Has your water usage increased?
There are a number of reasons why your household may be using more water than usual:
- Increased consumption caused by filling a pool, extensive hosing or visitors.
- A leak (this may be underground and not visible) - see concealed leaks below.
- Other plumbing issues (a running toilet or washing machine).
- Faulty top-up system (water tank or pool).
- Misread water meter.
To check your water usage:
- Read your water meter.
- Check all taps and appliances for leaks.
- Conduct an overnight check to identify any unaccounted for water usage.
- Continue to monitor your water usage by recording regular meter readings.
It is important to have any leaks or plumbing issues fixed quickly by a licensed plumber. This will save water and money.
If the leak is not visible it may be concealed or underground. You may be eligible for a remission on the water consumption charge for your residential property once the leak has been repaired by a licensed plumber. Council can only provide a remission on part of the Distribution and Retail portion of your water loss. No remission is available on the State Government bulk water portion of your water charges.
Council considers a concealed leak to be a burst pipe either underground, under or within concrete or underneath a building - where the occupant could not reasonably expect to know of its existence.
All pipes on the property side of the meter are the owner’s responsibility. We therefore advise that a licensed plumber carry out an investigation and repair any leaks on the property.
Mitigating Concealed Leaks
Through its Concealed Leak policy, Redland City Council provides a remission to small customers for the Distribution and Retail component of the water consumption charge. A small customer is defined as either a residential customer who is connected to a South East Queensland (SEQ) service provider’s water and wastewater network and receives a rate notice in their name that includes charges for these services; or a non- residential customer who would use no more than 100 kilolitres of drinking water.
This remission covers the Distribution and Retail component of the water consumption charge only. Council does not provide a remission on the State bulk water consumption charge. The remission is applied in situations where the leak on the property owner’s internal water plumbing is concealed or hidden from view either underground, under or within concrete or under a building.
Other options to consider:
The water meter is read by Council four times a year to determine the consumption for billing purposes. Unfortunately, many homeowners only learn they have a concealed leak after the meter has been read and are either notified of an increased consumption or when they receive the rate notice and water summary. It is not uncommon for homeowners to receive a large bill due to a concealed leak that has remained undetected since the last reading of the meter.
Many home insurance policies provide cover for plumbing leaks that are sudden and accidental and you could be covered for a pipe that abruptly springs a leak, as opposed to a pipe defect that slowly leaks water over months or years.
Council recommends contacting your home insurance provider to see if they provide a policy to cover the cost of the water lost from any concealed leaks at your property.
A simple and no cost way to mitigate this risk is to read your water meter each month and note any significant changes to consumption.
For additional piece of mind, water monitor systems are available through various outlets that attach a sensor to the homeowner’s side of the water meter.
Some monitors have a water trip switch that constantly monitors all of the internal plumbing pipes, fittings and water using appliances on the property. If a leak is detected or a tap left running or some other plumbing failure, the device will shut off the water automatically to minimise water damage, prevent excess water bills and save water. You can easily turn the water back on when required. It is also very useful if you forget to turn off your bath, or accidentally leave the hose on in the pool or spa.
It can detect the difference between your normal water use and a plumbing leak or tap left running by mistake, protecting your entire plumbing system. It is easily programmable to suit your home and lifestyle.
Please note that we cannot provide advice or recommendation on water monitor solutions or the providers of these solutions, so you are encouraged to do your own research before purchasing one of these solutions.