Concealed Leak Refund
What is a Concealed Leak?
A concealed leak is a water leak either underground, under or within concrete or paving or underneath a structure where the occupant could not reasonably be expected to know of its existence.
In most situations concealed leaks are identified after an owner receives a larger than normal water usage notice or correspondence from Council advising of a significant spike in usage.
An internal leak is the responsibility of the property owner as it occurs within the internal pipes on the property side of the water meter. If you believe that you have a leak in the pipes on the property side of the water meter, you are encouraged to contact a licensed plumber to have it repaired (evidence from a licensed plumber that a concealed leak occurred must be provided when making an application for a refund or waiver).
How to test for internal leaks?
You can conduct a leak test at home to determine if you have an internal leak that may be the cause of the high usage. Use the following information as a guide (the results of this testing will not be acted upon by Council).
- Turn off all taps to ensure no water is being used (Do NOT turn off the meter tap).
- Take a reading of the water meter.
- Do NOT use any water for a period of time.
- Take another reading of the water meter.
If the meter reading has changed this would indicate there is a leak within the internal system. An internal leak is the responsibility of the property owner as it occurs on the property side of the water meter. A licensed plumber should be contacted to fix an internal leak.
What is a Concealed Leak Refund/Waiver?
Council has adopted a Concealed Leak Refund Policy which applies to property owners in the Council’s local government area which have had a concealed leak.
Application for a Concealed Leak Refund/Waiver
How to apply
An Application for Concealed Leak Refund/Waiver can be lodged via Council's Online Services, and must be accompanied by evidence of the concealed leak. An owner is eligible for a maximum of one refund/waiver per property in a five-year period.
Application documents can also be downloaded and lodged manually.
When to apply
Your application must be submitted within 30 days from the date that a licensed plumber detects the leak.
If approved, and where it is evident that the leak may affect the consumption charges over more than one reading cycle, the refund or waiver can be applied to a maximum of two billing periods.
Evidence required to apply
An application must include information on the nature of the concealed leak and evidence demonstrating that it has occurred and been repaired. Evidence in the following form is acceptable:
- A completed Plumber's Statement for Repairs to a Concealed Leak
- An invoice from a licensed plumber demonstrating that the concealed leak has been repaired; or
- A signed statement on the letterhead of a licensed plumber.
Do I need to pay my Water Usage Notice?
As the refund/waiver process can be lengthy depending on the timeframe of the leak period, you are strongly advised to pay any outstanding amount on your Water Usage Notice to avoid additional charges such as interest.
Calculating the refund/waiver if approved
The refund/waiver will be applied to the billing period in which the leak occurred up to a maximum of two billing periods.
Before approving your application, we need to ensure your consumption has returned to normal. As readings are taken every three months, it may take this amount of time before we are able to do our final calculations. This is done to ensure that you receive the maximum refund/waiver amount possible.
An average consumption for the property is calculated based on the same billing period for the previous three financial years. If there are inadequate records to make a calculation, the three latest consecutive billing periods will be used.
The additional consumption is calculated as the difference between the actual consumption recorded by the water meter and the average consumption.
*If there are insufficient records to calculate average consumption, processing of the application will be deferred until three consecutive water consumption readings are available.
The adjusted charge will be calculated as detailed below. The refund/waiver is then calculated as the difference between the actual charge and the adjusted charge.
*Tiers and associated rates can obtained from Council's Revenue Statement
The sum of average consumption at the tiered rate plus the additional consumption at the Tier 1 rate.
The sum of average consumption plus 50% of the additional consumption.