What is a water meter?
In every domestic residence or multi-unit dwelling you will find a water meter or series of meters. They measure the amount of water you use, and are are compulsory in all buildings. The measurements taken by water meters are used by the relevant water authority to bill you for the amount of water you've consumed.
Where can I find my water meter?
Water meters are usually located towards the front of the property, near the left or right boundary. In duplexes, flats or strata titled properties, there may be only one meter servicing all of the dwellings or one for each dwelling.
Ideally, everyone living in the house should know the whereabouts of their meter as the stop tap, which controls the flow of water, is normally next to the meter. In an emergency (e.g. a burst water pipe), you can use the stop tap to turn off the water supply to prevent waste and damage.
How to read your water meter
If you want to read your water meter, lift the lid to expose the black and red numbers on the meter dial, and read the numbers from left to right. The black numbers are the numbers you need to record. They represent kilolitres (kl), while the red numbers show the litres (197 litres). The red numbers are ignored for billing purposes.
Using the meter to check for water leaks
If you suspect you have a water leak in your house or yard, the best way to monitor this is through your meter. When nobody is home, or when you know no water will be used (generally at night), record your water measurement (black and red numbers). Absolutely no water should be used, this includes toilet flushing.
Allow for a couple of hours and then read your meter again. If the number has increased and you know you have not used any water at all, you may have a leak on your property.
If you do conclude that there is a leak, you should then contact a plumber who will be able to locate the problem and fix it.
Access to your water meter
It is the owner’s responsibility to keep the meter accessible for reading and repair - which means it shouldn't be behind a locked door or gate, or otherwise obscured in a way that makes it hard to access. If your authority has no access to your meter, they will charge you based on usage estimates, which is not likely to fall in your favour