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Water meter FAQ's

Who pays? (rentals)

The property owner is expected to pay the targeted rate, but may pass on water use charges to the tenant (see section 39 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986). The property owner is liable for rates pursuant to the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002. Any arrangement regarding payment of a water consumption charge is usually included in the Tenancy Agreement between the owner and the tenant. If the tenant does not pay the water charges, this falls on the property owner.

The Council has no involvement in matters relating to the Residential Tenancies Act. For further questions concerning responsibilities under that Act, please contact Tenancy services on 0800 836 262.

Isn’t water free?

Yes, water is free. It is illegal for Council to profit for water. The cost comes from treating and providing the valuable resource to residents across the entire Waikato district.  

What do I do if I get a high bill?

This may be due to a misreading or a potential leak.

Misread – compare your current bill reading with your actual water meter reading. If there is an inconsistency, please contact the waters team.

Water leaks - Refer to our page on how to check for leaks.

What if my water reading is showing zero consumption?

If you are consuming water and your meter reading is showing zero consumption, it may no longer be recording correctly. Please contact us as soon as possible to organize a meter inspection. If it is determined that the meter is faulty, it will be replaced. 

Why have I received an estimate reading?

Due to health and safety risks, Council may not have been able to complete a water meter reading at your property. Therefore in your most recent six-monthly invoice, you may have received an estimation based on the property’s previous meter readings. If you are happy with this estimated reading, please pay the invoice as normal.

If you are not comfortable with the estimated reading and invoice, you (the property owner) will need to complete an independent meter reading. To do this, take a photograph of your water meter (that shows the meter ID clearly) and send to the waters team with your property address.  The waters team will process the request and issue a new water invoice with the accurate reading. 

To read your water meter, check out our video with step-by-step instructions.

What if I have a leak?

If the leak is on your property (after the meter), it is the owner’s responsibility to fix the leak by contacting a plumber. If the leak is before the meter, no need to panic, you won’t be charged for this water as it hasn’t gone through your meter yet. We do ask you to call Council on 0800 492 452 and lodge a request for service to have the leak repaired so we’re not wasting our valuable resource.

What do I do if I’m moving house?

Just like your power, you’ll need to have a final reading. This will be done by Council, all final readings have to be requested in writing to email (reading charges will apply).  

What if my water meter is running on an unoccupied piece of land?

This may be due to a misreading or potential leak.

Misread – compare your current bill reading with your actual water meter reading. If there is an inconsistency, please contact the waters team.

Water leaks - Refer to our page on how to check for leaks.

NB: If there is a tail pipe sticking up, it is recommended to cap and bury it to prevent water use from re-occurring,