Regulations gone mad

My first daughter – the one with baby Joe – and her husband will need to extend their home now they are expecting TWINS.

They have had the architect around and according to the plans, they will be required by the Council to install a water tank (in wet Sydney) because the ratio of permeable to non-permeable land will fall below the magic figure.  Que?  The less lawn you have, the more likely you will be required to have a water tank.

Coming from Adelaide, she has a natural aversion to water tanks.  The water is smelly and brackish, the tank attracts mosquitoes and their value to watering the garden (which is not an issue in Sydney) is very dubious.

These sorts of costly and ridiculous impositions are really subsidies to suppliers – in this case, water tank producers – and are based on the flimsiest of rationales.  In this case, the rationale doesn’t even make sense because someone seems to have misunderstood ratios.

Update:  According to the Productivity Commission’s report on urban water, research on government water savings programs shows the following:

In 2005, Crase and Dollery examined subsidies paid in Melbourne to households for water-saving investments. They found that the cost per megalitre of water saved
ranged from $770 for AAA shower roses, to $9069 for rainwater tanks and $33 395 for AAA dishwashers. This compares with a supply price for water between $750 and
$1300 per megalitre at the time of the study.

In other words, insisting on rainwater tanks, at least as a method of saving water, is just crazy.

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190 Responses to Regulations gone mad

  1. SteveC

    Perhaps it’s to do with preventing runoff in heavy rain, as we just experienced. We use our rainwater tank in Sydney to water our garden very frequently. It doesn’t rain all the time. A rainwater tank allows you to spread out the very uneven rainfall. It doesn’t smell, and it doesn’t attract mosquitoes.

  2. JC

    What if you don’t want a garden?

  3. David

    Yup. The beuronazis are having a wonderful time wit us dumb schmuks.
    Here in middle suburban Melbourne 14km south east of the CBD we wished to build a home unit for a family member on the rear of our block. No problem to go ahead as soon as an assessment for bushfire risk was completed.
    When I pointed out to the Council that according to accessible records there had never been a bush fire in our suburb since white settlement they agreed that it was stupid but, since the Black Saturday Enquiry recommendations had come in, it was now compulsory.

  4. Grigory M

    What if you don’t want a garden?

    Plumb it into the laundry and toilet.

  5. How odd. Growing up, water from the tank was always the best water available. You used town water when the quality of the water wasn’t important (toilets, showers, washing etc) and drank it only if you had to.

    These days I keep running into this concept that tank water is somehow second class. Do people not care for their tanks properly or something?

  6. Walter Plinge

    Very annoying but you don’t have to actually use it. Just ‘accidentally’ jam the overflow diverter closed.

  7. JC

    It was against the law to own a tank at one time. This is why I’m libertarian and want to see statists imprisoned.

    At one time it was illegal to have a water tank and now it’s illegal not to. Fucking arseholes.

    Fire them. Fire every single one of them and don’t stop.

  8. Stephen of Glasshouse

    Do they specify the size of the tank?

  9. Driftforge, you got it in one – people don’t maintain rain water tanks.

  10. Judith Sloan

    Yeh. I think it was illegal to have a water tank in Victoria for many years.

  11. Aristogeiton

    JC
    #1249283, posted on April 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    It was against the law to own a tank at one time. This is why I’m libertarian and want to see statists imprisoned.

    At one time it was illegal to have a water tank and now it’s illegal not to. Fucking arseholes.

    Fire them. Fire every single one of them and don’t stop.

    Only imprisonment? You’ve gone soft, JC.

  12. David

    wit us dumb schmuks

    Bloody fingers – “with us dumb schmuks”

  13. .

    JC
    #1249283, posted on April 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    It was against the law to own a tank at one time. This is why I’m libertarian and want to see statists imprisoned.

    At one time it was illegal to have a water tank and now it’s illegal not to. Fucking arseholes.

    Fire them. Fire every single one of them and don’t stop.

    I like the cut of your jib, young man.

  14. people don’t maintain rain water tanks

    I suppose if all the push is to use them as grey water sources, there isn’t much point in maintaining them. Still, the concept of a society in which town water is commonly filtered and which also doesn’t think you should drink rain water…

    Get your rain water system right and you never have to worry about additives in the water again.

  15. Sir Fred Lenin

    Water tanks were illegal at one time ,the “Desalination Pardee” made it legal,the law trade changes things all the time ,its called “progress” ,its a habit of alp/ greens! In Victoria I think they have a plan to make “Paedophilia” Legal ,on Cultural grounds we must ask ypthe TWO magistrates who let the Afghan Ruddfugee free on Two Charges! Chief Magistrate ,Do your Job ,dismiss these two hullist reds ,they are a Disgrace to the law trade,and that takes some doing!

  16. incoherent rambler

    These days I keep running into this concept that tank water is somehow second class. Do people not care for their tanks properly or something?

    If you have an eye for it, scan your eyes over the rooftops that collect the water and spot the (Lead and Cadmium) that feeds the water tank. In the older suburbs of Melbourne and the new ones on the Sunshine coast there is no way I would drink the water or use it for a vege garden.
    Then we add the amount of particulate in the air of our larger cities (the black stuff that makes your white car not so white), yep that goes into the water tank. Water tanks in a non-rural environment are not a good idea.

  17. Riverina Matt

    Mandatory installation of tanks is madness. To be clear though. while the Council is the enforcement agency, mandatory installation of water tanks is a BASIX requirement established under NSW legislation.

    Like swimming pool regulation, local government in NSW is only enforcing state legislation. If you want it fixed, tell O’Farrell to fix it.

    That said, Sydney Councils create enough nonsense regulation of their own without copping the blame for this one …

  18. Uber

    Wow, where have you people been? Do you not understand the dramatic effect ‘progressives’ have had on our way of living over the past 20 years? This is such old news that I’m shocked that you’re shocked.

    Six years ago I worked on a feasibility study for a major greenfields mining project in NSW. I’m talking a big mine, big dollars, big royalites. What was the primary threat to the project? Water supply. Not because they didn’t have places to put dams, not because there wasn’t enough rain or groundwater, but because they weren’t allowed to pump groundwater, and they weren’t allowed to build dams. That’s right, pumping from the water table is ‘robbing’, and building a dam means that you are collecting water that would otherwise flow into the water table (apparently); the water of which can’t be used anyway.

    And all based on a flimsy understanding of underground aquifers. So you can’t build a dam to provide for a major capital project. You have to let precious rain water just run out over the ground and disappear. That’s where we’ve been at for quite some time. Welcome to the future.

  19. Chris

    So if the water tank is required due to a reduction in permeable land it is most likely a requirement for a stormwater retention tank. These tanks are not designed to keep the water for a long period of time, but instead deliberately drain slowly into the storm water system (or in to your yard if you want) so they are completely empty when it starts to rain. As such they shouldn’t really be a mosquitto breeding issue – they can be sealed pretty well, much like many modern water tank systems (mine is).

    It is as SteveC suggests, a technique used to handle runoff in heavy rain and relieve some of the load on the storm water system. As housing density has increased and permeable land ratios have decreased there has been a big increase load on the storm water systems as water which would otherwise have soaked into people’s gardens instead ends up going to the storm water systems.

    So either people have to put systems like this in when they rennovate/build or they have to pay for upgrades to the storm water systems to avoid localised flooding.

    I’ve no idea where the reputation for poor quality water from water tanks comes from (perhaps they just lived in a home where the tank was not maintained properly) compared to the town water systems, especially in Adelaide!!!

  20. phil

    Ah, another gem from Judith. Yes, rainwater tanks…smelly and horrible.
    Could have saved your time and just typed, “I have never been to the country and have no idea how millions of people get their drinking water”.

  21. .

    phil
    #1249326, posted on April 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    Ah, another gem from Judith. Yes, rainwater tanks…smelly and horrible.
    Could have saved your time and just typed, “I have never been to the country and have no idea how millions of people get their drinking water”.

    Um…champ, maybe if you went to the country you’d notice not everyone is a farmer. If they could they’d take reliable town water.

  22. Rabz

    I’ve got a rainwater tank and it’s a pain in the arse, mainly because its plumbing system is so frigging noisy. When there’s water in it, it supplies the toilet, laundry and outdoor taps.

    Which is just wonderful until we get freezing conditions and the pipes block, meaning the washing machine is unusable and the toilet won’t flush (unless a bucket of water is used).

    “Wet Sydney”?? Wasn’t Dim Flummery adamant that it was never going to rain again (due to gerbil worming), hence that wonderful (mothballed) desal plant commissioned by those labor morons? And now Warragamba dam is full, it’s thanks to ‘climate change’.

    FFS, why does anyone take these lunatics seriously?

  23. .

    It is as SteveC suggests, a technique used to handle runoff in heavy rain and relieve some of the load on the storm water system. As housing density has increased and permeable land ratios have decreased there has been a big increase load on the storm water systems as water which would otherwise have soaked into people’s gardens instead ends up going to the storm water systems.

    Or, in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre, perhaps the government/council could invest in more rainwater drainage, given they decide at what density stuff must be built at.

    You’re not good on this principal/agent concept, are you, champion?

  24. dweezy2176

    Aaaah! The joys of living in NSW Housing Commission, south-west Sydney…….None of this regulation rubbish where I am…… Neither HC or the Council would dare interfere in any improvement/detriment issues here as they would need the police to support any, check-up, entry and even the police…………!

  25. john constantine

    rainwater tanks are as good as the water that goes into it,and the contaminants [lead roof,bird crap,dust,exhaust residue,industrial emissions that precipitate] that the water carries with it. not just tank,not just rain,but the total harvest infrastructure. handy devices that allow the first flush to run away,not into the tank can cut contamination.

    there are engineering numbers that put value on outsourcing water storage costs from the public purse onto private purse. the business model calls for ‘service charges/rates’ to be the bulk of water charges,and actual usage charges to be minor. if lots of tanks at private houses can reduce the need for the water authority to store and reticulate water,and allow the water authority to simply charge water rates for existing,that is the perfect business model.

  26. Combine Dave

    Then we add the amount of particulate in the air of our larger cities (the black stuff that makes your white car not so white), yep that goes into the water tank. Water tanks in a non-rural environment are not a good idea.

    When I was a kid we always had water tanks (at one stage that was our only water source).

    The water was always clean and tasted a lot better than “town” water. But what you said makes sense.

  27. friends bought a big bloc because there was room out the back of the house for another house, but the local council said they did not have enough land. the rules changed after the purchase

  28. .

    “Old taxes are fair taxes”

    There ought to be regulatory compensation.

  29. incoherent rambler

    there are engineering numbers that put value on outsourcing water storage costs from the public purse onto private purse

    The numbers to consider. The cost of a rainwater tank (and plumbing) for each property versus the cost of additional water storage (dams) and piping to the property. This varies a bit from city to city, but the arithmetic is pretty simple. Build more dams.

  30. yackman

    Like a few of the other posters I would be reluctant to use a tank for drinking in a major city without further cleaning. OK for gardens.
    We rely entirely on tanks for drinking water ( 2 by 100,000 litres) but have a first flush dump system (manual) and waste 5 to 10 mm rainfall after a dry period of more than a month or so. The tanks are cleaned every 3 years to remove detritus which gets in despite the mesh filters. The local tank cleaner receives a great deal of work in summer when tanks and underground pipes have not been maintained properly and as a result the organic material breaks down.

  31. rainwater tanks are as good as the water that goes into it,and the contaminants [lead roof,bird crap,dust,exhaust residue,industrial emissions that precipitate] that the water carries with it. not just tank,not just rain,but the total harvest infrastructure. handy devices that allow the first flush to run away,not into the tank can cut contamination.

    Fair enough. We didn’t have first flush kit, but then again, there weren’t long periods without rain (3200mm pa) and the air wasn’t heavily polluted.

  32. Riverina Matt

    The numbers to consider. The cost of a rainwater tank (and plumbing) for each property versus the cost of additional water storage (dams) and piping to the property. This varies a bit from city to city, but the arithmetic is pretty simple. Build more dams.

    Yep – water from tanks in urban areas is more expensive and less safe than the town supply. It is the equivalent of subsidising household solar generators and makes about as much sense.

  33. john constantine

    interesting thought was suggested to me by a health services provider,he put it that people evolved to drink water from rivers and lakes,and that water was mineralised as it leached through the enviroment [the old 'travel to take the waters' of certain districts for your health of the 1800's theory.] the suggestion that pure water in volume actually leaches minerals from your body isn’t intuitively wrong at first consideration. are certain individuals,living on certain diets actually disadvantaged by drinking pure water instead of mineralised groundwater?.

  34. john constantine

    [and about tanks versus dams,it only makes sense to the water authority,not broader society.the water authority gets to offload its responsibilities,and to bill its customers simply for owning billable addresses,not for consuming it's product.]

  35. Aldrydd

    Tanks also used to be illegal in Brisbane, then they bought in regulations that every new house/townhouse being built had to have one….Apparently now they’ve changed the rules again so that they’re not compulsory. I was talking to someone the other day & they have actually had a plumber around to disconnect and re-plumb all the tanks in the townhouse complex they manage as it was just too much of a hassle to both maintain the tanks and deal with the unreliability of the pumps/controllers that switch them from tank to mains when the level gets too low…..

  36. Infidel Tiger

    Bugger rainwater tanks. Bring back backyard incinerators.

  37. incoherent rambler

    Bugger rainwater tanks. Bring back backyard incinerators.

    If you bought a steel tank, I am sure you could convert it to an incinerator.

  38. …and thermomixers, and industrial meat slicers!

  39. john of dandenong

    Tanks – just another way for governments to outsource water storage infrastructure instead of building a dam or two.

  40. Kev

    As I remember it the Brisbane CIty Council made tanks illegal sometime last century to guarantee a return on their water supply system. If you had a tank that needed replacement you couldn’t do it – someone had to pay. After the last drought that had people panicking tanks became almost mandatory.

    I grew up on a farm with a dam and tanks and the water was never a problem. It was also asthetic with the odd green frogs in the tank but I had no gut problems and to this day am happy to drink from creeks and rivers that I camp along side on my travells.

    The more you sanitise what goes in your body the more problems you have when you can’t sanitise.

  41. John of bicheno

    Sorry folks I cannot agree with the majority of comments. Think about a housing estate with 500 lots at an average size of 500 square metre’s per block, add into that an average house with a footprint of 300 square metres plus a pitched roof and the area equals, if not exceeds the virgin land area.Result is what was absorbed into the ground or slowed is lost with any heavy weather event,the concrete jungle effect.
    The installation of detention systems (ie water tanks) helps to slow down the volume of water that enters the storm water system at a time of heavy rain .
    ps retired plumber

  42. Antipodean

    The economics of rainwater tank systems in areas where scheme water supply is available is insane. In which planet does it make sense to install a water collection and storage system that typically costs several thousand dollars to store water that is worth five or ten bucks? Another thing, the main reason that water tanks were banned in urban areas in the 50′s and 60′s was that these tanks were a great disease vector for mosquito borne viruses!

  43. Judith Sloan

    My daughter does not live in a high density area. All large suburban blocks. So much for that theory.

  44. Aldrydd

    Infidel Tiger
    #1249397, posted on April 2, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Bugger rainwater tanks. Bring back backyard incinerators.

    +1 IT, I remember as a kid it was my job to burn the rubbish, many hours of fun was had by all :)

  45. Molly Molloy

    They might even bring back outdoor dunnies. Compost toilets even.

  46. Roger

    My daughter does not live in a high density area. All large suburban blocks. So much for that theory. Or the regulation makes economic and environmental sense for high density areas, as some here have suggested, but is being misapplied in this case. Anyway, Judith, none of the problems you mentioned need apply to modern water tanks and the water really is so much better than Adelaide’s, I guarantee you. It also provides you with some of your own water security when a drought comes…and it will.

  47. John of bicheno

    Judith, I am not sure if your comment (1249422) was directed at my comment (1249415) but it does seem rather elitist to say that they have employed an Architect to design their home extension and they live on a large suburban block .Sorry I thought it was a discussion on why we need rain water tanks, feel free to reply.

  48. ar

    Building a house in suburban Sydney. The block is a substantial 1070sqm. The house is large and with concrete driveways etc takes up 40% of the land. I have to install a second water tank to satisfy the council’s green requirements.

  49. .

    John of bicheno
    #1249415, posted on April 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm
    Sorry folks I cannot agree with the majority of comments. Think about a housing estate with 500 lots at an average size of 500 square metre’s per block, add into that an average house with a footprint of 300 square metres plus a pitched roof and the area equals, if not exceeds the virgin land area.Result is what was absorbed into the ground or slowed is lost with any heavy weather event,the concrete jungle effect.

    What in suburbia with 1000 metre lots? LOL…

    Roger
    It also provides you with some of your own water security when a drought comes…and it will.

    What, for about three weeks?

    So does building more dams and sinking more boreholes – but forever.

    Carry on.

  50. entropy

    Antipodean
    #1249418, posted on April 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    The economics of rainwater tank systems in areas where scheme water supply is available is insane. In which planet does it make sense to install a water collection and storage system that typically costs several thousand dollars to store water that is worth five or ten bucks? Another thing, the main reason that water tanks were banned in urban areas in the 50′s and 60′s was that these tanks were a great disease vector for mosquito borne viruses!

    The purpose of the rain water tanks is to make people think they are doing something to help with scarce water, and government mandates gives the impression government is doing something when in actual fact it isn’t. As a way of avoiding actually doing things like build dams to increase water supply.

    Sorry folks I cannot agree with the majority of comments. Think about a housing estate with 500 lots at an average size of 500 square metre’s per block, add into that an average house with a footprint of 300 square metres plus a pitched roof and the area equals, if not exceeds the virgin land area.Result is what was absorbed into the ground or slowed is lost with any heavy weather event,the concrete jungle effect.
    The installation of detention systems (ie water tanks) helps to slow down the volume of water that enters the storm water system at a time of heavy rain .
    ps retired plumber

    Sorry, mate, you won’t find that theory in the policy document that recommended the policy. Besides, the thought that a 3000 litre rainfall tank would make any meaningful difference to storm water volumes after the first five minutes is risible.

  51. Dan

    Besides, the thought that a 3000 litre rainfall tank would make any meaningful difference to storm water volumes after the first five minutes is risible.

    Thank you…

    A rainy Week and all the tanks are full after day one, the ground is soaked. A tank isn’t going to slow down or prevent huge run offs

  52. Puffy Blevins

    This requirement is further proof that Australia’s gone down the shitter.

  53. SteveC

    “My daughter does not live in a high density area. All large suburban blocks.”

    In which case she must have covered a pretty big chunk of it with non-permeable surface, which makes the runoff problem even worse. Out of interest what was the “magical figure” for the ratio?

  54. .

    Another thing is how residential water ruse gets vilified.

    It makes up very little of overall consumption. What is the point of a low flow showerhead? So I can fell like I live in the 1870s? Really, what is the point? It saves a tiny amount of water and reduces hygiene.

    The idea that councils can demand how you bathe yourself is utterly Orwellian.

  55. maurie

    In a country that has recently endured a term of a socialist government where vote buying was the order of the day – e.g. a copy of the failed Yugoslavian policies – every capital city was Gifted a ferris wheel, yet people seem to still expect logic from government departments!

  56. Antipodean

    If you do the maths WRT rainwater tanks having an impact for storm water run-off, you still come way short. A simple scenario like having a roof area of 200 square metres and a rainwater storage volume of 3,000 Litres suggests that you will fill your rainwater tank in the first 15mm of rain…

  57. .

    In which case she must have covered a pretty big chunk of it with non-permeable surface, which makes the runoff problem even worse. Out of interest what was the “magical figure” for the ratio?

    Except there is no problem, unless you built on top of a quarry.

  58. Snoopy

    add into that an average house with a footprint of 300 square metres plus a pitched roof and the area equals, if not exceeds the virgin land area.

    FMD

  59. Snoopy

    A millimetre over a square metre is a litre.

  60. What is the point of a low flow showerhead?

    If a hotel has such showerheads (& some big name hotels do) I resolve to never again stay in that hotel.
    For I prefer my showers to be over quickly in a harsh blast, instead of having to stand there for several minutes managing and cajoling a trickly of water into rinsing about half the soap off me.

  61. John of bicheno

    reply to entropy 1249480
    Sorry mate but you are assuming every 3000 litre water is empty
    PS 3000 litres is a very small rainwater tank

  62. Peter from SA

    The installation of detention systems (ie water tanks) helps to slow down the volume of water that enters the storm water system at a time of heavy rain .

    I cannot agree with that. i have a mandatory tank here in my newish home. The thing just sits there full as i don’t use it. So heavy rain just goes ino the stormwater. Otherwise it must have added $1000+ to the cost of the home and takes up enough of my small backyard that you can’t play cricket.
    I guess it won’t be long before an inspector starts visiting to check that I’m using the tank water …

  63. .

    …and a rainwater tank worth having takes up too much land on urban blocks.

  64. Mark Aurel

    @Peter from SA
    John of bicheno is right it’s for water retention
    Your tank may be full but not everyone’s is.

    The tank IS for water retention not for garden use, that is secondary. The storm-water systems in most major cities are old and inadequate if you can get past the initial downpour of the first few minute without flooding the drains then it can cope with the gradual release after.

    This is where the “ratio of permeable to non-permeable land ” equation comes in.
    The more grass you have the less runoff.
    Of course it’s all a bit of a compromise but short of replacing the drains it’s still the best solution.

    In some cities you can opt out by building water retention system but the cost is prolly more than the cost of a tank.

  65. caveman

    Are these on shore or off shore detention tanks?

  66. Infidel Tiger

    What is the point of a low flow showerhead?

    To inspire mass murder.

  67. SteveC

    In most new houses the tank goes under the house. Land area problem solved. Peter from SA, I assume you don’t have a garden, unless you are using drinking water to water it. Maybe you don’t get big storms in Adelaide, but the first time you get a massive rainfall, and your stormwater backs up and floods, you might wish you has emptied your tank.

    As we expect storms in Sydney, we always make sure our tank is empty during storm season for exactly that eventuality.

  68. Grigory M

    in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre

    Citation please, Dot. Where and to whom?

  69. entropy

    How big is your tank, SteveC?

  70. Peter from SA

    Steve C: I have a small garden – if you can call it that – which I water with mains water.

  71. When we had rainwater tanks, we had 4 @ ~10,000 L a piece.

    As to the storm water issue, that is exactly what has to be dealt with. The basis of the calcs required is to restore the natural proportion of flow from rainfall to ground water.

  72. .

    Grigory M
    #1249546, posted on April 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre

    Citation please, Dot. Where and to whom?

    The government mandates this. They get paid.

  73. twostix

    They might even bring back outdoor dunnies. Compost toilets even.

    Have you visited a road side toilet at the fancy new “sustainable” federal rest stops along the federal highway lately?

    I’m quite sure they’ve made modern “composting” toilets even more revolting than the “thunderbox” that I was told to use when I was a very young child visiting some struggling out of the way farm to watch / help with the shearing. At least in the thunderbox it was too dark to see what was at the bottom of the hole, in the modern version I swear they’ve designed it so there’s maximum light down the hole to ensure we all get an educational experience out of the “composting” aspect to it.

  74. .

    SteveC
    #1249544, posted on April 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm
    In most new houses the tank goes under the house. Land area problem solved.

    So poor schleps must pay to solve a non existent problem, or a distributed solution that doesn’t work to not solve a problem that is unlikely to be solved in such a manner.

  75. .

    Have you visited a road side toilet at the fancy new “sustainable” federal rest stops along the federal highway lately?

    I’m quite sure they’ve made modern “composting” toilets even more revolting than the “thunderbox” that I was told to use when I was a very young child visiting some struggling out of the way farm to watch / help with the shearing.

    They’re bad for tourism. The one on the Kings Highway over the Shoalhaven River has the pleas of a French tourist to “get better fucking toilets, Australia” etc.

  76. Mike of Marion

    Our place – we have over 23000 Litres of storage for the garden only here in Marion, South Australia. Not one drop of rain water goes off the property (Council requirement is that all rain water off the roof must go to storm water )

  77. .

    In 2005, Crase and Dollery examined subsidies paid in Melbourne to households for water-saving investments. They found that the cost per megalitre of water saved
    ranged from $770 for AAA shower roses, to $9069 for rainwater tanks and $33 395 for AAA dishwashers. This compares with a supply price for water between $750 and
    $1300 per megalitre at the time of the study.

    …and increasing dams and sunk bores would increase supply further. It is mad when a shortfall in supply is attempted to be demand managed when expanding supply is much, much cheaper.

  78. entropy

    23000 litres is approximately 5000 gallons. I find it hard to believe you catch all the water from your roof in that piddly little thing.

    Oh, wait. South Australia. As you were.

  79. entropy

    In 2005, Crase and Dollery examined subsidies paid in Melbourne to households for water-saving investments. They found that the cost per megalitre of water saved
    ranged from $770 for AAA shower roses, to $9069 for rainwater tanks and $33 395 for AAA dishwashers. This compares with a supply price for water between $750 and
    $1300 per megalitre at the time of the study.

    I saw the same sort of results from a similar study for SEQ back in the last drought when Beattie introduced rainwater tank subsidies and the ‘water grid’. The sums indicated rainwater tanks were more expensive even than the Tegan RO plant.

    Don’t get me wrong , rainwater tanks have their place, where mains access is just not feasible. I grew up on rainwater, but I lived miles out of town. Nothing like the taste of dead green tree frog and possum skit in your water. Although it might explain why I have hair on my chest and a slight squint.

    But rainwater tanks do not belong in cities. Residues, particulates, drainage issues from improper integration with drainage systems, blockage of access, the problems are endless. Plus it encourages people to delude themselves they are helping the environment.

  80. Grigory M

    if lots of tanks at private houses can reduce the need for the water authority to store and reticulate water,and allow the water authority to simply charge water rates for existing,that is the perfect business model.

    john Constantine – that’s not quite the perfect business model, because there’s more to it than storage and reticulation. One of the major reasons, perhaps the pre-eminent reason, for deferring the building of new dams in NSW (eg. Welcome Reef on the Shoalhaven River) has been the desire to reduce the need for potable water (ie. water stored and treated so that it is safe to drink). This is based on analysis which indicates that most potable water has heretofore been wasted on washing cars, watering lawns and gardens, washing clothes and flushing toilets. To at least partially address this the major water, sewer and drainage infrastructure project for the Rouse Hill Development in Sydney’s North-West Sector includes the provision of secondary reticulation of treated water from sewerage treatment plants.

  81. calli

    In most Local Government areas in Sydney, the magical figure is 60:40, soft/hard surface. The trick to getting a development passed is to offer Council the bare minimum of information, and to develop the landscape after the OC is obtained.

    When the mania for detention basins first took hold, designers were detailing them at 500mm deep and deeper and Councils were passing them. You can’t have an up fenced body of water more than 300mm deep, so they were in contravention of their own design codes. Once the trap silts up (and it inevitably does) you have a hazard…that requires policing, natch.

    Sub floor systems for rainwater are best (take the place of some of the waffle pods). Acquacomb is good.

  82. Joe Goodacre

    This article is a strawman.

    The purpose of regulations which require the use of rainwater tanks given a particular ratio of permeable to non-permeable ground are a result of managing the downstream stormwater effects of changing a particular use of land.

    If land is changed so that it is less permeable, more stormwater will runoff the site which can lead to flooding or greater erosion elsewhere. In this circumstance, regulations require the installation of onsite detention to slow the rate of water leaving the site. Rainwater tanks are one of the cheaper ways of achieving this.

    I haven’t thought enough about the issue of whether it is an appropriate role for government to protect downstream properties from upstream properties changing the use of the land. It appears to me though that neither has Judith if her failure to address the rationale for the regulation in the first place is anything to go by.

    This reminds me of her piece on Qantas not long ago trashing the arrangements the airline employed to ferry staff around. Strongly opinionated on a topic Judith appears to know very little about.

  83. Grigory M

    The government mandates this. They get paid.

    Dot – you’re just making shit up.

  84. entropy

    The purpose of regulations which require the use of rainwater tanks given a particular ratio of permeable to non-permeable ground are a result of managing the downstream stormwater effects of changing a particular use of land.

    that would only be the true purpose of the regulation if it specified the size of the tank in line with the land area covered by the roof. As it does to, it is just another one of those feel good regs that raise the cost of everything.

  85. .

    Grigory M
    #1249592, posted on April 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm
    The government mandates this. They get paid.

    Dot – you’re just making shit up.

    No. Fuck off.

  86. .

    The purpose of regulations which require the use of rainwater tanks given a particular ratio of permeable to non-permeable ground are a result of managing the downstream stormwater effects of changing a particular use of land.

    Sez you.

    Please outline the extent of riparian erosion in the Sydney catchment areas before rainwater tanks were mandated.

    Your argument is a strawman, under BASIX, you need a stormwater tank, but you can let it run out on the lawn if you want to.*

    *As is actually built on some developments.

  87. Grigory M

    Dot – you’re just making shit up.

    No. Fuck off.

    Don’t see why I should, fuckwit. What you said is bullshit and you cannot justify saying it. Care to put up some facts instead?

  88. Joe Goodacre

    Having thought about it a bit more, I’m not sure of a consistent principle that governs the use of private property where it may effect an adjoining property.

    In the case of downstream properties being effected by upstream land uses, I’m leaning against government intrusion. Why – because the state is artifically propping up the value of their land by restricting upstream users from using upsteram land as they desire. If government was not involved, downstream properties would have a lower market value to reflect that their use of that land can be affected by the reduced permeability of an upstream property and they may have to expend significant dollars to protect the property against floodwaters (either by raising the land, or installing drainage so that the additional water can flow through). This would be based on the same principle of the state not favouring any particular property – i.e. people should not be able to stop their neighbours from blocking out their view or sunlight. That is restricting the use of someone elses land for their own benefit.

    I’m not sure how this principle covers the scenario though when someone excavates to a depth of 10m immediately adjacent to a property, which removes that property’s support… I guess it suggests that the value of a person’s land is limited to whether their neighbours are reasonable or not.

  89. .

    Grigory M
    #1249615, posted on April 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm
    Dot – you’re just making shit up.

    No. Fuck off.

    Don’t see why I should, fuckwit. What you said is bullshit and you cannot justify saying it. Care to put up some facts instead?

    You don’t have any evidence to the contrary. It is not bullshit, simply because I can’t find it within five minutes of searching.

    If you develop your own infrastructure in NSW, you are still liable to pay the fee which in theory covers such public construction.

    If I’m wrong I’m sure you can quote the OSR form which you apply for an exemption with.

  90. Peter M

    Based on my recent experience of building in Sydney, the tank requirement will definitely be related to stormwater runoff. Councils are required to enforce the State Gov rules and it typically takes a hydraulics engineer to carry out the calculations to determine the tank volume, orifice plate diameter etc. I basically have a swimming pool under my driveway. The general term covering these systems is OSD (Onsite Stormwater Detention) and there are ways to achieve the desired result other than tanks, all depending on the geography of the site.

    An OSD tank cannot be used for water storage, as it must remain empty to catch the next storm. I actually have two parts to my tank – a storage section of about 10,000 litres which supplies all outside taps, and the OSD section of about 6,000 litres.

    As far as I know stored water can be used for outside taps, toilets, washing machines, but cannot be used for drinking.

  91. Grigory M

    If you develop your own infrastructure in NSW, you are still liable to pay the fee which in theory covers such public construction.

    Just bullshit, Dot – unless you can provide a citation.

  92. gary

    I have worked in the water industry for over twenty years and most things the water industry does seems insane. The Green Left took over the industry in the 1990′s and have seemed determined to build no dams and make water so expensive that the alternatives to dams, e.g. water tanks, desal, water recycling etc will become cost competitiveness. The issue is no one in the industry seems to care – not even the rate payers who seem to continue to accept the punishing price increases and reduced service.

    I am amazed all govts are ruling out privatisation of water supply. The current system is a miserable failure.

  93. .

    How about you provide a citation to the contrary, champ? I’ve afforded you the opportunity and you won’t use it.

  94. calli

    To at least partially address this the major water, sewer and drainage infrastructure project for the Rouse Hill Development in Sydney’s North-West Sector includes the provision of secondary reticulation of treated water from sewerage treatment plants.

    Interesting that you raise this as an example, Grigory. Even though recycled water is used in this area, new developments are required to install a rainwater tank…for topping up the loos and washing machine. The recycled water is used on the gardens.

  95. Grigory M

    How about you provide a citation to the contrary, champ?

    Go fuck yourself – champ. I’m not the one that put the bullshit out there – you are.

  96. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    If you develop your own infrastructure in NSW, you are still liable to pay the fee which in theory covers such public construction.

    There’s no hard and fast rule with this. I can comment with some knowledge on the situation in NSW.

    Developers pay contributions to councils for parks, downstream stormwater infrastructure maintenance and upgrading facilities such as libraries.

    They also pay contributions to the RMS for the provision of major roads – I’m not sure if this covers the full cost of those roads.

    In relation to electrical, a developer will pay for the infrastructure on their land, and any amplification required of the existing network. Sometimes this may mean expensive lead ins through existing built up areas. I’ve seen a circumstance where one major developer used up all the existing load with their 300 lot development, while a different developer just down the road who went a little later, got hit with amplification costs.

    With Water and Sewer, if the land is rezoned residential, Sydney Water technically are responsible for the costs of lead in infrastructure. Developers may engage contractors to do this work, however they go through a reimbursement process (which is highly inefficient). In some cases though, Sydney Water may be slow providing infrastructure and the developer will undertake these costs themselves to bring their land to the market, without receiving a reimbursement.

    Like I said, there’s no simple answer in NSW.

  97. John of bicheno

    TO GRIGORY M
    BACK OFF MATE, IF YOU CANT PUT YOUR ARGUMENT TOGETHER THAT’S FINE BUT DON’T USE PERSONAL AND ABUSIVE LANGUAGE AT SOMEONE WHO DISAGREES WITH YOUR OPION

  98. Grigory M

    The recycled water is used on the gardens.

    Yes, calli – perhaps I should have made that clear. Separate reticulation of treated water, for external purposes only. Not all treated water goes to the secondary reticulation – some is dissipated through wetlands.

  99. Joe Goodacre

    To clarify, if the land is not formally rezoned, a landowner can go through a private rezoning where they can subdivide if they incur all the costs themselves of bringing in sufficient infrastructure which would be a circusmtance where they don’t get a Sydney Water reimbursement for connecting to trunk sewer/watermains.

  100. incoherent rambler

    Cost of Dam divided by Number of households in Sydney = not very much

    Let’s say it is a big dam. 4 billion on the near 2 mill households (not counting offices, warehouses etc).

    4, 000, 000, 000 / 2, 000, 000 = 2, 000 per head (1,000 for a smaller dam).

    Remember that the dam should last at least 70 years, probably more than 100. So per annum cost is C.S.

    Then there are the side benefits of the additional water storage, you can go fishing for cryptosporidium on the weekends.

  101. .

    Alright Grigory, so if I build an off grid water supply and waste water treatment for a new estate, you reckon the State won’t stop the water utility or local council from charging me development fees?

    Please show me an exemption form – state, local or statutory body.

    The problem is you are charged for “development” rather than an actual water supply as such.

  102. Ant

    …need to extend their home now they are expecting TWINS.

    The Green Agenda ultimately would want them not to extend their home.

    What’s wrong with the home they have now? Stop being selfish and make do with what you have got in the interests of “sustainability”.

    Or better still, why are they having twins, hmmmm??? They already have one baby and one should be enough for any couple!

    If implemented on a global level it would ensure a reduction in population numbers to a more sustainable level – particularly for resource hungry westerners.

    BTW, being an architect myself, 10:1 says that their architect is a leftoidoramus. Was he vetted politically prior to engagement?

    (A big congratulations from me, BTW, on twin grandchildren.)

  103. Grigory M

    John of bicheno

    Or what, fuckwit? ROTFLMAO. Grow up.

  104. .

    Like I said, there’s no simple answer in NSW.

    But there should be. The fact that you could build your own road network and if you are charged the development fee for this or not, is a really bad investment climate.

    A lot of the price rises in NSW of residential property coincide with the hike in the rate of development fees around 2003.

    Grigory also seems to think this stuff only applies to local water and sewer utilities…

  105. Grigory M

    Alright Grigory, so if I build an off grid water supply and waste water treatment for a new estate, you reckon the State won’t stop the water utility or local council from charging me development fees?

    I don’t reckon anything, Dot. You made a statement – I asked you to cite something to support it – you came back with a non-answer – so I said you make shit up – then you told me to “fuck off” so I responded in kind (that ok with you John of bicheno? Asshole) – and here we are, you’re still bloviating.

  106. calli

    Wetlands also need to be maintained, they are not a ‘set and forget’ solution. Macrophytes have to be harvested, traps cleared. There can also be problems with water quality and pest species (carp comes to mind) infesting the wetland. All requires energy…whilst it looks clean and green, looks can be deceptive.

  107. .

    I don’t reckon anything, Dot. You made a statement – I asked you to cite something to support it – you came back with a non-answer – so I said you make shit up – then you told me to “fuck off” so I responded in kind (that ok with you John of bicheno? Asshole) – and here we are, you’re still bloviating.

    Yet, I was right.

    There’s a lesson in that for all of us.

  108. Ant

    I like maintaining wetlands by culling their wild duck populations once a year.

  109. Ant

    Er, Grigory, for one so passionately opposed to effusiveness, you seem to have let control of your emotions run a little amok today?

    You OK?

  110. calli

    I like maintaining wetlands by culling their wild duck populations once a year.

    Mmmmm…Mmmmm! Confit of duck under tooled leather for the table and Charlie Carp for the garden! Now that’s what I call environmentalism. :D

  111. Ant

    Nothing makes my juices flow more than politically incorrect environmentalism.

  112. Grigory M

    Yet, I was right.

    About what, Dot?

  113. Grigory M

    you seem to have let control of your emotions run a little amok today

    What emotions would they be, Ant?

  114. calli

    I should have said ‘artificial wetlands’, btw. The natural systems are extremely complex but can and should be left alone (apart from delicious duck culling). But the man made ones are simplistic and require maintenance.

  115. Tel

    At one time it was illegal to have a water tank and now it’s illegal not to. Fucking arseholes.

    Fire them. Fire every single one of them and don’t stop.

    Agreed! The simple job of leaving people alone to live their life shouldn’t be too difficult.

  116. Tel

    so if I build an off grid water supply and waste water treatment for a new estate, you reckon the State won’t stop the water utility or local council from charging me development fees?

    They generally charge for regular inspections too. Keeps someone in a job, poor bastard.

  117. ar

    Joe Goodacre
    #1249617, posted on April 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm
    Having thought about it a bit more, I’m not sure of a consistent principle that governs the use of private property where it may effect an adjoining property.

    We were required to request our downstream neighbours for an easement across their property to pipe our storm water. Of course they refused so they will get our storm water via a dispersion trench.

  118. John of bicheno

    To Grigory M , I asked my father many years ago why he never swore or used profanity in a heated discussion,his answer has stayed with me for life.
    If you cannot put your point of view/opinion without profanity you have already lost the argument either trough a lack of education or vocabulary.
    Which one is it ?

  119. Joe Goodacre

    A lot of the price rises in NSW of residential property coincide with the hike in the rate of development fees around 2003.

    I don’t know enough about it. I’m aware though that the industry was knocking around 8,000 lots per yeard in Sydney until the Olympics, and then that dropped down to between 2,000 and 3,000 per year until 2008 ish.

    In my experience the much greater risk to development is the time it takes to get approvals and the onerous conditions when development is granted. Section 94 contributions play a large role as well. When the fees going to council are larger than the profit going to a developer, you know that there is something out of whack. The third major risk with timing is that the property cycle can move faster than approvals move, meaning that people are reluctant to buy property when it may take a decade to get it rezoned and developed (this is land), but could easily apply to apartments if Green Square is anything to go by. I’ve long been a witness to the reality that a new house and bock of land could cost a third if these obstacles were removed.

    As to their being no regulation on development. Ideally yes – but how do you prevent the circumstance of unjust enrichment because a lot of infrastructure is already existing (i.e. has been paid by someone else).
    It seems to me that if you rolled back the regulation, existing landowners would be unjustly enriched, and so would new home owners. The easy answer is to roll it all back, but I’m not sure that’s fair to the person sitting in the new traffic on a road that they paid for, when the new people haven’t made similar contributions.

  120. Joe Goodacre

    Forgot to mention GST as well – people forget that 10% of the cost of a new block of land goes straight to the government.

  121. Joe Goodacre

    John of bicheno,

    Your father sets an example that I think is worth aspiring to (I fail sometimes though!).

    Such a simple truth – if you can’t express it without profanity (or insults I might add), you’ve already lost the argument.

  122. Grigory M

    John of bicheno

    What is “a heated discussion”?

    “profanity” is the “c” word, which I never use and which, to all intents and purposes is banned from the Cat. Everything else is just words, John – nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc – used by many (perhaps most) here to provide emphasis.

  123. From Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There:

    “When I utter an oath or blasphemy or contumely,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it’s just a word—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you may make up the rules as to which words—or, in your case, one word—might constitute a profanity.”
    “Fuck you, Alice,” said Humpty Dumpty.

  124. Grigory M

    Ah, Deadman – you make shit up. ;)

  125. John of bicheno

    Grigory M.
    As I said lack of education and vocabulary will always show ,
    For your edification the word fuck is an acurnem from British law courts,when persons were changed with For Unlawful Canal Knowledge ,when a person appeared before the court the prosecutor would state to the court that they had been charged with FUCK

  126. Grigory M

    Well, John – it’s clearly not all banjo playing and hymn singing in bicheno, hey ;)

  127. John of bicheno

    To Grigory, not since you came along to volunteer as the local gormless twit

  128. the word fuck is an acurnem [sic] from British law courts […] For Unlawful Canal Knowledge

    That is not so. The word is Germanic, and has been used in English since the early sixteenth century (at least), long before the Offences against the Person Act 1828.

  129. Grigory M

    FFS John – stop the “To Grigory” stuff. It sounds like you’re about to break into an ode or something. ;)

  130. John of bicheno

    Deadman, you are likely right,but the use of the word in an argument is still a poor grasp of the English language in a open forum blog

  131. kae

    In Brisbane many years ago people were encouraged to get rid of their water tanks, then it was law they couldn’t have a water tank.

    Come the drought that all changed.

    Tanks are fine as far as breeding mozzies as long as the screens are kept in good order, the problem is that some people wouldn’t check the screens and fix or replace them if necessary.

  132. John of bicheno

    To Grigory. I apologize for addressing my reply to you as To Grigory and have told your followers in Bicheno to stop singing an ode to the gormless village idot

  133. kae

    fredleninlooksfamiliartome , usedtopostelsewherewithadifferentnameeverytime , usuallyastringofwordswithnospaces

  134. .

    Cut it out John d’B, it is gratuitous.

    I had contretemps with Grigory because I believe my word is good enough. I trust other regulars on their hearsay or personal knowledge as well. Like a great man said, ‘trust, then verify’. How I found out was from an old job and I do not like to discuss our clients, even though I no longer work there. I am not a developer myself and couldn’t give a concrete example, but there is no exemption anyone could find under local or state authorities. Fortunately, Joe A knew what I was talking about and lent me some well needed credibility but also presented the opposite problem due to uncertainty.

  135. Grigory M

    I have followers in bicheno? More than one. John? Who knew? Thought there’d be more to do there, John. Elocution lessons for you and your sister – and all that infrastructure and associated developmental regulation to deal with.

  136. Combine_Dave

    the word fuck is an acurnem [sic] from British law courts […] For Unlawful Canal Knowledge

    That is not so. The word is Germanic, and has been used in English since the early sixteenth century (at least), long before the Offences against the Person Act 1828.

    Derived from the German ‘ficken’ or ‘fick dich’, nicht wahr?

  137. .

    Joe Goodacre
    #1249755, posted on April 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Well said. I think part of the solution is long term planning, but this can be achieved by selling the land off. If all land was privatised, unjust enrichment would not exist.

  138. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I asked my father why he never swore or used profanity

    As a young Two Alpha, I had to write out two hundred times “Use of obscenity is the hall mark of one who is incapable of intelligent self expression.”

    Funny what sticks in the mind, oh, after forty eight years….

  139. John of bicheno

    To Grigory, Sorry Grigory you are confusing geographical location with ones place of birth and upbringing.

  140. Yes, Combine_Dave, cognate with Swedish, fokka, and Dutch, fokken, and German ficken and even Latin pugnare, “to strike”, but, perhaps, also influenced by the less violent Latin, futuere, “to fuck” and even Ancient Greek φύω*, “I beget” or even “I bear”.

    * it’s worth noting that the perfect of φύω is πέφυκα—pephuka.

  141. .

    “Go beget yourself..”

    ZeroTwoKiloAlpha…Deadman has shown how broad my tongue is.

  142. Grigory M

    “Go beget yourself..”

    Nah, doesn’t sound right, Dot. How about – go and get “known” – in the Biblical sense? Too subtle?

  143. .

    How is knowing theyself the foundation of wisdom?

  144. Grigory M

    “theyself”

    Dunno, Dot. What do you reckon ‘theyself” would say? Give us the benefit of your wisdom.

  145. SteveC

    entropy – 5000 L, which is quite small IMO

  146. SteveC

    Peter from SA. I don’t hand water. Using sprinklers in NSW with potable water is illegal in Sydney, as it should be.

  147. calli

    SteveC, sprinklers are not illegal in Sydney, the hours of use are restricted.

  148. SteveC

    Dot, you seem to think that it’s perfectly acceptable for you to cover your land so that significant runoff goes on to your neighbour’s land, or into the stormwater system, which everyone pays for. That’s not libertarian, that’s being an unsociable prick. But no surprise there.

  149. SteveC

    Thanks Calli. I’m obviously a bit out of date. But I’d be happy if they were illegal all the time.

  150. SteveC

    oh and Dot, did you ever provide a citation for this, as Grigory asked, or did you in fact just make it up, as he asserted:

    #1249347, posted on April 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Or, in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre,

  151. Infidel Tiger

    the word fuck is an acurnem [sic] from British law courts […] For Unlawful Canal Knowledge

    I imagine unlawful canal knowledge would be more of a crime in Venice.

  152. SteveC

    re the update. Where did you get those prices from? I’m paying $216o per megalitre, plus supply cost. I’m also paying a shitload for sewerage and drainage, which, as discussed above, is the main reason for the water retention measures based on the ratio of permeable to non-permeable land. Perhaps Judith should stick to economics, not water engineering.

  153. vlad

    Outdoor toilets were a good idea.

    Well, they had their advantages: the shorter the pipe to the sewer, the less chance of something going wrong with it.

    Running a pipe from the house all the way under the backyard to the sewer is asking for trouble. Worse even than the extended length is the territory it has to go through: ie tree root central. Right up against the back fence there were fewer trees and such to worry about and (I’m willing to bet, though it was largely before my time) there would have been many fewer blockages and plumbing hassles.

    In short it was a more reliable technology despite its immediate inconveniences.

  154. Joe Goodacre

    SteveC #1249992, posted on April 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm,

    Dot, you seem to think that it’s perfectly acceptable for you to cover your land so that significant runoff goes on to your neighbour’s land, or into the stormwater system, which everyone pays for.

    You may have mixed issues here.

    As the situation currently stands, the stormwater system on the land is paid for by the developer of that land. Since stormwater designs must take into account upstream catchments, there is already a presumption that downstream properties have their drainage upsized and must ‘deal with’ the additional costs of being on the receiving end of run off from upstream properties. Why can the argument not be made, that downstream properties have received an advantage by assuming that upstream land use will stay the same in order to lower what their costs would have been if they had designed and built a drainage system that didn’t assume a particular upstream use?

    Regardless of the current system, I come at it from another angle – why does government intrude into the affairs of individuals when the market would appropriately devalue a downstream property because it’s affected by the use of an upstream property. If downstream property owners bought the upstream property, they would have no issues. If they don’t own the upstream property, why aren’t downstream owners free to pay a high price for a downstream property, and gamble on the actions of their upstream neighbour? What is the justification for government getting involved to make a downstream property more valuable than what it otherwise would be, at the expense of the upstream property being able to use their land?

  155. .

    SteveC
    #1249992, posted on April 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm
    Dot, you seem to think that it’s perfectly acceptable for you to cover your land so that significant runoff goes on to your neighbour’s land, or into the stormwater system, which everyone pays for. That’s not libertarian, that’s being an unsociable prick. But no surprise there.

    Oh no. Water from rainfall percolates into the soil my neighbour owns. What a terrible crime to commit. I should be punished for owning a higher block of land.

    If there is only paved areas, the stormwater is clean, as is the percolated, aquifer filtered water.

    There is no cost to this, unless you are inferring we should build more dams. Do you think we should build more dams?

    SteveC
    #1250049, posted on April 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm
    re the update. Where did you get those prices from?

    She cites the PC paper. Read it.

    SteveC
    #1250001, posted on April 2, 2014 at 10:03 pm
    oh and Dot, did you ever provide a citation for this

    Proprietary knowledge, which Joe A confirmed as a developer. I am not allowed to disclose who we worked for. If you don’t mind, I would like to see a citation for your water bill.

    Grigory M
    #1249972, posted on April 2, 2014 at 9:37 pm
    “theyself”

    Dunno, Dot. What do you reckon ‘theyself” would say? Give us the benefit of your wisdom.

    I defer to your sagely advice. You seem to be mixing Socratic learning and this unique method of self discovery quite well.

  156. Justin

    Congratulations on the twins. Just had twin boys last August. So I really understand the need for the extension!

    As to the substance of the post it sounds more like the rainwater tank is about failing water infrastructure (i.e. pipes) rather than water saving. As the size of the city grows and density is increased it places more pressure on the infrastructure particularly in high rain situations. The tanks are probably a means of reducing the flow through the storm water system. They store the water and trickle it out gradually after the heavy rains have passed. This is why they mention ratios of permeability because less absorbed by the ground finds its way into a storm water drain which in modern times has a greater propensity to flood. So this is really about shifting responsibility for adequate water infrastructure onto households through patchwork / bandaid solutions. Incidentally this is the same logic that results in every greenfield site boasting waterfront lakes a la Caroline Springs. Again the lake is just a means of controlling flow through the existing water infrastructure. Mosquito breeding sites. Absolutely. But the Green sale is smoke and mirrors. This is about Government’s and utilities failing to maintain and upgrade the system. Despite ever increasing service charges I might add.

  157. Grigory M

    Morning Dot. So – you’re still bloviating – dodging and weaving and avoiding at all costs any proper response to a simple request for you to cite a source. Getting rude about it and upsetting other people. That’s not the way to do it, Dot – a simple citation would suffice. Hiding behind some supposed “proprietary knowledge” from Joe A (did you mean Joe Goodacre?) to try to divert attention away from your own apparent lack of knowledge. Why, Dot? Why? There’s nothing secret or “commercial in confidence about developer charges” – Sydney Water has what you need to know right out in public view on its website.

    Strange responses from you, Dot – very strange. Hope you’re not like that in business. Anyway, have a nice day ;)

  158. Kaboom

    “As a young Two Alpha, I had to write out two hundred times “Use of obscenity is the hall mark of one who is incapable of intelligent self expression.”

    Fuck that for a joke…

  159. Ed

    Like swimming pool regulation, local government in NSW is only enforcing state legislation. If you want it fixed, tell O’Farrell to fix it.

    Good luck with that.
    O’Farrell loves regulations, especially if they are green regulations.

  160. Ed

    Grigory M, you seem quite smart but your fundamental problem is that you are too emotionally invested in your worldview, which is incorrect.

  161. Kae

    Outdoor toilets?

    From when the sani-man used to have to empty them, you wouldn’t want that stinking thing in the house.

  162. .

    Ed
    #1250654, posted on April 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm
    Grigory M, you seem quite smart but your fundamental problem is that you are too emotionally invested in your worldview, which is incorrect.

    Grigory M wants me to find a government quoting itself that it double dips.

    Good luck with that.

  163. SteveC

    #1250470, posted on April 3, 2014 at 10:06 am
    Oh no. Water from rainfall percolates into the soil my neighbour owns. What a terrible crime to commit. I should be punished for owning a higher block of land.

    There is a ratio for a reason. If 100% the land was impermeable, there would be massive flooding problems, I hope you buy a block somewhere and all your uphill neighbors pave their entire land. Then you can celebrate your soggy freedom with your fellow unsociable pricks.

    If there is only paved areas, the stormwater is clean, as is the percolated, aquifer filtered water.

    Bullshit. Are you saying the water off your roof is clean? There’s quite a few posts above to illustrate your error.

    There is no cost to this, unless you are inferring we should build more dams

    Do you live in Sydney? Have you ever seen local flooding when the stormwater drains can’t cope? Or the sewage overflow.? Nope no costs there. And the word you are looking for is “implying” as I have told you before.

    Or, in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre,
    Proprietary knowledge, which Joe A confirmed as a developer. I am not allowed to disclose who we worked for. If you don’t mind, I would like to see a citation for your water bill.

    You are such a dickhead. So it’s not a general rule? It’s just a single anecdote? Only the one developer you worked for has that requirement? As you can’t quote a source, I’ll assume you are lying.
    Here’s the Sydney Water price reference you asked for
    https://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/accounts-billing/understanding-your-bill/our-prices/index.htm
    See, easy isn’t it.

  164. Grigory M

    Grigory M wants me to find a government quoting itself that it double dips.

    Dottie – Grigory M doesn’t “want” you to do any such thing. Maybe you could cite some evidence of that. Just a word or two will do. Oh – you can’t? Qu’elle surprise. I do recall that Grigory M asked if you could provide a citation for one of your earlier imaginings – but so far nothing from you but bad manners and endless bloviating, which seems to be the thing you do best.

  165. .

    I hope you buy a block somewhere and all your uphill neighbors pave their entire land. Then you can celebrate your soggy freedom with your fellow unsociable pricks.

    Nice. “I hope you’re rooned because you don’t agree with this regulation I would have disagreed with whilst tanks were banned”

    You’re talking nonsense. Who gets flooded in the CBD? Could it be prevented with water tanks?

    Bullshit. Are you saying the water off your roof is clean? There’s quite a few posts above to illustrate your error.

    Most houses are established. Unless you force all old buildings to have sort of filtration system, what’s your point?

    Do you live in Sydney? Have you ever seen local flooding when the stormwater drains can’t cope? Or the sewage overflow.? Nope no costs there. And the word you are looking for is “implying” as I have told you before.

    Water tanks would not help. As demonstrated by others above.

    You are such a dickhead. So it’s not a general rule? It’s just a single anecdote? Only the one developer you worked for has that requirement? As you can’t quote a source, I’ll assume you are lying.

    It is common. You literally know nothing about this apart from what you have found on google.

    Since you won’t quote your water bill, we can all assume that you are lying. How typical.

    Grigory M doesn’t “want” you to do any such thing.

    Yes you do. Or you’re a worthless troll. Quelle surprise.

  166. Grigory M

    Or you’re a worthless troll.

    Ah ha ha ha haaaa! The “you’re a troll” card. The last defense of the coward who cannot provide a simple citation to support his bloviating bullshit. Just fucking pathetic, Dot. Qu’elle surprise indeed.

  167. vlad

    Kae

    #1250756, posted on April 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Outdoor toilets?

    From when the sani-man used to have to empty them, you wouldn’t want that stinking thing in the house.

    That was a different technology. I was talking about sewered suburbs in which the w.c. was right up against the back fence with a relatively short pipe from the loo to the sewer itself. (None of that nightcart stuff.) There may well be such loos still in Carlton (Victoria); there were in the 1980′s.

  168. Regardless of the current system, I come at it from another angle – why does government intrude into the affairs of individuals when the market would appropriately devalue a downstream property because it’s affected by the use of an upstream property. If downstream property owners bought the upstream property, they would have no issues. If they don’t own the upstream property, why aren’t downstream owners free to pay a high price for a downstream property, and gamble on the actions of their upstream neighbour? What is the justification for government getting involved to make a downstream property more valuable than what it otherwise would be, at the expense of the upstream property being able to use their land?

    More precisely, at the expense of the upstream property being able to use its land in a way that forces the downstream neighbour to incur costs.

    Government doesn’t need to intrude here, if the cost of monopolising land is kept current rather than allowing its purchase in perpetuity.

    As it stands, someone downhill has every right to be aggrieved at the actualisation of something that was previously only a risk.

  169. SteveC

    Water tanks would not help. As demonstrated by others above.

    You are such a loser. The effectiveness of tanks to prevent runoff damage is well established. Here’s the first link from a google search. http://nemo.udel.edu/manual/Chap5Web.pdf
    There are thousands. Perhaps you could have a chat to the water engineering folks at your university when you’re not too busy on your PhD.

    It is common.

    And yet you are unable to provide one reference to back your claim. Apparently because it’s commercial in confidence. Or more likely because you made it up on the spot and haven’t had time to google an actual reference.

    Since you won’t quote your water bill,

    Except, of course, that I did. I said I was paying $2160 per megalitre, and the page I quoted on Sydney Water’s website shows the exact price is $2168. Or are you quibling about the $8 ?
    https://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/accounts-billing/understanding-your-bill/our-prices/index.htm

    But please, continue to bloviate away, I need a good laugh.

  170. JC

    You are such a dickhead.

    Language please, StevesC, it’s not that sort of blog.

  171. Joe Goodacre

    Government doesn’t need to intrude here, if the cost of monopolising land is kept current rather than allowing its purchase in perpetuity.

    Could you elaborate on this?

  172. .

    Here is reference #3 which shows that double dipping is effectively a barrier to entry.

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/228913098_Financing_Urban_Infrastructure_in_New_South_Wales_An_Evaluation_of_Water_and_Sewerage_Developer_Charges_Policy/file/d912f5098363c21c98.pdf

    A description of IPART’s proposed principles and procedures. The main objectives of the new methodology proposed for NSW by IPART have been set out by Warner as follows:

    Developer charges should: involve full net cost recovery from the beneficiary; reflect variations in the cost of servicing different development areas; avoid ‘double dipping’ or charging new entrants twice; cover infrastructure expenditures which can be clearly linked to the development in question and are able to be reliably forecast; include ancillary costs; be applied to existing and fringe areas alike; be calculated in a clear and transparent manner so that developers can understand and assess the calculated charges.

  173. .

    Grigory is a worthless troll.

    Steve C is a brainless lefty troll who says whatever is in vogue with the ALP and Greens.

    QED.

  174. .

    The effectiveness of tanks to prevent runoff damage is well established.

    No. How big are they? Where are you going to put them? What about established housing?

    Or more likely because you made it up on the spot and haven’t had time to google an actual reference.

    Wrong, because I knew it as a fact and I am aware that “searching for something on google” isn’t a definitive proof.

    Yet you google to work out your water bill, which you got wrong any way, and you don’t have any service charges.

  175. SteveC

    Not bad dot. 36 hours to find a reference. I’ll keep a log and see if you can do better next time.

    The OP didn’t say how big the tanks were, or what the ratio was, or anything useful. And did not add that information even though the post was updated. The inference was it was for water saving, and many suggested that was probably not the case. Which just amplifies how pointless the post was.

    No dot, I didn’t google my water bill. I quoted the price from my actual bill – as in, ” I knew it as a fact”. Then you asked for a reference, so as I can’t actually post my water bill, (and even if I did, I would of course blank out my name and address – so you would then claim it probably wasn’t mine), I posted a link to Sydney Water to show what the price is. And I rounded by $8 – which I infer is what you meant by “got it wrong anyway”. So you are actually quibbling about $8 rounding. How pathetic.

    And yes, I didn’t include the service charge. My point was the price of water quoted by OP ($750 to $1300 per ML) seemed quite low. So good idea I should add the service charge, which amplifies my point, so thank you for your own goal.

    Keep digging, soon you won’t be able to see over the top of the hole you are in, and if you dig far enough we may not even be able to hear you.

  176. SteveC

    mea culpa, I said 36 hours. The quote you were asked to cite a reference for was

    in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre

    The links you provided are about double dipping, which was your self imposed citation requirement (#1250867).

    So the clock is still running on your original unsubstantiated claim.

  177. .

    Um, I don’t have a time constraint to prove you wrong. I knew you were wrong all along. How about trying to verify if I was correct or not? Now you’re complaining you weren’t proven wrong quickly enough? If you knew you were wrong…

    The links you provided are about double dipping, which was your self imposed citation requirement (#1250867).

    Um yes. Which satisfies what I said about paying privately and publicly for infrastructure. QED.

    (Again – you don’t know what you are talking about).

    Never mind. Some people can’t be taught. You even have the gall to discredit yourself further and say I haven’t produced any evidence that NSW state and local authorities double dip.

  178. SteveC

    Dot, your comprehension skills are seriously slipping. There’s nothing to prove me wrong about. You may even be right, I’m not disagreeing. I just noticed that when Grigory asked for a reference to back up this claim

    “in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre”

    you failed to do so. And have still failed to do so, two days later. Nothing about double dipping. You made an assertion, and were asked for a reference, as it’s possible you just made it up.

    Double dipping in the references you provided is about water authorities charging the developer AND the residential customer for infrastructure supplied by the Water Authority, nothing about charging developers for infrastructure which the developer themselves built, which is what you claimed in the first place. Your discussion about double dipping is one nobody raised except you.

    But keep going, you are getting so full of hot air, it may float you out of that hole you’ve dug for yourself

  179. .

    No. You are referring to the second reference. The third covers double dipping in the context of unjustly enriching the government. The first reference covers uncertainty and double charging, on top of unjust enrichment, which is important even if credits are available.

    Special contributions plan/s may mention credits to avoid double dipping (charging for public construction of private paid for infrastructure already built under a SEPP), but the fact that local authorities can charge twice (noted above), once for subdivision, and once more for dwellings means that this is moot.

    If you want to be a glib smart arse, understand the material, rather than reading the title or abstract and coming to your own conclusions.

  180. .

    After I have shown that even triple dipping (excluding taxes replicating development fees) is possible, an example of double dipping imposed on a mining firm in NSW. Note in this example, the plan does not make provision for a credit. From early 2011:

    http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=6DjNqVB5SKo%3D&tabid=205&mid=1081&language=en-AU

    While it is difficult to properly judge in respect to the list of proposed RTA roadworks because the road infrastructure items are not fully described or scoped, there is concern that there may be a possibility of ‘double dipping’.

    For example, an item appears in the list ‘Newcastle Link Road − six lanes and intersection upgrades’ to which the SIC levy is to be applied. Yet Coal & Allied as part of its proposed Minmi/Link Road development will be required to also contribute cash (or in kind works) to its share of the required intersection upgrades on Link Road based on the proportion of traffic generated by the development. It would appear that a credit should also apply for the works funded or undertaken by the developer against the SIC, in such cases.

  181. SteveC

    Comprehension again dot. I did read your links, why I wasted my time I’m not sure. They do not show that “in NSW where developers fees must be paid even if the developer builds their own infrastrucutre”. They do talk a lot about double dipping, which is a subject you raised all by yourself, and which noone argued with.

    Your last reference does look more promising, because it at least addresses the subject. Though the statement ” a credit should also apply for the works funded or undertaken by the developer against the SIC” is ambiguous. Does the credit, in fact apply? A copy of the reply would be useful in that context.

  182. .

    Keep fucking that chicken, mate.

  183. SteveC

    Good answer dot, that’s a zinger! But unfortunately doesn’t address the question. Which is not surprising in your case.

  184. .

    http://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Content/Website/Our_Services/Planning_and_Development/Planning__Zoning_Information/WorksInKindPolicy.pdf

    Background
    Selected Council section 94 Development Contributions Plans (s94 Plans)
    provide for developers to offer the carrying out of “Works In Kind” (WIK) or
    “Material Public Benefits” (MPB), in lieu of the payment of development
    contributions. Acceptance of such offers is at Council’s discretion.

    Which is congruent to what Joe Goodacre and myself said before.

  185. Snoopy

    One little known side effect of water tanks. The soil under them is cool and moist – perfect conditions for subterranean termites which are the main threat posed to timber structures. Add a lovely pine framed house next to the tank…………………

  186. .

    Lake Macquarie City Council Development Contributions Plan 2012
    Morisset Contributions Catchment

    p 7

    Council may accept an offer by the applicant to provide an ‘in-kind’ contribution (i.e. the applicant completes part or all of work/s identified in the Plan) or provision of another material public benefit (other than the dedication of land) in lieu of the applicant satisfying its obligations under this Plan.

    Council is under no obligation to accept works-in-kind or material public benefit offers

    State, local and statutory bodies double dip on in-kind infrastructure contributions which they don’t always give credits for. This has been established now, beyond any doubt.

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