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Water Meter Readings and Water Consumption

Council conducts water meter readings biannually in September and March of each financial year.  Reading of the water meters across the region generally takes up to 4 weeks to complete.  The Water Consumption Notices are issued in October and April after the readings for the region have been undertaken.  A Water Consumption Notice will be issued if the property has recorded water consumption for the period.

Example of Water Consumption Notice 

Council at its Annual Budget Meeting adopted a 3day payment period for Council issued Notices.  Water Consumption Notices are now due to be paid 30 days after the date of issue.  Payments can be made by BPAY, online transfer, Australia Post, phone, mail, direct debit or in person at Council Offices.  See How to pay Your Rates for more information regarding payment methods.  Interest will be charged on all overdue rates and charges 5 days after due date.  Interest is compound interest, calculated on daily rests at the rate determined by Council at the Annual Budget Meeting.

It is important to note that the property owner is responsible for the water infrastructure on the property’s side of the water meter.  This includes the repairs of any leaks in pipes or fixtures.  Please note the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 states that all repair work classified as Notifiable Work must be undertaken by a licensed plumber.  Please contact Council for information on repair work that is classified in this category.

It is also the property owners’ responsibility to keep the water meter boxes free from debris, grass, garden mulch, soil and other obstacles.

If your water consumption appears higher than usual, Council suggests that you undertake a Water Meter Test as you may have a leak on the property.  Council has a Relief from Water Consumption Charges Policy (PL-FS035) which eligible property owners can apply for.  See Water Consumption Charges Relief for more information.

Council has adopted water restrictions that apply to all residents in the Southern Downs region with a reticulated water supply. This includes domestic water and raw water from Council water supply. Water restrictions also apply to residents purchasing domestic water from bulk water supply sources. Please review the SDRC website for information on the current level of restriction.

Frequently Asked Questions

My water consumption notice is for a period of time when I was not the owner of the property

In most cases, when a property goes through settlement the solicitors will do an adjustment to accommodate water consumption charges. Council do not adjust water consumption charges, and the current property owner will always receive the notice, even when all or some of the usage was from the previous owner. This is why in most cases, dependent on the solicitor, an adjustment is made at settlement. These adjustments can usually be found in the settlement statement. Otherwise, you can contact your solicitor to discuss the breakdown of water rates and charges.

I have received a water consumption notice but I’m no longer the owner of the property

Sometimes when settlement occurs during the rates issue period the notice is issued to the previous owner. Even though settlement has taken place, it can take us up to three months to receive notification of the new owner from the titles office. If this occurs, contact Council and the status of the change of ownership can be checked.

My water usage is higher than expected

If your water usage is higher than expected, it may be due to one of the reasons below. Receiving your utility notice is often a good prompt to your review your water use habits. Check out these water saving guides to help reduce your water consumption, and save money!

  • Number of days of water usage: Your water rate notice may vary slightly each half year due to the number of days in between meter readings. You can calculate your daily usage by taking the number of litres used and dividing that by the number of days in the billed period (check the dates on your bill). You can then do the same for the previous bill to compare if there has been a change in water use.
  • The season: Water use may increase during the warmer, drier months particularly if you have been watering a garden or lawn. Keep this in mind when comparing your current daily usage to the usage during the previous billing period.
  • Increase in household size: If the number of people in your household has increased since the last billing period, your water use will probably increase too. Even short term visitors can cause a variation in water usage.
  • Automatic watering: It's easy to forget your automatic watering system and it could be using water that is not required.
  • Home renovations or improvements: During building renovations or other home improvements such as a newly laid lawn, your water consumption may increase.
  • New appliances or fittings: Your water use might have increased if you have installed new appliances or fittings such as a dishwasher, washing machine, evaporative air-conditioner, irrigation, shower heads or taps.
  • Leaks: Leaks can occur anywhere on your property and may not always be able to be seen. Find out more about how to identify leaks and how to do a Water Meter Leak Test.

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