I’m moving home or office, how do I connect water?

Water providers do not disconnect water between tenants, so if you’re moving into an existing property, the water will already be connected.

If you live in Victoria, you will need to ensure that the water provider is notified of the date of your move and has your correct billing details. For home or property buyers, this is usually done by your conveyancer or solicitor as part of the settlement process. If you are renting, your real estate agent or landlord will let you know if they can organise this for you. Providing your details to the water provider will help ensure that both you and the previous tenants are billed correctly.

Responsibilities in other states vary. For example, if you’re renting in NSW, the water provider does not need to be notified of your move. They will continue to bill the property owner and the owner or their agent may bill you for any charges that you are responsible for. If you are a property buyer, then your conveyancer or solicitor should notify the water provider of your move in date and contact details as part of settlement.

There are many different water providers across Australia who operate based on urban or metropolitan jurisdictional zones. Each jurisdictional zone has one provider. See below for a list of water providers by state:

New South Wales

  • Central Tablelands Water
  • Goldenfields Water
  • Gosford/Wyong Councils’ Water Authority
  • Hunter Water
  • MidCoast Water
  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority
  • Riverina Water County Council
  • Rous Water
  • Sydney Water
Victoria

  • Barwon Water
  • Central Highlands Water
  • City West Water
  • Coliban Water
  • East Gippsland Water
  • Gippsland Water
  • Goulburn Murray Water
  • Goulburn Valley Water
  • Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water
  • Lower Murray Water
  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority
  • North East Water
  • South East Water
  • South Gippsland Water
  • Southern Rural Water
  • Wannon Water
  • Western Water
  • Westernport Water
  • Yarra Valley Water
Queensland

  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority
  • Queensland Urban Utilities
  • Seqwater
  • UnityWater
  • Wide Bay Water Corporation
South Australia

  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority
  • SA Water
Western Australia

  • Busselton Water
  • Western Australian Water Corporation
Tasmania

  • Cradle Coast Water
  • Esk Water
  • Hobart Water
Northern Territory

  • PowerWater

 

How long does it take to connect water and when can I get connected?

The good news is that water providers do not turn supply off between tenants, so water will already be connected when you move in. If you are going to be responsible for paying the water bills, make sure you inform the water provider of your move in date and details as soon as possible so that they can take a meter reading and ensure both you and the previous occupants are billed correctly. If you live in Victoria, Foxie can take care of this process for you, while setting up your other utilities connections.

What if the property is a new property?

If you are building a new home or office you will need to contact the water provider and apply for connection to their pipes so you have access to water, wastewater and stormwater services. A builder or plumber normally does this on your behalf and there are usually associated charges.

The average cost for a new water main line in Australia ranges between $1500 to $3000.

I’m renting, who is responsible for paying water bills?

Responsibilities for water charges vary depending on which state you are moving to. In Victoria, if the property has its own meter, the tenant is responsible for paying for water consumption (usually noted on the bill as water volume) and sewerage disposal charges. The landlord must pay all service charges including water supply and sewerage or drainage services. Some individual situations may differ and these are normally documented in your rental agreement.

In NSW, the landlord is responsible for paying water bills. If the premises are separately metered, and the property has water efficiency measures in place, the landlord is able to charge the tenant for water consumption. The landlord must provide you with a copy of the bill from the water provider, or other evidence, showing the cost of the water used.

Similar arrangements apply in other states such as QLD and the Northern Territory – so long as the water supply is individually metered and the tenancy agreement mentions it, tenants may be required to pay for water usage.

What if I’m moving into an apartment block which isn’t individually metered?

Some apartment blocks, towers and townhouse developments have just one main meter that measures water consumption for the whole property. The water provider may bill individual apartment owners for a percentage of the water used by the entire apartment block or tower.

If you are renting a property that does not have a separate water meter, you are not responsible for setting up an account with the water provider. However, the owner or their real estate agent may be able to on-bill you for water charges. Responsibilities vary from state to state so it’s important to carefully read the details in your rental agreement and discuss with your landlord, agent or tenant advocacy group if you’re unsure.

What if I live in a rural area?

In some rural areas, there is no urban water supplied and the property owner will need to arrange water supply from a tank or bore with a septic system to manage wastewater. For rental properties, usually the landlord is responsible for the upkeep of tanks and associated equipment like pumps. If you are renting, roles and responsibilities for water tanks and septic tanks vary and should be documented in your rental agreement. Check with your landlord, agent or tenant advocacy group if you are unsure.

What does it cost to get water connected?

Most of the time, there is a fee to activate a water connection.

When the sale of a property occurs, the water provider will do a special meter reading in order to calculate the charges that are due at the time of settlement. They usually charge a fee for this which is payable by the new owner.

Some water providers charge a tenant meter read to the owner for each new tenant. This covers the cost of reading the meter between tenants and setting up a separate account for each tenant.

If you are moving to Victoria, Foxie can contact your water provider and set up your new account for free. We currently provide this service for many real estate agents as well as individual tenants.

Is there anything else I need to do?

It is your responsibility to provide safe access to the water meter so that the meter can be read. This means no locked gates or unrestrained animals. Failure to ensure this could result in your water supply being disconnected.

How often will I receive water bills?

Water bills are generally issued quarterly (once every three months).

What do I need to do at the property I am vacating?

If you are vacating a property and you were responsible for paying the water bill, notify the water provider of the date of your move and forwarding address. They will arrange a final meter read and send a final bill to your new address.

Where does my water actually come from?

Most urban water supply in Australia comes from rivers. The surrounding land around these rivers is called a catchment. Surface water runoff and groundwater flow via rivers and are caught in large man-made dams. The water is then treated to appropriate water quality standards and stored in reservoirs for future use. Water from these reservoirs travels via water mains to houses, schools, businesses and other users.

In some cases, your water may come from other sources such as recycled water or a desalination. Desalination is a process used to turn seawater into drinking water.

Some properties now have dual-pipe supply where one pipe supplies drinking water and the other pipe supplies recycled water which can be used for gardening, toilet flushing and other lower-grade uses.

If you live in a rural area, and do not have access to urban water supply, your water will likely come from tanks or a groundwater bore.

Catchment management authorities, water corporations and water retail providers, all work together to manage catchments, water treatment and storage facilities, pipes and other supply infrastructure.