Water service interruptions

Experiencing a water service interruption?
Unplanned water interruptions usually occur due to a leak or burst in a water main.  Changes in rainfall, temperature, water pressure and ground movement can all cause water pipes to leak or burst. Council staff constantly maintains and upgrade our network to minimise the number and duration of outages.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by unplanned water supply interruptions. 

SPOTTED A LEAK IN THE STREET?
Council does everything to prevent leaks from the council network of pipes, but if you see a leak in the road or on the footpath, please contact Council. The sooner we know about a leak, the sooner we can fix it.

What causes water pipes to leak?
Leaks happen for many different reasons. For example, changes in rainfall, temperature, soil type, water pressure and ground movement can all cause leaks.

What sort of leaks should I report?
We are responsible for your water meter and the pipe leading away from your meter to the water main. Please report any leaks you see from these pipes (for example on the road, footpath or nature strip).

How do I know it’s a water leak?
Leaks can appear as flowing or trickling clear water or they can appear as a damp patch that doesn’t dry up over a couple of days. Water that has formed a puddle and appears after heavy rainfall may not be the result of a leak.

How do I report the leak?
Council has staff dedicated to respond to faults and emergencies 24 hours a day. Please contact Council to report any leaks. Please do not attempt to fix the leak yourself. 

LEAK ON YOUR PROPERTY
Leaks on your property can sometimes be difficult to find, especially if the leak is in a pipe behind a wall, in the roof, or in your yard. Here are three steps to help you identify if you have a leak, and find out what to do if you have one.

STEP 1 – Complete a water meter-self test
If you think you may have a leak on your property, we recommend you complete this simple test to help you find out what’s going on:
• After checking for visible leaks from taps, toilets and showers, turn off all taps and take a reading of your water meter. Don’t use any water for at least one hour (don’t even flush the toilet). Take another reading of your water meter and pay attention to the red numbers and dials.
• If there has been an increase in the readings, you may have a leak.
• If you are having difficulty accessing your water meter, or if you live in a unit or apartment block and don’t have an individual meter, please contact Council.

STEP 2 - Identifying where the leak is
If your meter reading increased using the above test, it’s time to find where the leak is. 
Checking for obvious leaks :
• Taps and sinks – check to see if any taps are dripping. Dripping taps will often just need a replacement washer.
• Kitchen - check to see if there is water pooling under the dishwasher or fridge (if it is connected to the plumbing). You should also look for warped or discoloured cupboards, bench tops or walls. This is a sign that water is leaking from somewhere close by.
• Bathroom - check to see if the toilet cistern is continually running. If it is you’ll need to contact a licensed plumber to help you fix the problem.
• Laundry - check for water pooling under the washing machine or laundry tub. If you see pooling water in these areas, check the hoses connecting the washing machine to see if they are cracked, frayed, bulging or wet.
• Yard – if you can see wet patches or bright green areas of grass in your yard, this could indicate that there is a leak in a pipe underground. You should contact a licensed plumber to investigate.
• Around the home – other things you can look for around the home that could indicate a leak include: Warped or discoloured walls and floorboards, damp carpets, drips on the side of the hot water system.
• If you think you have a leak and a plumber is needed, you will be responsible for the cost. You will also be charged for the water that your property uses while the leak remains unrepaired.

STEP 3 – Fixing the leak

Depending on where the leak is, we may be able to help. If the leak is in one of your pipes (the property owner’s pipes), you should call a licensed plumber. You may wish to speak with the Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland on 07 3273 0800 between Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm, for a referral to a licensed plumber or a leak detection specialist in your area. If the leak is in one of the Council’s pipes, please contact Council immediately. 

DOES YOUR PROPERTY HAVE NO WATER?
A water service interruption can be caused by:
• problems within your property’s plumbing,
• a burst pipe, leak or fault in the area.

What you can do:
1. Check to see if council has left a notification card in your letterbox

We always try to give residents advance notice of any work we’re doing in a particular area. Sometimes it’s not possible to give advance notice of such works, for example, during an unplanned incident (such as a burst water main or power outage). 
2. Check if the tap on, your water meter is turned on
The water meter controls the flow of water into your property. Using a spanner if required, turn the tap gently until you feel resistance (do not force it). If it is already fully open, the tap will not move. 
3. Check with your neighbours
It may be possible that your neighbours are experiencing a similar issue. If they’re not, this may indicate a problem with your private plumbing. The location of the problem will determine who is responsible for fixing it.
4. Try your cold kitchen tap
The main water supply normally enters your home in the cold kitchen or laundry room tap. If water comes out of this tap but not elsewhere (such as your shower or bathroom tap), the problem is with your internal plumbing. 
5. Call us
If you have tried all of the above and cannot identify the problem, please contact Council to report the issue.
We will arrange one of our plumbers to visit your property and investigate the issue. 
We will respond to incidents as quickly as possible.
 
THE COST OF WATER LEAKS IN YOUR HOME 
Council can offer assistance for high water bills where there is a genuine concealed water leak, for example, under a concrete slab. Residents should try to be aware of what is going on in their homes and monitor water usage to help recognise if there is a concealed leak.If your water leak has simply gone unnoticed or has been caused by aging pipes, wear and tear, by accident or by your gardening or landscaping, no concessions can be granted.
Remember, the water usage measured by your meter is charged to you.  A resident who believes they have had a concealed water leak can request a concession, however evidence must be provided such as:

• A copy of the repair bill;
• A declaration from yourself and by the licenced plumber including the plumber’s notification of the repairs and photographs of the leak site;
• Confirmation of the water usage readings showing it has come back to normal.

Whitsunday Regional Council adopted a new policy for Concealed Water Leakage as 1 September 2014. For more information please download the Concealed Water Leak Policy. [PDF 146KB]
    
Council will assess the details on an application and may grant a concession for part of the water usage account.
Please be observant - check your water pipes and fittings, read your water meter and keep track of your water usage.
  1. P  1300 WRC QLD (1300 972 753)
    Email  info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au

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