Detecting Leaks and Reading Your Water Meter
Experiencing a water service interruption?
Unplanned water interruptions usually occur due to a leak or burst in a water main. Changes in rainfall, temperature, water pressure and ground movement can cause water pipes to leak or burst. We are constantly maintaining and upgrading our network to minimise the number and duration of outages. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by unplanned water supply interruptions.
Spotted a leak in the street?
We work to prevent leaks from our network of pipes, but if you see a leak in the road or on the footpath, please contact us. The sooner we know about a leak, the sooner we can fix it.
What causes water pipes to leak?
Leaks happen for many different reasons. For example, changes in rainfall, temperature, soil type, water pressure and condition of pipes.
What sort of leaks should I report?
We are responsible for your water meter and the pipe leading away from your meter to the water main. Please report any leaks you see from these pipes (for example on the road, footpath or nature strip).
How do I know it’s a water leak?
Leaks can appear as flowing or trickling clear water or they can appear as a damp patch that doesn’t dry up over a couple of days. Water that has formed a puddle and appears after heavy rainfall may not be the result of a leak.
How do I report the leak?
We have a dedicated to respond to faults and emergencies 24 hours a day. Please contact us to report any leaks. Please do not attempt to fix the leak yourself.
Leak on your property
Leaks on your property can sometimes be difficult to find, especially if the leak is in a pipe behind a wall, in the roof, or in your yard. Here are three steps to help you identify if you have a leak and find out what to do if you have one.
Step 1 – Complete a water meter-self test
If you think you may have a leak on your property, we recommend you complete this simple test to help you find out what’s going on:
- After checking for visible leaks from taps, toilets and showers, turn off all taps and take a reading of your water meter. Don’t use any water for at least one hour (don’t even flush the toilet). Take another reading of your water meter and pay attention to the red numbers and dials.
- If there has been an increase in the readings, you may have a leak.
- If you are having difficulty accessing your water meter, or if you live in a unit or apartment block and don’t have an individual meter, please contact us.
Step 2 - Identifying where the leak is
If your meter reading increased using the above test, it’s time to find where the leak is. Check for obvious leaks:
- Taps and sinks – check to see if any taps are dripping. Dripping taps will often just need a replacement washer.
- Kitchen - check to see if there is water pooling under the dishwasher or fridge (if it is connected to the plumbing). You should also look for warped or discoloured cupboards, bench tops or walls. This is a sign that water is leaking from somewhere close by.
- Bathroom - check to see if the toilet cistern is continually running. If it is you’ll need to contact a licensed plumber to help you fix the problem.
- Laundry - check for water pooling under the washing machine or laundry tub. If you see pooling water in these areas, check the hoses connecting the washing machine to see if they are cracked, frayed, bulging or wet.
- Yard – if you can see wet patches or bright green areas of grass in your yard, this could indicate that there is a leak in a pipe underground. You should contact a licensed plumber to investigate.
- Around the home – other things you can look for around the home that could indicate a leak include: Warped or discoloured walls and floorboards, damp carpets, drips on the side of the hot water system.
- If you think you have a leak and a plumber is needed, you will be responsible for the cost. You will also be charged for the water that your property uses while the leak remains unrepaired.
Step 3 – Fixing the leak
Depending on where the leak is, we may be able to help. If the leak is in one of your pipes, you should call a licensed plumber. If the leak is in one of our pipes, please contact us immediately.
Does your property have no water?
A water service interruption can be caused by problems within your property’s plumbing, or a burst pipe, leak or fault in the area.
- Check to see if we have left a notification card in your letterbox
We always try to give residents advance notice of any work we’re doing in a particular area. Sometimes it’s not possible to give advance notice of such works, for example, during an unplanned incident (such as a burst water main or power outage).
- Check if the tap is on, your water meter is turned on
The water meter controls the flow of water into your property. Using a spanner if required, turn the tap gently until you feel resistance (do not force it). If it is already fully open, the tap will not move.
- Check with your neighbours
It may be possible that your neighbours are experiencing a similar issue. If they’re not, this may indicate a problem with your private plumbing. The location of the problem will determine who is responsible for fixing it.
- Try your cold kitchen tap
The main water supply normally enters your home in the cold kitchen or laundry room tap. If water comes out of this tap but not elsewhere (such as your shower or bathroom tap), the problem is with your internal plumbing.
- Call us
If you have tried all the above and cannot identify the problem, please contact us to report the issue. We will arrange one of our plumbers to visit your property and investigate the issue and respond to incidents as quickly as possible.
The cost of water leaks in your home
We can help with high water bills where there is a genuine concealed water leak, for example, under a concrete slab. Residents should try to be aware of what is going on in their homes and monitor water usage to help recognise if there is a concealed leak.
If your water leak has simply gone unnoticed or has been caused by aging pipes, wear and tear, by accident or by your gardening or landscaping, no concessions can be granted. Remember, the water usage measured by your meter is charged to you. A resident who believes they have had a concealed water leak can request a concession, however evidence must be provided such as:
- A copy of the repair bill;
- A declaration from yourself and by the licenced plumber including the plumber’s notification of the repairs and photographs of the leak site;
- Confirmation of the water usage readings showing it has come back to normal.
We will assess the details on an application and may grant a concession for part of the water usage account. Please be observant - check your water pipes and fittings, read your water meter and keep track of your water usage.
Where can I find my water meter?
Usually located within 1 metre of your front property boundary line, your water meter will normally be mounted above ground. Please keep in mind that if you live in an apartment, unit or townhouse complex, you may not have individual meters for each residence. If you need help locating your meter, please contact us.
Who owns the water meter?
We own the water meter, and the pipes that supply the services to the water meter.
Why wasn’t my meter read?
We aim to read your water meter every 6 months for the purposes of billing water consumption. You can see the date your meter was read at the top of page two of your bill. On rare occasions, a meter may not be able to be read. Reasons a meter may be unreadable can include:
- The premises were locked;
- The meter is buried;
- The meter is overgrown by shrubs/plants.
If we can’t read your meter, a card will be left in your mailbox to explain the reason why. Once you have gained access to the meter, this card also allows you to provide your meter reading to us by mail. If you require assistance getting access to the meter, please contact us.
Why has my water meter been replaced?
Our water meter replacement program involves exchanging water meters that have been in place for eight or more years. This program aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of water consumption measurement.
What does my water meter look like and how do I read it?
Image courtesy of Queensland Urban Utilities.
Why you should read your water meter regularly
Taking a reading of your water meter regularly can help you monitor your usage. It can also help you identify leaks either inside your home or underground.
How often do you read my water meter?
We read each water meter in our service territory every 6 months, in approximately August and February, for the purposes of billing water consumption. You can see the date your meter was read at the top of page two of your bill.
I think my water meter is faulty
Water meters are very accurate and reliable; however, if you have cause for concern about the accuracy of your meter, you may request a meter test. A fee may apply.
My water meter is damaged. What should I do?
If your water meter appears to be damaged, please contact us for assistance.
Interference with a water meter
Interfering with a water meter it is an offence in the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, Chapter 2 Infrastructure and Service – Part 7 Offences – Section 192 - Interfering with service providers infrastructure.
(1) A person must not, without written consent of a service provider, interfere with a service provider’s infrastructure. Maximum penalty 100 penalty points (1 point = $133.85)
Commercial Relocation of Meter
You will need to submit a Site Plan showing the new location of the water meter. Plans must show two dimensions, for example the distances from side boundary and front boundary. Fees applicable for the relocation of a meter will be detailed as part of our quote and will be invoiced after the job is complete. Once the quote is accepted, we will commence the proposed work.
Residential Relocation of Meter
You will need to submit a Site Plan showing the new location of the water meter showing two dimensions, for example the distances from side boundary and front boundary. Fees will be charged for the disconnection of a meter at the existing site and for the reconnection of a meter to a proposed location.
We use a standard application and approval process to manage the installation of sub-meters. If you would like to apply to install Sub-Meters to a new or existing development, please refer to the below documents and checklists: