The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. Before you contact EWOQ with your complaint, you must first try to resolve the problem with your electricty, gas or water company.
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Restrictions

Water restriction warning and notice

Your water cannot be disconnected, however, your water flow can be severely restricted. Your retailer must give you fair notice before your water is restricted. A reminder notice will initially be sent, providing you with five business days to address the issue and advising what will happen if you don’t. If you fail to act on the reminder notice, a warning will be sent informing you that energy disconnection will occur in five business days or water restriction will occur in 10 business days. Warnings must include information on how EWOQ can help.

 

What to do when you receive a restriction notice

If you receive a notice, contact your retailer straight away, they may be able to help you. If you are having trouble paying your bill, there are a number of things you may be able to do:

  • request a payment plan
  • find out if there are any rebates or concessions you may be entitled to
  • gain access to a financial hardship program
  • get information on independent financial counselling
  • have a water audit to identify where you can save money.

 

When can I be restricted?

You can be disconnected for any of the following reasons:

  • if there are health and safety concerns
  • if you failed to pay a bill, security deposit or for connection services to your property
  • if you have been provided with at least two reminder notices and have not sought assistance in paying the account
  • if you have failed more than once in a 12 month period to comply with an agreed instalment plan.

 

When can’t I be disconnected?

You cannot have your water restricted:

  • if your premises has been registered as a special needs premises
  • if the restriction would lower the flow rate for the premises to less than the prescribed minimum flow rate
  • if your account is less than one month in arrears
  • if it has been less than one month since your security deposit was requested to be paid
  • if the water company has not issued a restriction notice
  • if a local fire ban or State of Fire Emergency has been declared in the area in which your premises is located
  • if the restriction is under investigation with EWOQ or another dispute resolution organisation.

 

Getting reconnected

Call your water company as soon as you realise your water has been restricted. You will usually need to pay something towards your bill or organise a payment plan, to establish reconnection.

You may also be charged a reconnection fee. You will pay more if you want to reconnect outside of business hours.

In addition, you may be required to pay a security deposit.

 

How can EWOQ help?

If you are facing restriction and can’t pay your bill, we can:

  • try and get you more time to pay
  • help you negotiate an affordable payment plan
  • refer you to agencies that distribute emergency funds
  • ask the retailer to put a hold on the restriction while you locate financial assistance
  • give you information on financial assistance and how to save money on your bills.

If your water supply has been restricted, we will check that the restriction was lawful, and try to get you reconnected.