Meters

Where is my water meter located?

 

When is my water meter read?

 

How will I know my water meter has been read?

 

Why is the reading on my Water Meter Reading Notice different to the reading on my bill?

 

Why didn’t I receive a Water Meter Reading Notice?

 

How can I be sure my water meter reading is correct?

 

Is the water reading on my bill an estimate?

 

How can I make sure my water meter is read?

 

My meter is covered in dirt - has it been read?

 

Can I read my own meter and keep records?

 

Who is actually reading my meter?

 

What if my water meter is inside my unit block?

 

For detailed information, download our guide to reading your meter (PDF) and water usage record (PDF)

 

Where is my water meter located?

Your water meter is usually located at or below ground level near the front boundary of your property. If you can’t find it, please contact us for assistance.

Many multi-unit residential and commercial complexes share one main water meter and water usage is split between units based on the property share percentage of each unit, which is advised to us by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) and detailed on the property’s account.  In this case, you may wish to consider installing an individual sub-meter on your unit so that we can measure your individual water usage and ensure you are charged only for the water you actually use. 

More detailed information on sub-meters is available in our Unitywater Sub-Metering Information Kit (PDF). 

Back to top ^

When is my water meter read?

Providing your water meter is accessible, we read your water meter every three months, prior to issuing each quarterly bill. You can see the dates of your most recent water meter readings on page 2 of your bill as ‘Previous Reading (kL)’ and ‘Current Reading (kL)’.

Back to top ^

How will I know my water meter has been read?

  • When your meter is read,  you'll receive a blue Water Meter Reading Notice in your letterbox advising you of the date and meter reading.
  • If your meter is inaccessible, we'll leave a red 'Urgent - Water Meter Not Read' Notice in your letterbox and attempt to read your meter a second time.
  • If you do not receive a blue Water Meter Reading Notice confirming your meter has been read within the next 7 days, we advise you to read the meter yourself and phone the meter reading through to us. For landlords, please ask your tenants to assist in this process.
  • If we cannot access your meter the second time and you do not call us with your meter reading, your water usage may be estimated on your next bill, based on your previous actual meter readings.

We recommend you take a meter reading on the same day you receive your Water Meter Reading Notice to confirm the reading on the notice and on your next account.

We also encourage you to read your meter regularly (every two weeks) to help you monitor your water usage and detect potential problems, such as concealed leaks

You can find more information by downloading our guide to reading your meter (PDF) and water usage record (PDF), or check out our new Meter Reading video.

Back to top ^

 

Why is the reading on my Water Meter Reading Notice different to the reading on my bill?

In the few instances this happens, it is often the result of human error, such as a hand writing mistake. For example, the water meter reader enters the correct reading into the hand-held key pad, but accidently writes the wrong number on your Water Meter Reading Notice. If you have found the reading on your bill and Water Meter Reading Notice don’t match up, call Unitywater and we will check it against the electronic reading recorded in our system to ensure it is correct.

Before calling us, it is advisable to make a note of the current reading on your water meter, as we may ask you for this current reading to assist us in determining why the difference in readings has occurred.

Back to top ^

Why didn’t I receive a Water Meter Reading Notice?

Unitywater is not obliged to leave notices, but endeavours to do so as a courtesy for our valued customers.

Meter reading notices are sometimes inadvertently thrown out because they get caught up with ‘junk mail’ or other items in the letterbox and are mistakenly discarded.  To help prevent this, we have made the Water Meter Reading Notice a unique size so it should be easier to differentiate from other items in the letterbox.  If you have a rental property, your tenants may not have passed on the notice or may have thrown it out because they are not aware of its importance.

Back to top ^

How can I be sure my water meter reading is correct?

Water meter readings are put through a strict in-field and in-house audit process that compares the reading with previous readings to ensure it is in line with previous water usage patterns. If the reading seems too high or too low, compared with previous readings, we may reschedule a second reading to double check.

Back to top ^

Is the water usage on my bill an estimate?

If the water usage on your bill has been estimated, it will be clearly noted on the 'average daily usage' graph on the front page of your Unitywater bill.

Water usage is only estimated if your water meter is inaccessible (for example, it is damaged, buried, behind a fence, or unable to be located). If we were unable to access your meter, we leave a red 'Urgent - Water Meter Not Read' Notice in your letterbox advising you that we will attempt to read your meter a second time in the next few days. If you do not receive a notice confirming your meter has been read within the next 7 days, you are further advised to read the meter yourself and phone the meter reading through to us. For landlords, please ask your tenants to assist in this process.

If we are still unsuccessful in reading your meter after a second attempt and we don’t hear from you, the water usage on your next bill may be estimated based on previous actual readings of your meter.  

Following an estimated bill, an actual meter reading is scheduled for the next billing period. Once this occurs, the accounts are reconciled – the previous estimate and the current actual reading – so that over these billing cycles you end up paying only for the water you have actually consumed.

Back to top ^

How can I make sure my water meter is read?

Since we began operating, it has been Unitywater’s policy to read every accessible water meter. It is important that you make sure your water meter is accessible so we can read it, and we greatly appreciate your assistance in keeping your meter clear for our meter readers.

Here are four easy steps you can take:

  1. Ensure the area around the meter is clean and free from dirt, debris or obstruction.
  2. Remove or trim any grass, shrubs or other plants that are blocking access.
  3. Keep dogs secure or restrained away from the meter.
  4. Unlock any gates preventing access to the meter. 

Back to top ^

My meter is covered in dirt. Has it been read?

The most common reason a water meter is covered in mud or dirt is because of rain. When it rains, underground meter boxes are quickly and easily flooded and covered in silt or mud – this can happen in just a few hours when rainfall is heavy.

Back to top ^

Can I read my own meter and keep records?

Yes – we encourage you to read your own meter every two weeks and keep records of these meter readings to continually monitor your water usage. It will also prevent any surprises when your account arrives and help you identify potential problems such as concealed leaks.  For detailed instructions, download our guide to reading your meter (PDF) and water usage record (PDF), or check out our new Meter Reading video.

Back to top ^

Who is actually reading my meter?

A company called Select Solutions is contracted by Unitywater to read water meters. These officers carry an identification card and wear official Water Meter Reader high-visibility uniforms. 

Back to top ^ 

What if my water meter is inside my unit?

Please complete the following form and return it to unitywater Permission to access unit to read meter (PDF).

Why is my meter being replaced? 

 

Who is replacing my meter and how can I identify them?

 

Will I be advised as to what day the meter will be replaced?

 

Will water supply be interrupted?

 

How long will the meter replacement process take?

 

What if I have a water reliant appliance in use during the replacement period, e.g. dishwasher, washing machine, timed sprinklers, water bottle machines? 

 

Do I need to be home during this meter replacement process? 

 

How will I know when the work is completed?

 

Will I be charged for this meter replacement? 

 

Where will the new water meter be positioned? 

 

Will the area around my meter be affected and restored?

 

If, after the meter is replaced, I have an issue with low pressure, leaking meter or taps, dirty water, or incomplete restoration around the meter (ground not restored properly) etc, what can I do?

 

How do I know the water consumption reading is correct? 

 

My neighbour's meter is being replaced why isn't mine? 

 

Why does the tap on my water meter look different, after the meter was replaced? 

 

What happens to my old meter? 

 

Why is my meter being replaced? 

Water meters are mechanical devices and like all mechanical devices they wear with usage and with age. As part of the proactive water meter replacement program, water meters are routinely replaced when they have been identified as having reached the end of their life cycle. These replacements are undertaken as general maintenance.  (Kindly note, generally water meters register less usage as they age.)     

  • DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): The reason the meter is being replaced is because it has been identified as having passed its useful life or has stopped working altogether. This enables Unitywater to include the meter in its annual Meter Replacement Program.;
  • LARGE METERS (>25mm): Large meters are replaced when they have been identified as having passed their useful life or have stopped working altogether.

Other reasons for replacement:

  • METER TESTING: Your meter will also be removed and replaced if you have asked for your meter to be tested. Domestic water meters are randomly selected for testing as part of our asset management conditioning monitoring program. Your domestic meter may in some instances already be included on the allocated testing program for the year.
  • DAMAGED METER: Your meter will also be removed if it has been damaged. (This is reactive maintenance, not part of this proactive Meter Replacement Program.)

Back to top ^

Who is replacing my meter and how can I identify them? 

  • DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): The meter replacement work is undertaken by Select Solutions, contractors authorised by Unitywater to deliver this work. They are identified by ID cards and vehicle signage and wear standard high-visibility work uniforms.    
  • LARGE METERS (>25mm): The meter replacement work is undertaken by licensed plumbing contractors authorised by Unitywater. They can be identified by ID cards, vehicle signage and will wear high visibility uniforms.

Back to top ^ 

Will I be advised as to what day the meter will be replaced? 

  • DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): A notification card is delivered to your letterbox at least 48 hours in advance. Also the plumber will make personal contact with customers who are at home on the day the works are to be carried out, prior to replacing the meter.      
  • LARGE METERS (>25mm): A Unitywater plumber will personally contact the property owner/tenant to arrange the most convenient time for the meter to be replaced.

 Back to top ^

Will water supply be interrupted? 

Yes, in most instances water supply to your property will be temporarily interrupted to enable the meter installer to replace the meter, before re-establishing water supply to the property.  Duration of water interruption in most cases will be less than one hour.  However, the replacement of some larger meters may take a little longer. At all times, we endeavour to minimise the disruption and inconvenience as much as possible.      

Back to top ^  

How long will the meter replacement process take? 

In most instances, the water meter replacement will take less than one hour, unless specific issues are encountered during replacement that will impede the replacing of the meter. Larger meters may take longer, however the Unitywater plumber can advise of this when making arrangements for the most convenient time to carry out the replacement works.             

Back to top ^

What if I have a water reliant appliance in use during the replacement period, e.g. dishwasher, washing machine, timed sprinklers, water bottle machines? 

You will be advised to turn off all water-reliant appliances prior to the water being turned off.

Back to top ^

Do I need to be home during this meter replacement process? 

No, it is not necessary to be home at the time the work is being completed.

Back to top ^

How will I know when the work is completed? 

Upon completion of works, the plumber will leave a Works Completed card in the letterbox advising that works have been completed and recording the consumption of the old meter.

Back to top ^

Will I be charged for this meter replacement? 

If your meter was replaced as part of our proactive program, this replacement work is fully funded from Unitywater's water meter replacement program and is at no additional charge to customers.

However, fees apply if you have requested to have your meter replaced as you believe it may be damaged or faulty.

Back to top ^

Where will the new water meter be positioned? 

In most instances, the new meter will be placed in the same position as the existing meter. However, if there is a reason to relocate the meter, we will discuss the new position with you.

Back to top ^

Will the area around my meter be affected and restored?

A small area around the meter may be disturbed during the replacement. Wherever practicable we will restore this area to its original condition and this includes the replacement of any dirt or grass in the affected area. If the restoration cannot be completed on the day the meter was replaced, the property owner/tenant will be advised.

Back to top ^

If, after the meter is replaced, I have an issue with low pressure, leaking meter or taps, dirty water, or incomplete restoration around the meter (ground not restored properly) etc, what can I do? 

We encourage you to contact us if you have any concerns or issues.

DISCOLOURED WATER? Disturbance of soil and pipes during water meter replacement may cause temporary discolouration of water for a short period. Air in the pipes may also cause milky-coloured water. If this occurs, please turn on the tap nearest to ground level (usually an outside tap) and let it run for up to five minutes until water runs clear. This costs less than 25 cents and on average uses less than 125 litres of water.  If the problem continues, please contact us.

How do I know the water consumption reading is correct? 

When the water meter is replaced the plumber records the final reading of the old meter on the card. This recording is also checked again against the actual meter by another person to confirm accuracy. We recommend you keep this for reference, to cross check against your next Unitywater Bill.

  • DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): We take a series of digital photos of the new and old meters as we replace them, as 'proof' of the meter reading. We also keep all old meters for a period of 6 months. All customers have a right to request their old meter is tested.  
  • LARGE METERS (>25mm): We take digital photos of all the large meters replaced. We do not keep the replaced large meters - they are sent to Veolia Water for testing and refurbishment. Only the meters that are in such bad condition they cannot be tested are then scrapped. If you wish, you may also be in attendance while the meter is being tested.  Arrangements will need to be coordinated between Unitywater and Veolia Water.

 Back to top ^

My neighbour's meter is being replaced why isn't mine? 

  • DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): That's because your water meter does not meet the replacement criteria, which is the meter has been identified as having passed its useful life or stopped working altogether. OR your neighbour's meter may be replaced as part of the random selection process for the testing program.

    LARGE METERS (>25mm): That's because your water meter does not meet the replacement criteria, which is the meter has been identified as having passed its useful life or stopped working altogether.

Back to top ^

Why does the tap on my water meter look different, after the meter was replaced? 

We may also replace the water mains tap (stop cock) on your water meter with a new lockable lever (ball valve). This is part of an ongoing maintenance program to ensure reliable water supply through the water meter.

Back to top ^

What happens to my old meter? 

The water meter that is replaced is stored by Unitywater's authorised contractor for a period of 6 months.

  • DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): are not routinely tested but as the customer, you can request a test of an old meter if you believe that it may be faulty.
  • LARGE WATER METERS (>25mm): Every large water meter replaced is routinely sent for testing within one month of removal unless it has been removed for testing as you believe it may be faulty, in which case it will be sent for testing as soon as practicable. All meters removed under our proactive meter replacement programs are sent to the Scientific Laboratory at Veolia Water.

A meter removed for testing at your request is also sent to Veolia Water unless you specifically nominate an alternative testing facility.

 Back to top ^

How do I ask for my meter to be tested?

 

How long will it take for my meter to be replaced and sent for testing?

 

Where will my meter be tested?

 

Can I be present during the testing?

 

Can I find out the results of any meter testing on my old meter?

 

Is there any reason why my meter can't be tested?

 

How do I ask for my meter to be tested? 

If you are sure there are no internal leaks and believe the meter itself is faulty, you can ask for your meter to be tested.

 

How long will it take for my meter to be replaced and sent for testing?

It will take approximately 10 working days after receipt of your application and relevant fee for the meter to be removed and sent for testing.

  • Standard meters (20mm or 25mm): Due to the rigour of the testing process, your old meter will not be re-installed at your property .
  • Large meters (>25mm): When the existing meter is removed for testing, a temporary meter will be installed while testing occurs. If the original meter is found to be functioning correctly and reading accurate, it will be re-installed at the property. If, however, the meter is found to be faulty, a new meter will be installed at Unitywater's cost.

Back to top^

Where will my meter be tested? 

The scientific laboratory at Veolia Water Australia in a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory authorised to carry out meter testing in accordance with Australian Standard AS.3565.1 2010 6-point test to ensure the accuracy and validity of the test results. However, you may choose an alternative provider accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities and if so, Unitywater will confirm any additional costs

Back to top^

Can I be present during the testing? 

Yes, either you or your nominated representative may be present when the meter is being tested.

Back to top^

Can I find out the results of any meter testing on my old meter?

Yes, if a meter is to be tested, you will be advised of when and where the testing will take place and which NATA accredited laboratory will be doing the testing.  You will be advised of the water meter test results within 10 business days of the results being received by Unitywater.

If the test confirms your meter was faulty, the application fee will be refunded to you. Unitywater will also assess if any adjustment is required against the water usage charges that have appeared on your Unitywater Bill and we will advise you of the outcome in writing.

Back to top^

Is there any reason why my meter can't be tested? 

If your meter is damaged, it may not be possible to test it. In these instances, Unitywater will work with you to determine how the meter became damaged and if there is any possibility your water usage has been affected by the damage to the meter. 

If you become aware of damage to your water meter, please contact us.

Please note: As stated above, standard meters replaced under our proactive meter replacement program are held for a period of 6 months.  Your meter will not be available for testing after this time period has lapsed.

 Back to top^

 

    Did You Know
  • Approximately one pool in every 20 has a leak! Even a minor leak can result in a major water loss.  Under pressure a tiny leak can lose more than 3000 litres a day.