Water Consumption Charges Relief
High water meter reading
Residents are encouraged to monitor their own water meter and water consumption regularly (on a monthly basis). Monitoring your water meter will alert you to any changes in your water consumption and may assist you in identifying if you have a leak on the property.
If the water usage at your property is higher than anticipated and you are concerned regarding the increase, Council suggests that you undertake a Water Meter Leakage Test to establish if there is a water leak on the property.
If a water leak is identified on your property
If the Water Meter Leakage Test indicates that there is a water leak on the property, the owner/resident should engage a licensed plumber to locate and repair the leak.
If a water leak on the property is not repaired promptly, the property owner may incur excessive water consumption charges and eligibility for relief rejected.
Please refer to the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 for information regarding 'Notifiable Work' and 'Schedule 3 Unregulated Work' on the Water Meter Leakage Test page.
Eligibility for Relief from Water Consumption Charges
If the licensed plumber confirms that the water loss was, in the plumber's opinion, due to an unapparent plumbing failure (undetectable water leak), you may be eligible for relief as per Council's Relief from Water Consumption Charges Policy
Note: An unapparent plumbing failure (undetectable water leak) is described as 'The structural failure of a water supply pipe, the water loss resulting from which is not readily evident upon any exposed surface'. Examples of an unapparent plumbing failure include a cracked water supply pipe located underneath a driveway, concrete slab or inside a wall, etc and only becomes evident based on an increased water consumption notice or through regular monitoring of the water meter.
Once the leak is repaired, the property owner may contact Council or refer to Council's Relief from Water Consumption Charges Policy to establish if relief may be available.
Should the property owner wish to apply for relief, an Application for Relief from Water Consumption Charges must be completed and lodged with Council accompanied with the relevant documentation from the licensed plumber that assessed the property. A tax invoice together with the statement from the licensed plumber substantiating the unapparent plumbing failure and confirming that the failure has been repaired MUST accompany the application.
The following criteria must be met in order for relief to be assessed:
The property owner must clearly demonstrate that:
- The quantum of the water consumption charge levied was as a consequence (upon investigation) of an unapparent plumbing failure; and
- When the owner of the property became aware of the unusually high water consumption on the property, all reasonable steps were taken to locate and repair that failure without delay; and
- The repair was carried out by a licensed plumber who confirms that the water loss was, in the plumber's opinion, due to an unapparent plumbing failure. This can be proven by obtaining a report from the plumber that assessed the property.
- If the failure is found on a property connected to untreated dam water no plumbers report is necessary. A letter from the property owner stating the nature of the failure and steps taken to locate and repair the failure must accompany the application.
- The owner must apply for relief on or prior to 30 days after the due date for payment of the relevant water consumption charge. Any applications made after the above date will not be considered.
Each Application for Relief from Water Consumption Charges is assessed and a report is prepared and forwarded for review. Advice is provided to the property owner of the outcome of the review in due course.
The submission of an Application form will not:
- Extend a due date for payment;
- Halt any applicable interest charges that may be incurred; or
- Halt any debt recovery processes.
Subsequent Applications for Relief from Water Consumption Charges
Second or subsequent Applications for Relief on a property, regardless of whether relief was allowed in the first instance, will be considered at a General Council Meeting as the 'Relief from Water Consumption Charges Policy' covers one claim per property per property ownership only.
For the second or subsequent Applications for Relief on a property, regardless of whether relief was allowed in the first instance, the Application will not be considered unless the applicant can prove to the Council's satisfaction that usage has been monitored on a regular (at least monthly) basis (eg. recorded water meter readings including the dates that the readings were obtained).
Note: Property ownership is defined as 'A full change of owner/s since the last Application for Relief was made will be seen as a full change of ownership. If there is a continued ownership presence, this will be not be seen as a property ownership change ie. If there are 2 owners and owner 2 sells their share to owner 1, this is NOT a full change of ownership''.