How to connect your water before you move

Everything you need to consider for fresh water when you move in.

Moving into a new home in Australia can be an exciting adventure – especially when moving states – but it’s important to ensure your water supply is connected from day one.

While water connection and sewage connection is typically straightforward in Australia, especially with limited options for providers, it can still feel overwhelming when you’re new to the area. 

Whether you’re moving from overseas or just relocating within the country, the process of moving house can be stressful in itself. However, if you prioritise your water connection it will feel much smoother.

It’s crucial to take care of practical details like setting up your water and sewage services along with your utilities and broadband. Let’s dive into how you can get your water connection sorted no matter where you are in Australia.

Getting your water connected

Connecting your water and sewage to your new home in Australia might seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple. We’ve got two ways you can do it below:

Moving within Australia?

  1. Cancel water and sewage at your current address before you get settled. Contact your current water provider to arrange for disconnection the day after you move out. If you forget this step, you might end up with more bills than necessary.
  2. Arrange for water and sewage service at your new address. Contact the water provider at your new home to arrange for connection on your move-in day or the day before. This ensures you have water from day one in your new home and you won’t have to wait.

Moving from overseas?

  1. To get water and sewage set up at your new place, call the water provider for your new home ahead of time. 
  2. Arrange for the connection on your move-in day to avoid any issues. If you’re renting, your landlord might be able to help set up these services before you arrive.

Moving to a property without water?

  1. If you’re constructing your own home or moving to a property without existing water and sewage connections, the process can be complex, time-consuming, and costly. 
  2. Your water/sewage provider might need to install infrastructure like piping, tanks, metres, and valves on your property, depending on its location and existing local infrastructure.
  3. It’s crucial to contact your local water provider well ahead of time for guidance in such situations. You can also consult local contractors involved in developing the property for assistance.

Can I choose my own water supplier in Australia?

Unlike gas and electricity, which have been deregulated in many areas of Australia, water and sewage services are regulated by the state – so in short, no, you can’t pick your supplier. 

The water provider you’ll need to apply to is determined by the state and municipality you live in, leaving consumers with no real choice in their water supply.

Refer to the table below to find out which providers supply water and sewage services in your state or region.

Reach out to your landlord, real estate agent, or local authority to verify the water and sewage provider in your area. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll help direct you to the appropriate provider.

Water connection: What about costs?

The cost of living in Australia, especially in major cities like Melbourne and Sydney, is currently quite high. Water bills can be a significant expense for households and it’s important to note that you’re not just paying for water when a bill is calculated. 

Water bills typically consist of three main components:

  1. Water usage charges: These charges vary based on the amount of water consumed, usually measured in litres.
  2. Water supply fixed charges: This is a set fee covering the costs of maintaining water infrastructure, regardless of usage.
  3. Sewerage charges: These charges are for the maintenance of wastewater systems.

The specific rates and breakdown of these charges are determined by your local water authority. It’s common for rates to increase annually to account for inflation and infrastructure upgrades.

Usage charges generally make up a significant portion of the total bill, typically ranging from 40% to 60%. This means that the more water your household uses, the higher your bill will be. Water authorities measure your usage through a water metre located on your property.

If you’re relocating to Australia from another country, you might notice that water bills here are relatively high compared to what you’re accustomed to, although this can vary depending on your country of origin.

How are water bills calculated?

In Australia, your water and sewage bill is typically calculated based on a quarterly flat access fee along with usage charges for the amount of water consumed (measured in kiloliters). 

Some providers may also include a state bulk water charge. To lower your bill and minimise your environmental impact, it’s advisable to reduce your water usage at home. 

Additionally, you can inquire about government-sponsored discounts on your water bill, particularly if you are a pensioner, have a low annual income, or reside in certain areas. Families with children may also be eligible for specific discounts.

Average quarterly household cost of water (by state) in 2023:

The average water bill in Australia varies across states, typically around $210 per quarter. However, this average is influenced by several factors:

  • Household size: Larger households with more occupants tend to use more water, resulting in higher bills. Single occupants often pay less than $100, while families of four or more can pay over $300.
  • Household income: Higher-income households tend to use more water for activities like laundry, dishwashing, and showering, leading to above-average bills.
  • Property size: Large properties with extensive gardens requiring more irrigation often have higher usage charges. In contrast, small units tend to have below-average bills.
  • Water conservation efforts: Households actively conserving water through measures like short showers, water tank usage, and leak repairs can keep bills well below the average.
  • Water infrastructure: Regional areas with less developed water infrastructure may have higher supply fixed charges, inflating bills.
  • Metre read errors: Mistakes in metre readings by the water company can lead to inflated bills. Checking your metre readings regularly can help prevent overcharging.

While the average provides a general idea, individual circumstances play a significant role. Monitoring your water usage, checking for leaks, and contacting your provider if your bill seems unusually high can help reduce costs.

Discounts on water bills in Australia

In Australia, the government offers discounts and support programs to help residents with their water bills, especially in light of current financial pressures. 

Elderly residents, typically pensioners, can often receive significant discounts of up to 50% on a portion of their annual water usage charges. Similarly, lower-income households, especially those with children, may also qualify for these discounts.

To determine your eligibility and apply for these discounts, contact your water provider. They will provide information on the documentation required, such as a concession card, to receive your discount.

Contact us and get connected

Are you moving and need help with your water connection? Contact our team and let us walk you through getting connected to the right supplier in your state.

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