Water meters and leaks

Finding a leak What do I do if I find a leak?

All water that enters your property from the town water supply is recorded on your water meter.

You can monitor your own water use to avoid any surprises at bill time. It also helps to quickly identify costly water leaks on your property, with the added benefit of helping you save water and reduce your impact on our natural environment.

Find out your meter reading and billing schedule.

Locating your meter

How to read your water meter

Make sure you know where your water meter is located.

In an emergency, such as a burst water pipe on your property, you may need to turn off the water at your meter.

If you live in a duplex or triplex, find out more on our water connections and disconnections page.

Finding a leak

Plumber fixing toilet leak

One of the best ways to save water (and money) is by finding and fixing water leaks.

A dripping tap can waste several litres of water every hour. If the leak comes from a heated pipe or pumped water source, you might face a higher power bill too.

A toilet that runs constantly can waste up to 96,000 litres of water a year. Yet, leaky toilets often go unnoticed – water can trickle quietly down the back of the bowl.

Find leaks by checking your water meter

Identifying leaks on your property is easy and could save you a lot of money:

  1. Turn off all taps on your property before going to bed. Make sure you switch off any automatic appliances that use water (garden irrigation, dishwashers, washing machines, evaporative air-conditioners).
  2. Take a meter reading, making note of the black and white numbers.
  3. Minimise your water usage overnight.
  4. Check the meter again the next morning. If the meter is reading higher than before the test, you may have a leak.

If overnight water use is:

  • Less than 20 L
    You may have a small leak. Repeat the test.
  • Between 20 L and 100 L
    Contact a plumber to investigate.
  • Greater than 100 L
    You have a major leak. Contact a plumber as soon as possible. Also turn off the tap at the water meter to minimise further leaks.

Other ways to find leaks

  • Check your taps and toilets for signs of leaks, including sounds.
  • Check your hot water system when you haven’t used hot water for a while. It’s expansion value should not be constantly leaking water.
  • Disconnect any hoses that are always connected to taps. Check to see if the taps are leaking.
  • Look for greener patches of grass on your lawn. There could be an underground leak.

How to check if your toilet is leaking

Between flushes, there should be no water released by your toilet cistern.

Check by placing a small piece of dry toilet paper at the back of your toilet bowl. If it wet between flushes, the cistern is leaking.

Or place some food dye into the cistern. Don’t flush for at least 15 minutes. If dye has seeped in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak.

Video - How to Check if You Have a Leak, 1:43

What do I do if I find a leak?

If the water has already passed through the meter it is your responsibility to arrange and pay for any repairs.

If the water hasn’t passed through the meter then the leak is likely to be Council's responsibility. Contact us to report the leak.

If you discover an undetectable leak on your property, you may be eligible for a reduction in your water consumption charges. Adjustment for undetectable leakage per property water account shall only be granted twice in a 5 year period per property owner.

The 5 year period begins again 5 years from the date of the first adjusted notice where an adjustment has been granted. The 5 year period begins again on the date that a new property owner commences ownership of the property.

What if I can't see the leak?

If your meter or water bill is indicating that you have a leak, we recommend calling a plumber to find and fix it.

In some cases the leak could be considered ‘undetectable’, for example if it's coming from underground with no evidence at the surface such as green grass. If this is the case and your bill was significantly higher than usual, you may apply to Council to request a reduction for an undetectable water leak.

You will need to provide the plumber’s invoice as proof the leak has been fixed and was undetectable. Council may be willing to reduce your bill on the evidence the leak was undetectable but does not have an obligation to do so.

How can I prevent leaks?

  • Do not plant large trees over pipes and mains that run through your property as their root growth may damage pipes.
  • Speak to your local nursery about suitable plants as root growth can also cause cracks and leaks in your swimming pool.
  • Inspect your pool regularly for cracks and signs of leaks.
  • Ensure automatic watering systems (e.g. pool top-up or irrigation) are regularly maintained and checked for leaks.
  • Turn taps off gently to help lengthen the life of washers.
  • Install water hammer arrestors if you have a water hammer problem as this will reduce shock and help extend the life of affected pipes.
  • Ensure all building and renovation work is undertaken by a licensed professional.

Read more about saving water outdoors.

Council's responsibilities

Council is responsible for the water service from Council's water main up to and including the water meter on your property.

In some cases (multi-residential properties) there may also be private water meters to more accurately track water usage by each property. In this instance, Council is only responsible for the single meter servicing the whole property, also called the 'master meter'.

Commercial and industrial properties may have more than one Council owned master meter.

Contact us if your water meter is damaged or faulty.

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