Increased water usage | Redland City Council

Increased water usage

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.
  • This estimator will provide the total amount of water used and the total cost of the water.

It is important to have any leaks or plumbing issues fixed quickly by a licensed plumber. This will save water and money.

For more information, download the fact sheet: Has your water use increased?

Concealed leaks

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. If you identify a plumbing issue, plumbing and drainage work carried out in Queensland must be completed by a licensed plumber with the appropriate endorsements. A reimbursement of a percentage of the water charge due to a concealed leak may be available from both Council and the Queensland State Government for eligible customers.

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. 

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 from Council covers a portion of the Distribution and Retail component of the water consumption charge, and the remission from Queensland State Government covers a portion of the State Bulk component of the 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.

How to apply for a Concealed Water Leak Remission 

1. Make sure you have time to apply
Applying for a Concealed Water Leak remission typically takes about 10 minutes. You'll be able to save your application and resume later if you need more time.

 2. Confirm your eligibility 
Review and confirm that you meet all the following criteria to be eligible for a remission: 

  • Classified as a residential, not-for-profit, or small customer.
  • Attached proof of a concealed leak via a plumber's invoice or report.
  • Recorded two meter readings taken two weeks apart post-leak repair.
  • Application lodged within five months from the leak repair date.
  • No financial adjustment received for a concealed water leak on this property within the last three years, unless superseding a previous application.
  • Leak repaired within 30 days of identification or notification of higher water usage.

3. Gather your documents
You will need the following documents to complete and submit your application: 

  • Plumber’s invoice or verified report
  • Two recorded water meter readings and dates of the reads
  • Any additional documents required by the specific terms of your remission policy

4. Complete the form
Submit your application for a Concealed Water Leak remission online or download the Concealed water leak application form [PDF 0.1MB]

Apply online now

4. We will review your application
Once your application is submitted, we will review it to ensure all criteria are met. You can expect to hear back from us via email or letter once we have processed your application.

Related documents

Concealed leaks policy (FIN-018-P) [PDF 0.2MB]

Should you feel your circumstances are extenuating, you may apply for a variation to the policy through the Extenuating Circumstances application form. This will be assessed by the Extenuating Circumstances Panel.

CRFS018 Request for a Review and Decision under Extenuating Circumstances FIN-018-P Concealed Leaks Policy application form [PDF 0.1MB]

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 recommendations 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.