Concealed water leaks on your property

Is your water bill higher than usual? This could be due to leaking toilets, taps and underground pipes. Here's how to check your property for water leaks.

Leaking toilets, taps and underground pipes can waste a lot of water, leading to high water bills.

For example:

  • a tap that drips once a second wastes up to 33 litres per day
  • a leaking underground water pipe can waste thousands of litres per day and not be visible.

Leaks can also damage the structure of your property and even attract termites.

However, there are some steps you can take to find leaks on your property before they become a problem for you.

Who is responsible?

If you’re a property owner, you’re responsible for installing, repairing, maintaining and replacing all private fittings, mains-connected water tanks and pipes on your property up to the water meter.

Water companies are responsible for the water meter itself and the pipes leading away from the property. If there’s a problem in the pipes beyond your fence line, it’s the water company’s job to fix it.

Finding and avoiding leaks

Water companies read water meters every 3 months. They send letters to people whose water use has suddenly increased over those 3 months to warn them they may have a concealed water leak.

However, you should also check your water meter regularly to keep an eye on how much water you’re using.

Not all water leaks are visible. These are called concealed leaks.

Checking for concealed leaks

Follow these steps if you think you’ve got a concealed leak, such as an underground leak, or would just like to check for leaks:

  1. Check your property inside and out for visible water leaks from taps, toilets, showers and irrigation systems.
  2. Turn off all taps, water appliances and irrigation at your property.
  3. Go to your water meter and record the current reading (the numbers on the meter). Leave your water meter tap turned on.
  4. Don’t use any water for one hour, even flushing the toilet.
  5. After one hour, check the meter again. If the reading has changed in that hour, there could be a water leak.

Getting a leak fixed

If you find a concealed leak, turn off your water tap at the meter immediately and call a licensed plumber.

In Queensland, only licensed plumbers with appropriate qualifications can do plumbing work.

More advice about water leaks