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Water Meter Services

Sizing of water meter services

Business customers, non-strata and non-residential properties are charged availability for water and sewerage based on the size of the water meter service connection. 

industrial pipes Water charges will depend on the size of the business.

The type of development/activity on the property will determine what size water meter connection your property will require.

The information provided here is for business customers who may wish to downsize, disconnect or determine a nominal size of a water meter connection because of fire services or low water pressure flows, or to minimise charges.

Downsizing your water service

The availability charges as shown on your Water Account for water and sewerage is based on the size of a customer’s water meter service. Your business may not have a need for greater volumes or pressure of water provided by a larger than normal 20mm meter service connection. If you wish to downsize your water service complete and submit an Application to Downsize, Upsize, Disconnect or Nominal Sizing of your Water Meter Service which can be downloaded below.

By reducing the size of the water meter you may experience a decrease in the flow rate as well as a reduction in water pressure.

If a meter has been installed on a property to service firefighting systems your application must be accompanied by an Hydraulic Engineer’s report indicating that the downsize of the water meter service will not be detrimental to the water flow or pressure required at the premises.

The Hydraulic Engineer’s report must provide a recommendation of the size for the replacement as well as:

  • Plans of the premises indicating essential services eg fire
  • Confirmation that the recommended downsize demonstrates compliance with the relevant building codes of Australia (eg. BCA, NSW Plumbing & Drainage, NSW Fire Brigade requirements)
  • A pressure certificate if required
  • Comment about the effect of a backflow prevention device if installed

Applications must be signed by the owner of the property. Where applications involve non-residential strata units, the application is to be signed by the Secretary of the Body Corporate.

The cost to downsize water meter service connections will be the responsibility of the property owner and must be paid before any works are commenced. Shoalhaven Water will provide an estimated cost prior to work commencing. The estimated cost may alter during works due to unforeseen circumstances, in which case a refund will be made or further billing invoiced.

Disconnection of a water service

Properties with multiple water service connections may wish to reduce the number of connections to reduce the number of charges. It should be noted that Availability Charges will still apply at the property based on a 20mm connection, in accordance with the Local Government Act.

The disconnection of multiple water connections on a property will only be undertaken by Shoalhaven Water upon receipt of an application. The re-plumbing of internal lines is the responsibility of the property owner.

Nominal Sizing of a water connection

The nominal sizing of a water meter means that the current connection stays in place but availability charges are nominally adjusted because of a number of factors, as described below, to the reflect a smaller connection.

Fire systems

If your non-residential property supports a fire service that requires a larger connection to support the fire service, you may be eligible to receive relief from higher availability charges. Shoalhaven Water will set a nominal size with the charge based on nominal size of connection needed for that property; were a fire service not installed.

For properties where hose reels are connected, a nominal size will only be applicable if the hose reels are protected by lead security seals. The full cost of a service will be charged where seals are broken, not in place, or hoses are used for purposes other than firefighting.

There will be a requirement for the applicant to demonstrate compliance with the Building Code of Australia eg Australian Standards for Hydrants and Hose Reel Codes, NSW Fire Brigade and Plumbing and Drainage Codes.

Applications for nominal sizing of fire services are to be rendered using the same form for downsize or disconnection. A recommendation is required by a Consulting or Hydraulic Engineers Report as to the connection required for the property; were a fire service not installed.

Low pressure

If in the opinion of Shoalhaven Water, a non-residential property is supplied with water pressure at a flow less than 15 meters of head a nominal charge will be set by Council based on the size of connection needed for that property; were low pressure flows not experienced.

Exceptional circumstances

Shoalhaven Water may approve nominal sizing or quantity of connections if unique circumstances exist. Full circumstances and supporting documentation will be required.

General information

An application and any recommendation contained within the accompanying Consulting or Hydraulics Engineers Report will not place any obligation on Shoalhaven Water for approval. All applications are subject to assessment and final approval by Council.

Costs incurred for Consulting or Hydraulic Engineers Reports or other documentation will be at the property owner’s expense.

How long will it take to approve an application?

Depending on whether further information is required, an application would normally be processed within 30 days and a new meter provided shortly thereafter.

The size of a water meter service connection will directly affect the amount non-residential customers pay for availability charges. All applications for water meter service connections will be effective and adjustments undertaken from the issue date of the next water account following the submission of the application and subject to the application being completed in all respects and accepted for determination.

Availability charges at the higher rate will however continue to be levied until approval is granted. Adjustments to availability charges will be undertaken only once approval is given.

More information or advice on progress of an application can be made by contacting Shoalhaven Water on 02 4429 3214.