Council clarifies water rates and charges

24 May, 2013

Wingecarribee Shire Council would like to clarify some issues that have been raised by ratepayers in regards to water usage charges.

Council understands that a number of residents have been surprised to receive bills which are higher than in previous years.

There are a number of reasons why water usage charges may be higher than this time last year.

The main reasons include:

• Warmer weather conditions. This past summer, the Southern Highlands experienced hotter-than-average weather conditions, including heat wave conditions in January. When compared to the previous three years, the 2012-13 summer was hotter and dryer which led to increased water consumption across the Shire.

• New water meters. Around 2,500 new water meters were installed across the Shire recently. These new water meters were installed as part of a regular maintenance program. Some older water meters may have given slow readings, so a higher and more accurate reading would occur in those circumstances with the new water meter.

• Water leaks. While a water leak is rare, it can account for an unexplained rise in water usage. A simple way to test if you have a water leak on your property is to write down a reading of your water meter before you go to bed, make sure you don’t use any water overnight, and then take a reading the next morning. If the meter reading has gone up and you have not used any appliances or taps, you may have a water leak. Please contact a licensed plumber as soon as possible to rectify any leaks and minimise excess usage charges.

At the beginning of each financial year, Council includes a flyer in the rates notice explaining all water and sewerage charges. This information can also be found on Council’s

Council understands that sometimes people are unable to pay their rates on time and would like to remind residents that they can contact Council’s revenue team on (02) 4868 0888 to make arrangements to pay their rates in instalments. Council’s website also lists different payment methods, including documents for those wishing to apply for Financial Hardship Rate Relief:

For more information about rates, or to discuss your rates account with Council’s revenue team, please call (02) 4868 0888 or visit Council’s website: