Water use and billing

 Water notice Renting High usePayment plan Water reading

We respond 24/7 to water and wastewater service and supply interruptions and quality complaints.

Who pays water and sewerage access charges?

Leaking tap Properties connected to Council’s town water and sewerage service must pay for these services.

Even if you're not connected to town water or sewerage services, you may need to pay the annual access charge if your property is:

  • within 75 m of Council’s sewerage supply
  • within 225 m of a water main


  • where Council considers it practical and cost-efficient for your property to be connected.

If Council's service area changes, your property may then attract the relevant charges.

How are access charges calculated?

Residential properties are charged a flat rate for their water and wastewater access.

From the 2024-25 financial year, a more equitable Water Access Charge calculation will apply to non-residential properties, based on the amount of water that flows through non-residential water meters. Use the water access charge estimator to work out the estimated effect on you.

What do my fees and charges pay for?

Annual water and sewerage access charges are included in your rates notice and pay for:

  • access to safe, high quality drinking water 24 hours a day
  • removal and treatment of sewage
  • maintenance of our water and sewerage network (including treatment plants, pump stations and pipes)
  • major infrastructure projects to secure our water supply.

A water consumption charge is included in your water notice. Council charges water consumption quarterly. The charge is monthly for properties with high water use.

In some cases, there are also sewerage usage and other charges, such as liquid trade waste.

See fees and payments and read our revenue policy for more information.

Water notices (consumption)

Water notices or water bills are issued quarterly (or monthly for properties with high water use).

You pay for every drop of water you use or is recorded as passing through your water meter.

Find out ways to save water and save money.

Your water notice explained

Here is an example of a single residential bill.

Additional sewerage usage charges apply to some multi-residential properties. See Funding our future: fees and charges 2023-24(PDF, 3MB).

Your water notice explained

Section 1

Account number

This is the number of your water account.

Issue date

This is the date we issued your water notice.

Due date

This is the date your payment is due. Learn about our ways to pay.

Your water notice section 1

Section 2

Property identifier

Also known as a property number, this number is unique to your property. Quote it when you contact us about your water notice.

Amount due

This is the amount you need to pay.

Your water notice section 2

Section 3

Average daily water use

This section features a graph that helps you compare your current and previous water use.

The far-right column shows your household's water use in litres per day for the current quarter - that is, the current bill.

The last and previous quarter columns in the middle detail your use in the previous 2 quarters.

The column on the far left is features your water use this time last year, helping you compare your current use with the equivalent season last year.

To work out whether you are meeting Target 160, divide your water use for the current quarter by the number of people in your household.

Your water notice section 3 with data

Section 4

Account summary

Outstanding charges reflect any amount owing from previous water notices.

Current charges reflect your current quarter’s water use.

Deduct payments and total deductions reflect any payments you have made between water notices.

Amount due is the amount you need to pay. 

Your water notice section 4

Section 5

Payment slip/payment options

Details the ways you can pay your water notice. See the back page of your notice for the full list of payment methods.

Your water notice section 5a

Your water notice section 5b

Section 6

Your water meter reading

Details the meter serial number at your property, the readings on it for the current billing period, how much water was used in kilolitres (kL) and the period the charge covers.

Your meter serial number is etched into the front of your water meter.

Your water notice section 6

Section 7

Water charges

Consumption charges cover the amount of water used at your property in the current billing period.

High consumption charges apply if your property uses more than 821.9 litres of water a day on average. They are calculated by multiplying the number of days in the current billing period by 0.8219 kL a day.

Your water notice section 7

Section 8

Additional information

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about water notices, including advice on how to change your mailing address with Council.

Your water notice section 8

Video – Your water notice explained (3 mins 45 secs)

Why is my water bill high?

Is your recent water bill higher than expected? There are several reasons why this could happen:

Is your meter reading correct?

Check the reading on your water meter. If we’ve recorded your last meter reading incorrectly contact our customer service team on 02 6670 2400 or take a photo of your meter reading and email tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au Make sure you include your property number, property address and full name.

Could there be a leak?

A leak is the most common cause for an increase in water bills. Leaks waste a lot of water and can be hidden from view. Learn how to check for leaks and what to do if you find one. A garden hose left running can use up to 20 litres per minute of water, that’s almost 30,000 litres in a day. Even a small leak can waste 2000 to 10,000 litres in one day!

Have you had visitors?

One extra person in a household for a week can add more than 1000 litres to your water bill. If you’ve had friends or family come to stay, this could explain why your bill is higher than usual. The arrival of a new baby or permanent household member can also increase water use.

Fun in the pool or spa?

More people using your pool or spa leads to higher than normal water loss, more frequent top-ups and increased water evaporation. Find out how to reduce water use for your swimming pool.

Do you have an automatic watering system?

Automatic watering systems and irrigation can often be overlooked. Make sure you understand how to operate your system and program it to be water smart. Irrigation systems can be a source of hidden leaks.

Change of season?

Water use can increase over the warmer months. Your bill has a graph to help you compare your water use with the same time last year, as well as the previous quarter. Learn how to save water indoors and outdoors.

Still doesn’t add up?

If you’re still concerned about your high water bill, give us a call on 02 6670 2400. We can help you get to the bottom of it by going through the last 3 months of water use at your property.

What to do if you 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 five 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.

Who pays the water bill?

The registered owner of the property is responsible for the paying the water consumption notice.

There may be tenancy agreements in place, which means the business or tenant pays for the water they use. See NSW Fair Trading for more information.

What if I’m renting?

In NSW, your landlord can only ask you to pay water use charges if the minimum criteria have been met. See NSW Fair Trading for more information.

Water use charges paid by tenants

Tenants can set up a payment plan or arrange for water charges to be direct debited. (Privacy laws mean Council cannot provide information about the account to anyone but the property owner, unless a rates account authority is in place).

What are pro-rated charges?

The price of water and sewerage usage changes on 1 July every year, and every property is charged 365 days at that annual rate. If your bill straddles 2 financial years, your daily water charges and sewerage usage will be charged at two different rates (last year and this year).

I’m having trouble paying my bill

Older man on phone about bills

We understand it can sometimes be difficult to pay household bills.

If you can’t make a payment on your rates, water or sundry debtor notice, please complete the online form before the due date so we can set up a payment arrangement that suits you.

If you miss a payment and we have not heard from you, our automatic debt recovery process will begin.

If you need to amend your payment arrangement, you can do this any time by completing a new payment plan form.

When you're ready to set up your plan, complete the simple online form

I want to pay my Water Notice, you have a few options on how to pay your water notice so have a look at ways to pay

Safe, sustainable and affordable water and wastewater services - Service