The water meter deadline is ticking
If you live on a non-urban property in NSW your water meter may be ticking towards a deadline – approved new water meter systems must be installed by the end of 2023.
Does this apply to my property?
Owners of non-urban properties should check if they are required to install a new meter. In NSW the rollout may apply to owners of rural homesteads, hobby farms or out-of-town holiday shacks, for example, as well as commercial properties.
For more details, see the government guidelines on Non-urban Water Metering in NSW.
Inactive works may be exempted, and you can apply to tag your work as inactive.
Note that if your property is connected to the town water supply in an urban area such as Sydney or Wollongong the rules may not apply, as Sydney Water or Shoalhaven Water is responsible for your meter. Use the free NSW Government ‘NSW Metering Guidance Tool’ to help work out if the rules apply to you, https://nswdpie.tfaforms.net/182.
What will the new meters be like?
All new meters installed on works must:
- be pattern-approved,
- have a local intelligence device (LID)
- have a tamper-evident seal.
There will be a new process to report when your metering equipment is faulty.
What happens if I miss the deadline?
If your property doesn’t have the appropriate meter installed by the deadline it could face fines, including:
- $750 fines for individuals who have shown no effort to comply
- $1500 fines for irrigation companies.
The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is responsible for compliance with and enforcement of the new water metering rules.
Who can carry out the new meter installation?
Only a DQP (Duly Qualified Person) can carry out the new meter installation. This person is typically a licensed plumber and must have received the requisite training for meter installation and certification.
Only Irrigation Australia provides the training for DQPs. To find a qualified installer in your area, see the Irrigation Australia website.
In South Coast NSW, Curran Plumbing is ready to provide a qualified DQP to sort out your water meter installation.
What does Curran’s DQP do?
For the water meter upgrade service Curran Plumbing’s DQP will:
- Advise on what equipment is right for you and how to comply with requirements
- Source and provide pattern-approved meters, tamper proof seals and telemetry equipment
- Install the meter correctly on the premises and check it is operating properly
- Register the meter with WaterNSW on behalf of the water user.
What happens after installation?
When the new meter with telemetry is installed you will be able to read the meter via a private online dashboard. Users will receive notifications when their equipment is not operating properly.
There are some ongoing obligations for water users, including:
- All reporting is via WaterNSW’s water accounting system.
- Recording and reporting on your water take, according to your equipment (see the Water NSW guidelines)
- Validations take place every five years, or every 12 months for open channels, and in any other circumstances
- These validations must be undertaken by a DQP.
For more information refer to the WaterNSW website.
What are the gains of the new system?
Generally, the new meters make processes easier for water users and suppliers. Some great benefits include:
- Compliance with your water supply works approval and water access licence conditions
- Telemetry makes it easier to check your data and reduces reporting obligations
- The meters are accurate and tamper proof and can be audited
- Data on water usage is sent back to the NSW network for more accurate water use monitoring.
The water meter rollout is designed to provide more accurate measurements to make water usage fairer for everyone in NSW. As Water NSW states, “Water meters are the key tool for measurement and monitoring of water usage in NSW. Accurate metering is essential for fairness and equity of water sharing between users.”
Long-term, the changes to water meters will help to build community confidence in how the state’s water is managed.
When do I need to do this?
Water NSW plans to notify owners regarding the conditions that apply to their property closer to the relevant rollout date. You can contact Water NSW sooner, to check if you will be impacted, rather than wait for notification.
If you do need a new approved meter, act soon to book a DQP for installation. It will help you avoid a period of peak demand for DQPs. There will only be a limited number of trained DQPs but there are thousands of properties in NSW, including coastal NSW, that will need surface water and groundwater pumps and meters.
Contact Curran Plumbing to book a DQP on the South Coast who can install your water meter.