Water Leaks or Faults

Water leaks on public property

Council is responsible for water leaks from the supply system up to (and including) the water meter. If you notice a leak on public property, such as water leaking on the road or a burst water main, please contact Council as soon as possible to report it, as Council is responsible for fixing it.

Water leaks on private property

Water leaks that occur from water pipes and fittings on your side of the water meter are the responsibility of the property owner.

Leaking pipes, toilets and taps can waste a lot of water, leading to high water bills. For example, a tap that drips once every second will waste up to 33 litres a day. Leaks can also cause structural damage to your property and even attract termites. Checking for leaks regularly and repairing them quickly is a simple way to save water and money.

Checking for concealed leaks on your property

Concealed leaks caused by broken or cracked pipes on the customer's side of the water meter are the responsibility of the property owner. Follow these guidelines to catch leaks early:

  1. Check your property for visible water leaks from taps, toilets, showers and irrigation systems.
  2. Turn off all taps, water appliances and irrigation at your property.
  3. Read the water meter and record the reading. Leave the water meter tap on. (See our Water Meters and Water Leaks brochure (PDF 1298 KB) for assistance on how to read your meter)
  4. Wait at least one hour before reading your water meter again - remember not to use any water, even to flush the toilet.
  5. If the reading has changed there could be a water leak. Contact a licensed plumber to find and repair the leak. Many leaks occur under the ground and can be difficult to find.

Checking for toilet cistern leaks

It's easy to diagnose a substantial leak in your toilet - the faint sound of the toilet cistern constantly replenishing is a good indicator.

So, what about a slow leak? Slow leaks from the toilet cistern are common and can easily be checked by using food colouring. Follow these steps to determine whether you have a slow leak:

  1. Remove the lid of the toilet cistern.
  2. Drop about 4 to 5 food colouring drops in the toilet cistern. A dark colour such as blue or red is a better option.
  3. Replace the toilet cistern lid and wait for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not flush the toilet during this time. 
  4. Check the toilet bowl, if the water is clear, there is no leak. If the water has changed colour, there is a leak present.
  5. Repeat the process with all toilets in the house, if applicable. This is very important to see if the issue is coming from one specific toilet or happening in multiple toilets.
  6. IMPORTANT: Flush as soon as the test has been completed as food colouring may stain the cistern.

We recommend that you regularly check for leaks using these simple steps.

How can I prevent leaks?

Preventing leaks in your home could save you money. Here are some simple ways to prevent leaks:

  • Take care not to plant large trees over pipes and mains that run through your property as their root growth may damage the pipes.
  • Root growth can also cause cracks and leaks in your pool. Please speak to your local nursery about suitable plants.
  • Inspect your pool regularly for cracks and signs of leaks.
  • Ensure automatic watering systems (e.g. pool top up, irrigation) are regularly maintained and checked for leaks.
  • Turn taps off gently to help lengthen the life of washers.
  • If you have a water hammer problem, install water hammer arrestors. By reducing shock, these help extend the life of affected pipes.
  • Ensure all building and renovation work is undertaken by a licensed professional.

 How to check for leaks

Concealed Leak Policy and application

If you have had a concealed leak repaired on your property by a licensed plumber, you may be eligible for a reduction in high consumption charges as a result of the leak.  Your application will be assessed in accordance with the eligibility criteria as set out in Council's Concealed Leaks Policy. (PDF 73 KB).  If you meet all of the eligibility criteria, please complete a Concealed Leak Remission Application (PDF 161 KB)

Prior to making an application for a remission due to a concealed leak, consideration should be given as to whether the amount of water lost is significant. Approval is granted for only one remission every 12 months therefore if approval has already been granted for a minor leak an application for a major leak within 12 months would be declined.