Water billing explained

Water meter FAQs

What is a water meter?

A water meter is used to measure the amount of water that each property uses.


Where is my water meter located?

Your meter is usually found out the front of your residence, near the front boundary of your property inside a meter box.


How do I read my water meter?

The black numbers on your water meter represent kilolitres (kL). One kilolitre (kL) equals 1000 litres (L).This is the unit of measurement our meter readers record as your meter reading. We then use this reading to calculate your bill. The white numbers on the red dials represent litres.


How often is my water meter read?

We read your water meter half yearly (i.e. every six months or roughly 183 days). The number of days between meter reads can differ because we may not be able to read your meter on exactly the same dates in each half year. This can be due to operational reasons or other factors, including bad weather, locked gates or a dog unsecured on your property. This means that the number of days you are charged for your water consumption may vary by up to 14 days. To ensure the best possible outcome there are ways that you can help. The most important benefit is to make sure that the water meter box is visible to the readers by way of removing grass and mulch and pruning overgrown plants around the meter box. If you have a dog, please secure it away from the meter area during reading periods..


Why was my meter replaced?

Council replaces water meters for many reasons including when the meter registers less than the actual water used, if the meter stops registering altogether or when the meter is damaged or difficult to read, etc.


Is my new meter accurate?

As required by Law, water meters used by Council comply with or exceed accuracy standards as specified by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) design and all meters have Pattern approval. The National Measurement Institute's M 10-2 specifies water accuracy must be within ±2.5% across the flowrate range. Further information is available at:measurement.gov.au. Most water meters register slightly less than the actual water being used and this loss generally increases as the meter wears with use and age.


Will my new water meter affect my water bill?

If your previous water meter has not been recording all of the water that you have been using, your previous water rates will have been less than what has actually been used. This may have occurred for several rating periods. As the new water meter is accurately recording all of the water you are using your water consumption may appear to increase, resulting in increased water charges. We recommend you monitor your water usage by regularly reading your new water meter to establish your current registered use against previous bills. Should you have any further questions please contact Council's Customer Service Officers on 1300 883 699.


How can I check if my water meter is accurate?

Make sure all taps on your property are off and the meter numbers are not moving (if they are moving you may have a leak). Record the reading on your meter, from left to right there are should be a series of black numbers and then red numbers. The black numbers are kilolitres. The red numbers are 100's of litres, 10's of litres and then litres. If your meter has four red dials the fourth dial is a decimal, or tenths of litres. When you have recorded the reading, carefully measure 20 litres into a bucket from one of your taps. Re-read your meter and record the reading. The reading on the second red dial should have progress by two units and the third dial should not have changed.


How soon after my meter is read do I receive my bill?

Your water consumption is charged on your Council Rate Notice which are issued twice a year in July & February.


What am I responsible for maintaining?

You are responsible for maintaining the pipes and other water infrastructure on the "house" side of the meter.

You must:

  • keep the water meter box and protective lid in good condition
  • keep a one meter clearance around your water meter so we can safely read and repair your meter
  • protect the isolation valve/ball valve and water meter from damage (you may be charged for the cost to repair damage to the water meter, isolation valve/ball valve, water meter box or lid)
  • engage a licensed plumber for all plumbing work (although you may change tap washers without engaging a licensed plumber)
  • ensure all plumbing work connected to the Council network is compliant with Plumbing & Drainage Act 2002 (for more information refer to Queensland Building & Construction Commission)


My meter is full of dirt. How did you read it?

Sometimes you will receive a Meter Reading Notice and then see that your meter box is full of dirt. Our meter readers can read your meter even with the meter box full of dirt. They simply move the dirt aside so they can read the dials on your meter and then put the dirt back into the meter box. Our meter readers do not leave the removed dirt on your lawn or garden beside the meter, as they are required to leave the area as they found it.


My meter box is full of native bees. What should I do?

During certain times of the year, Australian native bees may colonise Council meter boxes. While these bees provide low risk to yourself and our meter readers, they can impede on our ability to read the meter. If you have a colony in your meter box, please call us on 1300 883 699 so we can arrange for removal and relocate the colony safely.


How often should I check my water meter?

Council encourages residents to check their water meters and record their readings regularly, e.g. when mowing. Early leak detection and repair will reduce your water consumption costs.


Contact us

Address: 190 Bourbong Street
Bundaberg QLD 4670. Australia.

Telephone: 1300 883 699