Water charges

Find out whether we can investigate your complaint relating to water charges.

Who sets water charges? 

In south-east Queensland (SEQ), water retailers set water charges.

Outside SEQ, water charges are generally set by the local council.

The Department of Energy and Water Supply provides information about the different charges on your water bill.

Who investigates complaints about water charges in SEQ?

The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) investigates complaints about water retailers in SEQ including:

  • Unitywater (SEQ - north)
  • Queensland Urban Utilities (SEQ -  central)
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Redland City Council.

However, EWOQ will only investigate your complaint if you are a residential customer or a business that uses under 100 kilolitres of water a year.

We investigate complaints by businesses in SEQ that use more than 100 kilolitres per year.

Who investigates complaints about water charges outside SEQ?

If you live outside SEQ, your local council is usually responsible for water charges.

For more information, contact your council or refer to its website.

Concealed water leaks

Complaints about water consumption charges often involve concealed water leaks or inaccurate water meter readings.

A concealed water leak is hidden from view.

Under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002, property owners are responsible for water and sewerage infrastructure on their property (i.e. pipes and fittings past the water meter connection point). The water provider is not responsible for the cost of water lost due to a concealed leak. It is your responsibility to identify and fix any leaks on your property.

Under the SEQ Water and Wastewater Customer Code, all SEQ water retailers must have a concealed leaks policy. You can ask your water retailer whether any reductions to the charges caused by a concealed water leak will apply under this policy.

Although they are not required to, some local councils outside SEQ also have concealed leak policies. These policies may be available on the council’s website.

Inaccurate water meter readings

If you have experienced high water usage, and have not been able to identify the cause, you can ask your water retailer to test your meter. A fee is usually chargeable for this service which varies between water retailers.

If the meter is found to be faulty, the water retailer will likely refund the test fee, review your water usage over the previous year and adjust your accounts. The water meter is considered faulty if there is more than a five percent error in its readings.