Fresh air could be the cause of high water bills

Wondering why you suddenly have a higher than usual water account?

Penny Swift's experience with high water bills has led her to look into the matter and she discovered we could be paying not just for water but for the air in the water pipes too.

She says a source who worked for the municipality confirmed that this has been the case for decades and consumers were never told about it.

We followed it up and got somebody from the main supply of water metering equipment in South Africa who confirmed that the problem does arise when there's a break in the water supply

Penny Swift, Journalist and founder of Sans 10400 Building regulations

Swift says the old technology used to measure water supply, measures everything that goes through the meter, water as well. This explains the dirty water that gushes through the taps with pressure when there's been a break.

The air is condensed and goes though the pipes and makes the impeller inside the meter spin out of control, depending on how much air is involved it runs up a completely false water reading.

Penny Swift, Journalist and founder of Sans 10400 Building regulations

Swift says she doesn't think this is done deliberately by the municipality, they might be not aware this is the case.

I really don't think they are ripping us off as such, I think most off the individuals in the municipalities don't even realise it.

Penny Swift, Journalist and founder of Sans 10400 Building regulations

Listen to the full conversation below:


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