Bega Vallery Shire Council staff have been asked to advise the Candelo Showground Trust on its water system after the committee received a water bill 27 times larger than the corresponding period for the previous year.
The water account for the period July 26, 2016 to November 7, 2016 showed consumption of 1,652 kilolitres, at a cost of $4,565.86, compared to 61 kilolitres for the corresponding 2015 period.
There has been speculation that water was stolen but Terry Dodds, council’s director transport and utilities, said 1600kl was the equivalent of 75 semi-trailer loads.
“I strongly believe it’s a leak,” Mr Dodds said.
But the trust said volunteers had been diligent in checking for leaks and sought a waiver on the water account from council.
At the council meeting April 26, councillors unanimously agreed that a waiver for payment of the account of $4,565.86 be approved as a one off payment and that council staff support and advise the Candelo Showground Trust to ensure the issue of further excess usage was not experienced.
The money will be drawn from the community fund and will be classed as a donation to the trust.