Concealed water leaks on your property

Is your water bill unusually high? You could have a water leak on your property. Here's how to check your property for water leaks and avoid a costly water bill.

Leaking toilets, taps and underground pipes can waste a lot of water, leading to high water bills. They can also damage the structure of your property and even attract termites.

Did you know that:

  • 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.

Left untreated, leaks can lead to high water bills and costly repairs.

So, if you suspect a water leak on your property, it's important to identify it early and get it fixed as soon as possible before it becomes an even bigger problem for you.

Finding and avoiding leaks

Water providers read water meters every 3 months. However, you should also check your water meter regularly to keep an eye on how much water you’re using. You should also check your property for visible water leaks from taps, showers, toilets and irrigation systems.

If your water use has suddenly increased over those 3 months, you water provider may send you a letter to warn you of a potential concealed leak.

Not all water leaks are visible. These are called concealed leaks. To check for concealed leaks, follow these steps:

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

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.

If you're a tenant, you should report a water leak to your property manager or landlord as soon as you become aware of it.

Water providers 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 provider’s job to fix it. If you suspect a water leak beyond your fence line, you should report it to your water provider.

Find out more about water providers in Queensland.

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.

Concealed leak financial assistance

If you've received a high bill due to a concealed leak, you may be eligible for financial assistance. Under the Southeast Queensland Water and Wastewater Code, water providers must have a Concealed Leak Policy. These policies outline what needs to be done to successfully apply for financial assistance if a customer is impacted by a concealed leak.

To check your eligibility, and to find more advice on water leaks, refer to your water provider:

If you have a complaint about a water provider

If you've experienced a concealed leak, and have a dispute with you water provider, we may be able to help. EWOQ offers a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service to residential and small business water customers in South East Queensland.

If you live outside South East Queensland, check with your local council to find who your water service provider is and make a complaint directly to them.

Find out more about complaints we can help with.