Water meter FAQs

Contents

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Where is my water meter? How can I tell what it says?

How much will water cost? 

That depends on how much water individual households or businesses use.  If you use less water, you pay less. If you use more water, you pay more.

What if my water bill is high? 

  • Test for water leaks
    It is the property owner's responsibility to repair leaks on their property and pay for the cost of repair. All leaks should be repaired as soon as possible because the less water you use, the less you pay for. Council does not offer a leak investigation or repair service for private properties. We suggest you contact your plumber for ways to locate and fix leaks on your property.
  • Test meter accuracy
    If you believe your water meter is not providing an accurate reading the Council can test your meter or restrictor. If the test finds your meter is not accurate, you will not be charged for the test. But if the test finds that your meter is accurate, then you will be required to pay the associated fee as outlined in Council's Fees and Charges Schedule.
  • Actively reduce your household water use
    On average, non-metered residential customers use 250 litres of water per person per day. Metered residential customers use around 190 litres of water per person per day. If you are using more than this, there are things you can do. Head to www.smartwater.org.nz to find out how to cut down how much water you are using, each and every day!

What is a water bill made up of?

There are two parts to a water meter bill; a fixed charge which is the same for everyone and helps pay for infrastructure (a bit like an electricity line charge) and a variable charge for the amount of water actually used. The fixed charge will be the same for everyone. The variable charge will depend on how much water is used.

Read more: Your water bill at a glance​.

How does Council read all the meters on the same day?

There are around 12,000 meters across the district and it’s not possible to read all of them in one day (unless we hire Santa Claus?!).

However, we’ve worked to condense the reads into as small a timeframe as possible. Once the meter has been read we estimate, based upon that meter reading, a daily rate of consumption for the remaining days until 30 June. Property owners will then be billed on that basis with most people having less than five ‘estimated usage’ days. Over time, this evens out and estimated bills will no longer be needed. ​

Is the Council also fixing water leaks?

Yes, we regularly check our network of pipes around the district for leaks and run leak detection programmes for hard-to-find leaks. We also fix any leaks reported to us by people in the community. 

Installing water meters means we can monitor how much water individual households or businesses use. If the amount of water being used is far in excess of what it should be, we already contact our metered customers and let them know. Often the customer finds a leak on their property which they can then repair.

Given the age of some houses in Waipa,  we suspect there are a number of leaks on private properties that property owners are unaware of. These will become obvious once a meter is installed and in most cases, will prompt property owners to fix the leaks and save on water costs. ​

Will the Council make a profit from water meters?

No. By law, Councils are only allowed to recover the costs of treating, supplying and disposing of water. Councils are not allowed to make a profit o​n water. 

Information for tenants

​Download our flyer:  Water meter FAQs for tenants and landlords [PDF, 2 pages, 700KB]

Who will the water meter bill be sent to – me or my landlord?

In nearly all instances, water meter bills, by law, must be sent to the property owner or (when it applies) a property manager. Water meter bills cannot be sent directly to tenants.​

Can tenants get a copy of the water meter bill from Council?

No, the water meter bill is only sent to the property owner; it cannot be sent to the tenant. You may ask to see the water meter bill but that is something you will need to discuss directly with your landlord. Council cannot get involved.​

Who pays the bill – landlords or tenants?

Usually part of the bill (the variable charge) is sent to the tenant. However that is something for landlords and tenants to discuss and agree on before a tenancy begins. It has nothing to do with the Council.

Who is legally responsible for paying the bill?

The property owner is responsible for paying the bill. However, property owners can and usually do seek reimbursement for the bill, or part of the bill, from their tenant. Read more information on the NZ Tenancy Services website.

What happens if the landlord/property owner does not pay the water meter bill to the Council? Will my water be cut-off?

No, water will not be cut off. By law landlords are responsible for ensuring there is enough water available at their rental properties. Read more information on the NZ Tenancy Services website.​

If there is a leak, or if plumbing repairs are needed on private pipes, who do I talk to?

Talk to the property owner or landlord. Tenants should notify their landlord as soon as there is a problem. It is important to fix water leaks quickly.

When will water meter bills be sent out?

They will be sent out to property owners every three months.

  • Te Awamutu, Kihikihi, Pirongia in January/April/July/October
  • Cambridge, Karāpiro in February/May/August/November
  • Ōhaupō, Pukerimu in March/June/September/December

If I am moving out, can I get a final reading on my water meter bill?

Yes. Simply ring Council on 0800 WAIPADC (0800 924 723) and arrange it. There is a fee of $37 (including GST). That bill will be sent to either the owner or the property manager.​

Information for landlords

​Download our flyer:  Water meter FAQs for tenants and landlords [PDF, 2 pages, 700KB]

Who will the water bill be sent to – me or my tenants?

In nearly all instances, water meter bills, by law, must be sent to the property owner or (when it applies) a property manager. Water meter bills cannot be sent directly to tenants.

If I request it, can the Council send the water meter bill directly to my tenants?

No. Water meter bills, like rates bills, must be sent to the property owner.

Can the Council send the water meter bill to me and also send a copy to my tenants?

No. Only one bill is sent and that is sent to the property owner (or to a registered property manager if this is specifically requested.

If I request it, can the Council send the water meter bill directly to my property manager instead?

Yes, but only if this is specifically requested by the property owner and only if the bill is going to a registered property manager. Council would need to be formally notified of this by the property owner. You can do that by emailing rates@waipadc.govt.nz

Can the water bill be emailed instead of posted to me?

Yes, legally invoices can be sent to one (but only one) email address.

Do I send the water meter bill on to my tenants?

That is something between you and your tenant. Council cannot get involved in those issues. Read more information on the NZ Tenancy Services website.​​

What happens if my tenant doesn’t pay me for the water they use?

That is something for you and your tenant to resolve; it has nothing to do with Council.

Who is responsible for fixing leaks in private pipes?

Generally that is the responsibility of the property owner. It is important to fix water leaks quickly to minimise any damage and avoid unnecessary water use.

Do I charge my tenant the whole bill? Or do I pay the fixed network charge and the tenant pays the volumetric charge?

This is something between you and your tenant and is not something Council can or will advise on.

If my property is vacant, will I still be sent a water meter bill?

Yes.

When will water meter bills be sent out?

They will be sent to property owners every three months.

  • Te Awamutu, Kihikihi, Pirongia in January/April/July/October
  • Cambridge, Karāpiro in February/May/August/November
  • Ōhaupō, Pukerimu in March/June/September/December

Ultimately, who is responsible for paying the water bill?

The property owner will be held responsible for paying the bill. If the invoice is not paid by the due date, penalties may be added. You may seek reimbursement from your tenant but this is something between you and your tenant. It has nothing to do with Council.

If my tenant is moving out, can I get a final reading on my water meter bill?

Yes. Simply ring Council on 0800 WAIPADC (0800 924 723) and arrange it. There is a fee of $37​ (including GST). That bill will be sent to either the owner or property manager.​​

Cross-lease properties 

​Please download the flyer below for specific information on complex/cross-lease properties:

 Complex Properties flyer​​​

Page reviewed: 30 Aug 2018 1:09pm