Learn about water access charges, access to meters, water leaks on your property, how to read your water meter, and how to be Water Wise.

A Water Service Access charge is an annual fee to cover the cost of making a water service available to a property. Water Access Charges are levied on all properties to which the service is available, regardless of whether the water is connected to the property or not.

The charge is determined by the size of the meter connected to the property, or, if no meter is connected, the default rate for one 20mm meter is charged. Most residential meters are the 20mm size.

The water availability charge depends on the size of the water meter and is charged per meter.


Water meters accurately record the water consumed by each property, which enables billing by Council for the water consumed and permits Council to account for all the water supplied to the community.

Access to meters

Meters are read twice per year in Gilgandra. You can assist Council by regularly trimming shrubs from around the meter, so as to permit ready access by the water meter reader.

Under the Local Government Act, Council can enter private property to carry out water supply work such as meter reading. It would be appreciated if you could assist with providing access.

It is an offence to tamper or interfere with the normal operation of water meters. If you believe that your meter has been tampered with, please contact Council as soon as possible.

Council sometimes installs tamper evident devices on water meters. These are modern plastic devices that replace the seals used in the past. If one is fitted to your meter, you do not have to do anything.

If you damage your meter or the pipes connected to it, contact Council as soon as possible.



Water Leaks on Your Property

Concealed leaks that are hidden in walls or underground can go undetected for long periods of time, and can waste thousands of litres of water a day. Concealed leaks on private property are the property owner's responsibility, so we recommend you read your water meter and check for concealed leaks regularly by using the simple steps listed below.

Checking for Concealed Leaks on Your Property

Concealed leaks caused by broken or cracked pipes on the customer’s side of the water meter are the responsibility of the property owner. Follow these guidelines to catch leaks early:

  1. Check your property for visible water leaks from taps, toilets, showers and irrigation systems.
  2. Turn off all taps, water appliances and irrigation at your property.
  3. Read the water meter and record the reading. Leave the water meter tap on. (See 'how to read your meter').
  4. Wait at least one hour before reading your water meter again – remember not to use any water, even to flush the toilet.
  5. If the reading has changed there could be a water leak. Contact a licensed plumber to find and repair the leak. Many leaks occur under the ground and can be difficult to find.

Toilet cistern leaks are common and can be easily checked by following these steps:

  1. Pour food colouring into the toilet cistern.
  2. If colour appears in the toilet bowl before flushing, you have a leak.
  3. Flush as soon as the test has been completed as food colouring may stain the cistern.

We recommend that you regularly check for leaks using these simple steps. 

Leaks on private property are the owner's responsibility and we suggest you contact a licensed plumber to investigate.

Run through the five steps for checking for concealed leaks on your property (above). If all taps and water using appliances are turned off and the meter is still turning, a plumber should be called as soon as possible. Water loss can by minimised by temporarily turning off the tap at the meter (turning off all water to the property), however, please ensure this will not have a negative impact on your appliances, e.g. solar systems, before doing so.

Important to note: customers regularly have leaks in excess of 2,000 litres per day with no evidence of water on the surface. Pipes crack underground, often under driveways and walls, and the water simply flows underground and does not surface. It is important for customers to proactively check their water meter for possible leaks on a regular basis.



Keeping an eye on your water meter can save you money when it comes time to pay your water account. Reading the meter last thing at night and then first thing in the morning is a good way to check if you have any leaks on your property. If your water meter is ticking over when you know the household is not using water, it is a good idea to get a plumber to investigate. Even a small split pipe can leak a substantial amount of water over time wasting a resource, and unnecessarily raising your bill.

How to read your meter

Your water meter is read four times a year by a member of our dedicated meter reading team.

However, many customers like to read their own meter on a regular basis to keep track of the amount of water they are using - or perhaps to monitor the effects of water saving devices they may have fitted.

Gilgandra Shire Council encourages customers to monitor their consumption as it helps to identify which activities may use the most water and can help to indicate where savings can be made. 

Gilgandra Shire Council levies a charge for each kilolitre of water that you use. 1 kilolitre = 1000 litres.

Download an information sheet(PDF, 183KB)