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Hinchinbrook Shire Council Citizenship Ceremonies

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A place where you can find and share events that are happening in the Hinchinbrook community.


Detecting Leaks and Reading Your Water Meter

Knowing how to check for leaks and understanding how to read your water meter can help you reduce water consumption and save money.

Measuring your household water consumption

  • Check your water meter monthly or quarterly to monitor and understand how much water you use. This will also help locate leaks early, saving you both water and money.
  • Check your rates notice for water usage information. The notice may include your household’s daily water consumption figure as well as an average figure for all households in your area.

Locating your water meter

  • A water meter measures the amount of water that each property uses. It will generally be located outside in the ground towards the front of a property. Most are at or below ground level, and have a metal or plastic lid.
  • If you live in a unit or apartment block, there may not be an individual water meter for each residence. You may want to investigate the feasibility of installing individual meters.

Using your water meter to detect leaks

  1. Find your water meter and write down the numbers shown.
  2. Turn off all taps tightly and make sure that no-one will be using any water on the premises for the next hour.
  3. After one hour, check the water meter reading. If the numbers have changed, there may be a leak.
  4. If it appears there is a leak, the first item to check is the toilets. Turn off the water valves located under each toilet and then redo steps 1 to 3.
  5. If the numbers haven’t changed during this time, you may have a leaking toilet. To check this, put a little food colouring in the toilet cistern. If, without flushing, the colouring begins to appear in the bowl, the cistern rubbers need to be repaired.
  6. Note: After the test, flush your toilet twice to prevent the food colouring from staining the toilet bowl.
  7. Alternatively, if the numbers have increased, there is a leak somewhere else on your property. For further investigation, contact a licenced plumber.

Water Leak Relief

If you discover you have an undetected water leak that requires repairing, you may be eligible for a rebate from Council for part of the water consumption charge. For more information on eligibility requirements visit our, Water Leak Relief page or contact Council’s Water and Sewerage Department on 4776 4673.

How to read your water meter

There is a range of different water meters in use across the state. All have a combination of black numbers and red numbers and/or dials. Five examples are shown in the diagram below.

The black numbers register kilolitres (kL = a thousand litres).

There are three red numbers or dials registering litres. (If there is a fourth red number or dial, this indicates tenths of a litre.)

Read only the first three red numbers or dials. Numbers are read from left to right, while dials are read in a clockwise direction. If you have trouble reading your water meter, contact Council’s Water and Sewerage Department on 4776 4673.

For more information on detecting leaks and reading your water meter, download the below factsheet. 

Detecting leaks and reading your water meter factsheet