Water leaks waste money and water

Water leaks are a big nuisance that can cost a lot of money if not found early. Many leaks occur when water pipes crack under the ground, in walls and underneath concrete and driveways, which makes them difficult to find.

These hidden (or concealed) leaks can waste thousands of litres of water a day and very often go unnoticed, until you suddenly get a much larger bill and significant water damage to your property.

You can avoid a nasty surprise by following our steps below for:

  • how to check for leaks
  • what to do when you find a leak
  • when a concealed leak is repaired.
Don't let this happen to you!

Here are some real-life examples of what can happen when you have a hidden (or concealed) leak:

  • A Body Corporate with 98 sub-metered units had a concealed leak underground outside one of the units. Plumbing repairs cost $2800, bill increase from a few hundred dollars average per quarter to $20,000.
  • Residential unit owner had a concealed leak underneath a concrete driveway which was not visible above ground. Plumbing repairs cost $1300, bill increase from $250 average to $8800.


Step 1. How to check for leaks...

Check for a hidden (concealed) leak

  1. Turn off all taps, the washing machine, dishwasher and irrigation at your property.

  2. Read your water meter and write down or take a photo of the numbers (including the red numbers, which indicate litres). Make sure you leave the water meter tap on. 

  3. Wait at least one hour before reading your water meter again - remember not to use any water, even to flush the toilet during this time. 

  4. If the reading has changed (last numbers or dial on the water meter), you may have a water leak. Please contact a licensed plumber to investigate.

Please note: the numbers on a water meter will only move if water is being drawn through it, either by something on your property (hose, washing machine, plumbed in fridges, dishwashers, etc.) or if there is a leak.


Watch the video:

Step 2. What to do when you find a leak...

Leaks at the meter

You could have a leak at the meter or around the meter if you notice water filling the meter box or soggy ground surrounding the meter.

  • If your meter box is full of water please call us on 1300 086 489.
  • If you have soggy ground around your meter and your meter is not ticking over then the leak is likely on our infrastructure. Please call us on 1300 086 489.
  • If you have soggy ground around your meter and your meter is ticking over then water is being drawn through the meter and the leak is on your side of the meter. Please call a local licensed plumber to investigate.  

   Water meter image showing Unitywater and customer responsibility

The above photo is a stand alone residential meter and may look different depending on the property's individual meter setup.

Watch: video of an underground leak

Leaks on the road or public property

If you notice a leak on public property, such as water leaking on the road or footpath, or a burst water main, please call us on 1300 086 489 as soon as possible to report it (24/7).

We may need to carry out emergency repairs.

 Man calling on mobile phone to report a water leak on street

Man wearing headphones working in contact call centre

Step 3. When a concealed leak is repaired...

If you have had a hidden (concealed) leak repaired on your property, you may be eligible for a Concealed Leak Allowance

This Concealed Leak Allowance is only for eligible customers who have had a concealed leak, as defined under our Concealed Leaks Policy (PDF 173KB). This helps cover some of the unexpected costs associated with a hidden leak. The majority of leak allowances processed by Unitywater are between $400 and $600.

Your application will be assessed in accordance with Unitywater's Concealed Leaks Policy, as an allowance may not be applicable to all customers.

Unitywater does not offer allowances for any other types of leaks or for the plumbing repair costs associated with any type of leak.