Downsize, Disconnect or Nominal Sizing

If you are changing the use of an existing commercial premises you may need to alter the size of your meter to suit the new water pressure or fire safety requirements. It is recommended that you read and understand the below information before you apply for a meter alteration. 

Downsizing your Water Service

Your business may not have a need for greater volumes of water provided by a larger metered service connection that may have been installed to serve a previous business need.

If you are requesting to downsize your meter, your request must be accompanied by a Hydraulic Engineer's report indicating the physical 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 physically 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.

Disconnecting a Water Service

Properties with multiple water service connections may wish to reduce the number of connections on the property to reduce the charges which apply on the Water Account. 

Shoalhaven Water do not charge for this service, but the re-plumbing of internal lines will become the responsibility and expense of the property owner.

Should the disconnection of a Water Meter Service occur please note a re-connection will be charged at full installation of a new meter.

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 reduced to reflect a smaller connection. A recommendation is required via a Consulting or Hydraulic Engineers Report as to the connection required in the below circumstances:

Fire Services

If your connection supports a fire service that requires a larger connection say a 150mm service but is only used in emergencies, Shoalhaven Water will Nominal size the availability charge based on the connection size you would require to service the property excluding the fire safety system such as a 32mm service.

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 is 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.

Low Pressure

If it is demonstrated that a property receives low water pressure less than 15 meters of head a nominal charge may be applied to the water account based on the size of the connection required for the property to ensure the correct supply of pressure.

Exceptional Circumstances

Shoalhaven Water may approve nominal sizing or quantity of connections if unique circumstances exist. Full circumstances and supporting documentation must be submitted to support your application.

Terms and Conditions

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

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

Tampering with Shoalhaven Water Meters

Unless approved in writing by Shoalhaven Water it is an offence under the Local Government Act (LGA) to tamper with any metered service or fittings owned and operated by Shoalhaven Water. The LGA 1993 (as amended) stipulates that penalties apply in cases where an offence has taken place in relation to Council's property and assets (refer to Part 3, Chapter 16 - Offences of the LGA).

Ongoing Fees and Charges

The size of a water meter service connection will directly affect the amount non-residential customers pay for availability charges. After completion of works you will notice an amendment of charges on your next Water Account.

How do I apply for a Meter Alteration?

If your business fits into one of the above categories you may be eligible to apply for a meter alteration. To apply, submit our online Meter Alteration Request.

After submission, depending on whether further information is required, an application would normally be processed within 30 days.   

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