Water leak FAQs
How can I check for a water leak?
1. Turn off all taps, the washing machine, dishwasher and irrigation at your property.
2. Read your water meter and write down or take a photo of the numbers (including the red numbers, which indicate litres). Make sure you leave the water meter tap on.
3. Wait at least one hour before reading your water meter again - remember not to use any water, even to flush the toilet during this time.
4. If the reading has changed (last numbers or dial on the water meter), you may have a water leak. Please contact a licensed plumber to investigate.
Please note: the numbers on a water meter will only move if water is being drawn through it, either by something on your property (hose, washing machine, plumbed in fridges, dishwashers, etc.) or if there is a leak.
For safety reasons never leave an opened water meter box unattended.
For more information on water consumption, check our factsheets:
How can I check for a toilet leak?
Toilet cistern leaks are common and can be easily checked by following these steps:
1. Pour a few drops of food colouring into the toilet cistern (just enough to colour the water slightly).
2. Don't flush - wait. If colour appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak.
3. Flush as soon as the test has been completed to clear the food colouring. It does not stain ceramic toilet bowls.
Don't want to use food colouring? Try placing a sheet of dry toilet paper at the back of the toilet bowl, above the water line. It should stay dry unless there is water trickling down the back of the bowl, indicating a leaking toilet.
How can I check for other leaks?
Other leaks can be found by investigating the following:
- check your property for visible water leaks from taps, toilets and showers
- check irrigation i.e. ensure all caps/jets are on, no leaks in the system
- check water tanks are not topped up automatically with town water, check for faulty solenoids/internal parts if connected to town water
- ensure all external and internal taps and showers are fully turned off
- check your plumbed in fridge is not leaking
- check hot water systems are not leaking
- during renovations or property maintenance, make sure to replace taps, showers and toilets with water-efficient products
What do I do if I find a leak on my property?
If a leak has been identified please contact a licensed plumber to investigate as soon as possible, this is your responsibility and at your expense.
All leaks, including concealed leaks, on private property are the property owner's responsibility to investigate and repair.
All water pipes and fittings from the water meter on to private property are the property owner's responsibility to maintain.
To stop water being wasted on your property if you have a leak you can temporarily turn the stop tap off at your water meter. Just make sure this won't damage appliances such as your hot water system.
Can I get a reduction in my water charges?
If you detect a water leak and have it repaired, the repair is your responsibility and at your expense. However, you may be eligible to apply for a reduction in your water charges under Council's Water Leak Relief Policy. Strict criteria apply, some of which are as follows, and unless they are fulfilled your application will be declined.
- the water leak must be repaired by a registered plumber within 15 working days from date of advice.
- a Water Leak Relief Application must be submitted to Council within 60 days of having the leak repaired.
- a registered plumber's account, detailing the repair, must be submitted with your application.
- only one successful water leak relief application will be permitted every three years.
- the water leak must be undetectable and must not be within a building.