ORANGE’S newest estates will help cut drinking water usage by 40 per cent from the end of this year once Orange City Council’s dual water scheme comes online.
Inspections started on Wednesday at 1500 homes across north Orange and Ploughmans Valley to ensure their systems were ready.
The process will take four months.
The dual water system will still deliver drinking-quality water to taps, baths, showers and washing machines, with non-potable water directed to toilets and outdoor hoses.
The non-potable water will be sourced from Ploughmans Valley stormwater harvesting scheme - it will still be treated, but not to the same extent as drinking water.
Council spent $3.2 million during the past two years on six kilometres of water mains and treatment infrastructure and residents using the system will pay the same for both water types.
However, councillor Reg Kidd said non-potable water was less expensive to treat and would save council and ratepayers money in the long run.
“It’s crazy to process pristine drinking water and flush it down the toilet,” he said.
“If we are having to treat less potable water per house, there may be a cost saving.”
Residents using the system are set cut to their drinking water usage by 40 per cent.
The dual water system is only compulsory for homes built after 2005 and pre-existing estates will not be retrofitted, however Cr Kidd said government grants were available for people who wanted to use tank water to flush their toilets.