Water Meters and Billing

Water Billing

Livingstone Shire Council will issue Water Usage Notices following the completion of each quarterly meter read. Notices are addressed to the owner of the property. Residents are encouraged to assist in making this process as efficient as possible by properly maintaining access to their water meter. Permanent water conservation measures promote responsible and efficient use of town water and can help you reduce costs.

Water pricing structure

Council has adopted two types of water charges; a water access charge and a water consumption charge. These combined charges cover the costs related to water supply such as operating costs, maintenance, upgrade and expansion costs, and depreciation. This tariff structure is in line with Queensland and Australian Government recommendations on water charging.

  1. Water Access Charge: The water access charge is a fixed charge and is charged each 6-month period on your general rates notice. It applies to all properties that are connected to or able to connect to the town water supply. Broadly this charge covers the cost of access to the water supply and maintenance of the water network.
  2. Water Consumption Charge: To encourage responsible use of water, consumption is charged on a multi-tier system so that the more water you use, the more you pay. Consumption is charged per kilolitre (kL) and divided into three tiers each 3 month period. Broadly the water consumption price covers the variable costs including treatment and transporting of water.

As per the 2023/2024 Revenue Statement, water consumption is charged each quarter based on:


Graduated water usage tiers per quarter (per meter):


Tier 1

Up to 30kL



Tier 2

31kL to 105kL



Tier 3

All usage greater than 105kL


Non Residential

Single tier flat rate:


Single Tier

All usage


For more detailed information regarding the philosophy and 5-year Water Price Path that began in 2019/20, for both the water access charges (fixed annual charges) and the water consumption charges, please refer to the background and commentary contained within the Special Council Meeting Agenda for the 2023/24 Budget held on 13 June 2023 (Report 9.7 Water Utility Charges 2023-24 Page 90 onwards).

Your Water Bill

The price paid for water used at your property is reflected on your water bill and varies depending on how many kilolitres of water you use per quarter. Your total billed amount is calculated based on the three-tiered quarterly consumption charges and how many kilolitres of water you used (1kL = 1000 litres).
Your water bill may vary each quarter depending on the exact number of days in your water meter-reading period, dry or wet seasonal conditions, number of people in your household/extra visitors to your home, swimming pools or leaks. Residents who use water efficiently are rewarded with lower charges.

About Your Water Meter

A water meter registers the amount of water that flows through the connection to your property. A ball valve is attached at the head of the meter to turn off the water supply to your home for repairs to leaking taps or pipes. The meter also contains a dual check valve designed to protect the water supply by preventing the backflow of water into the reticulation system. Only Livingstone Shire Council employees are permitted to maintain and change water meters.

Reading your water meter

Your water meter is normally located on the footpath or inside your front property boundary. It will be either in a box of approximately 500mm x 225mm x 3220mm with a green dimpled lid or above ground. The water meter measures how much water is used per property in metrics. The following details will help you in reading your water meter.

  • The black numbers represent kilolitres (kL), this is the unit of measurement our meter readers record as your water read; and
  • The white numbers on the red dials represent litres. 

You can monitor your water usage by conducting regular checks of your meter (we recommend weekly) reads to help monitor usage and identify potential leaks.

Water Meter Reading

To calculate your daily water use, please follow the instructions below:
1. On day one, record all the numbers that you see on the water meter. Note the time of day.
2. On day two, repeat step 1. Conduct this reading at the same time as you did the reading on day one.
3. Subtract the numbers recorded on day one from day two. This is your household’s daily water usage.

Maintaining access to your water meter

It is your responsibility to ensure that your meter (or meter box) is accessible. The meter must be at or above ground level. You must not fill the area around your meter or cover it with garden beds, trees or shrubs.

If you notice bees or other pests in your meter box, please inform Council via our online customer service centre so that their removal can be arranged.

If your bill is higher than usual

If you consider the reading on your Water Usage Notice is excessive, you can conduct tests at home to assess if the meter is accurately recording consumption or if you have an internal leak that may be the cause of the high usage.

If you think there may be a leak in your internal pipes (all pipes on the property side of the meter), refer to Council’s Concealed Leak Refund/Waiver page for further information.

If you believe the leak is not internal and you wish to have your water meter tested by Council, you will need to submit an application and pay the relevant fee. You can lodge the application via Council's online services or download the Water Meter Verification Test form  and lodge manually. You can conduct your own consumption test, which may assist you in deciding if you would like to request Council to conduct a test on your water meter.

Conducting a Consumption Test

To conduct your own consumption test complete the following:

  • 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.
  • Fill a container of known volume (e.g. 200L drum).
  • Take another reading of the water meter and calculate the amount of water used.

The difference between the two readings should be approximately equal to the capacity of the container.

This consumption test is for your information only. The results of this test will not be acted upon by Council.

What you can do to prevent leaks to save water and money

  • Don‘t plant large trees over pipes and mains that run through your property. Their root growth may damage the pipes.
  • Regularly inspect your pool for cracks and signs of leaks.
  • Regularly maintain automatic watering systems (e.g. pool top up, irrigation).
  • Turn taps off gently to lengthen the life of washers.
  • Create a Consumption Log – read your meter regularly!
  • Install water hammer arrestors if you have a water hammer problem. This will reduce shock and help extend the life of affected pipes.
  • Ensure all building and renovation work is undertaken by a licensed professional and approved by Council.

Metered Standpipes

Metered standpipes are used to obtain water directly from hydrants for approved activities such as construction, concrete sawing, dust suppression and water carting. Council provides metered standpipes for both short term and long term hire.

Hiring a metered standpipe

To hire a metered standpipe you must complete a Metered Standpipe Hire form and pay the bond. If you are not already a Council Debtor you must also complete a Debtor Account Application form

If the metered standpipe develops a leak, has any mechanical damage or fails to operate, you must report the defects to Council.

Metered standpipes can be collected and returned to Council's Cordingley Street Office. Your bond will be refunded on the satisfactory return of the metered standpipe and upon payment of the final Invoice.


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