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Water Leaks & Concealed Leak Remission Information

Council is responsible for water leaks from the supply system up to (and including) the water meter. Water leaks that occur from water pipes and fittings on your side of the water meter are the responsibility of the property owner.

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.

Concealed Leak Remission Policy and application

If you have had a concealed leak on your property repaired by a licensed plumber, you may be eligible for a reduction in consumption charges occurring as a result of the leak.  Your application will be assessed in accordance with the eligibility criteria as set out in Council's Concealed Leak Remission Policy (adopted 14/03/2017) (PDF 372 KB).  If you meet all of the eligibility criteria, please complete a Concealed Leak Remission Application (PDF 46 KB) form or apply online.

If applying online, please ensure that you understand and meet the eligibility criteria listed below, before proceeding with your request for a concealed leak remission:

  • The loss of water was:
    • due to a ‘Concealed Leak’ as per the definition in the Concealed Leak Remission Policy, or
    • on a designated fire service.
  • The leak was repaired by a licensed plumber.
  • You have a copy of the plumber's invoice, or a statutory declaration from the plumber that repaired the concealed leak, available to upload with your application.
  • The leak was repaired within one month of identification/notification as defined in the Concealed Leak Remission Policy.
  • You have received the rate notice for the period impacted by the leak (the application needs to be made within three months of the issue date and preferably with a copy of the account).
  • A remission has not already been granted under the Concealed Leak Remission Policy to the applicant, for this property and within the last three years.
  • For Community Title Schemes where the water consumption is divided between each unit using the contribution scheme lot entitlement, the body corporate must apply.
  • I have read and understood the Concealed Leak Remission Policy (PDF 372 KB) and understand that if my application is approved for this leak, I will not be eligible to claim for another leak within three years.

Prior to lodging 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 three years.  Therefore if approval has already been granted for a minor leak, an application for a major leak within three years would be declined

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.  View Council's Water Meters and Water Leaks fact sheet (PDF 550 KB) for assistance in 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.

If my application is approved, what remission will I receive if I own a Residential (owner occupied) property?

Council will apply 100% remission of the Council water consumption charge over and above normal usage only (this is the difference between your average water consumption and actual water consumption during the leak). There will be no remission on the bulk water component.

If my application is approved, what remission will I receive if I am a pensioner and own a Residential (owner occupied) property?

Council will apply 100% remission of the Council water consumption charge over and above normal usage only (this is the difference between your average water consumption and actual water consumption during the leak).  There will be no remission on the bulk water component.

Am I eligible to apply for a remission if I own a Residential (non-owner occupied eg. tenanted) property?

Owners of Residential (non-owner occupied eg. tenanted) properties are not eligible to apply for a remission.

Am I eligible to apply for a remission if I own a non-residential, multi-residential or another category of property not listed??

Owners of non-residential, multi-residential and all other categories of properties not listed, are not eligible to apply for a remission. The property must be categorised for rating purposes as Residential 1 at the time the application is lodged, unless the leak occurred on a designated fire service.

Can I apply for a remission on a designated fire service?

Owners with designated fire services are eligible for a remission in accordance with the policy.  The water consumption charge will be reduced from the designated fire service rate per kilolitre to the normal domestic rate per kilolitre for the amount of consumption charged on the designated fire service water meter.

How often can I lodge a concealed leak application?

The owner of the property must not have received a financial adjustment on an account for that property due to a concealed leak within the last three years.

Can I replace a previously approved concealed leak remission if I have experienced a larger leak?

No, consideration should be given as to whether the amount of water loss is significant prior to making an application. If approval has already been granted for a minor leak an application for a major leak within 3 years would be declined.

Why won't Council provide a remission on the state bulk water charge?

Council does not receive any remission from the State Government in relation to concealed leaks and cannot sustain providing a remission to our customers for this component of their water consumption charge.

Why isn't Council applying a remission for non-residential and/or non-owner occupied residential properties?

Council cannot financially sustain providing a remission to customers who fall into this category. Ultimately the community as a whole bears the burden of concealed leak remissions as funding remissions places pressure on water prices. Owners of Non Residential and Non owner occupied residential properties may be able to claim a deduction from the ATO which to some extent may offset the financial impact of a concealed leak.

If the leak was due to damaged/faulty tap washers; or in the hot water system, swimming pool, garden tap, water tank, or inside a wall/floor, will Council consider a leak remission if it was ‘concealed’ or the property owner was not aware of its existence?

These types of leaks are excluded under the policy, the leak must have occurred in the property's main water supply line to be eligible for a remission.

I am in financial hardship and unable to pay for this extra water. What help can you provide?

If you are unable to pay your rates (including your water and wastewater charges) at any time please contact Rates Enquiries on 07 3412 5230 to discuss payment options.
An arrangement to pay by instalments is available and will enable you to make regular payments on your account over a specified period of time. Such an arrangement must meet certain requirements and these will be explained to you if you wish to take advantage of this opportunity.
It should be noted that at any time you fail to pay your rate account, Council will undertake necessary recovery action in order to gain settlement of the outstanding amount. This may involve legal action or the sale of the property.

Will you cut off my water if I don't pay?

For health and safety reasons Council will not cut off your water. Council will take all steps available to investigate reasons for non-payment and will offer the account holder payment options.