments in my building yet we only have 1 water meter.
I have 2 people in my unit while at least 2 units have up to 6 people.I suggested that instead of everyone paying the same amount split by unit that we should take in account how many people are living in a unit and split the water that way. The chairperson said that this had been tried in another building and has since been ruled unconstitutional so we couldn't do it.

Anyone know if there is any truth to this suggestion been unconstitutional?Why is it not unconstitutional that I should pay for someone overcrowding there unit.

Anyone know any articles on this topic?
Get individual meters and bill per unit - not sure if this is joburg only but after that you can apply to the municipality to get the total rate reduced so it's fare on everyone (as currently everyone will be charged on the highest rate)
not sure how the chairperson can claim its unconstitutional if he means without an individual meter then ya because you can't just assume that 6 people use more the 2 I can compare with one of my neighbors we 4 and they 2 but we use substantially less water (not as an average but actual usage)
 

Pineapple Smurf

Pineapple Beer Connoisseur
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Aug 2, 2016
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32,375
Same issue in my complex, 1 meter

i'm 1 person yet my neighbour next to me has 4 people living inside
Ground Floor people are the worst, they water the lawns everyday

totally unfair
 

Lupus

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
33,340
Same issue in my complex, 1 meter

i'm 1 person yet my neighbour next to me has 4 people living inside
Ground Floor people are the worst, they water the lawns everyday

totally unfair
Get some special herb and plant it there, free watering?
 

Marsie27

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
755
Pics of what ours look like taken on the day of installation (<day for all 8). As you can see the cold water line to each unit is easily accessible, which helped a lot. Owners/tenants can keep a check on their consumption. We investigated the prepaid option but the companies that manage that skim off quite a whack and we decided against it. WP_20170525_003.jpg WP_20170525_004.jpg WP_20170525_008.jpg
 
Last edited:

Leno

Expert Member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
1,706
In PE the munucipality has given complexes and flats a few years (3 or 5 cant remember) to install individual meters.

We will be installing the meters that are read electronically as all of the mains connections are in multiple shafts in the building. Some of the flats get their water from 3 different feeds so they will have to pay for 3 meters!

I think the electronic meter will be from the municipality
 
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