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Higher Than Usual Water Accounts

A higher than expected water account could be due to a number of reasons including:

  • Extra occupants at the premises during the reading period (friends or family visiting etc)
  • The installation of new kitchen or laundry water using appliances
  • Water used in establishing new lawns or gardens
  • Water used on lawns and gardens during dry weather periods
  • Water used in refilling a swimming pool
  • Dripping taps or leaking toilet cisterns
  • An incorrect meter reading

If you cannot explain the increase in your water account you may have a concealed water leak. 

How to Check for a Concealed Water Leak

STEP 1. When you know there should be no water being used at the premise (i.e. no-one inside and all automatic watering systems have been shut off), check your water meter to see if any of the red numbers (or the small wheel) are moving or if you can hear the meter ticking. The water meter should be stationary (and silent) if no water is being used at the premise.

STEP 2. Alternatively you could read your water meter last thing at night and first thing in the morning (or during an extended time period where no water is being used). If there is any change in the readings, then this can also indicate that a possible leak exists.

STEP 3. Check externally around the property for any unusual wet or damp patches.

If you believe you have a concealed water leak, you may need to call a licenced plumber to fix the problem. Whether or not to call a plumber is something that you must decide for yourself, as a plumber will usually charge you a fee, even if they do not have to carry out any work. 

A licenced plumber must carry out all repairs to your private water pipes, but not to the water meter or the water service in front of your property.  Tenants in rental properties should discuss this matter with their agent or landlord in the first instance.

How to Read Your Water Meter

Water Account Adjustments Due to Concealed Leaks

Once water has passed through the water meter it becomes the responsibility of the property owner. However, in certain circumstances, you may be eligible to ask Council to consider adjusting a higher than normal water account if it was caused by a defective water service. 

On 1st July, 2013, Council introduced a Water Account Adjustment (Concealed Leaks) Policy. This Policy clearly sets out the Terms and Conditions which must be met for a property owner to be eligible for an adjustment to a water account. Some of these Terms and Conditions are:

  • The defect must have been in a plumbed water pipe.
  • The defect must have been such that it was not readily visible or apparent.
  • Council must be satisfied that there was immediate and effective action to repair the defect and therefore minimise water loss.
  • Repairs must be carried out by a licensed plumber.

Customers are encouraged to read the Policy in full to become familiar with all of the Terms and Conditions.

Any request for an adjustment must be made using the Application for Water Account Adjustment (Concealed Leak). This Application includes a section to be completed by the licensed plumber repairing the leak, where the plumber must  declare:

  • Their current licence number
  • The date and nature of the repair
  • Confirmation that the defect was not readily visible or apparent
  • The leak was repaired to Australian Standards

Please Note:  NO ADJUSTMENTS will be considered for defective (leaking) fixtures and appliances such as taps, toilets, automatic-watering systems, water tanks or hot water systems.

Water Account Adjustment (Concealed Leak) Policy

Application for Water Account Adjustment (Concealed Leak)

Could I have a Faulty Water Meter?

Faulty water meters are a rare occurrence as Council has a meter exchange program which ensures our meters are replaced periodically, in accordance with industry standards. When a faulty water meter is discovered, the usage recorded by the meter is generally less than the actual water used at the premise meaning that the fault is in favour of the customer. 

If you feel that your water meter is reading inaccurately you can have your meter tested, under the following conditions:

1. We charge a fee for water meter testing; the fee is based on meter size and test type. The fee must be paid upfront prior to any testing being carried out.

2. If the meter registers above 3% of accurate, the test fee will be refunded to you.

3. We will only consider a water meter to be inaccurate if it records 3% inaccurate to the volume of water passing through it under pressure.

If you have any further enquiries about higher than expected water accounts please do not hesitate to contact Council on (02) 6648 4000 during business hours.