Common Water Questions

Townsville's water - Love Every Drop

Read council's water policy to find out more or or email Townsville Water.

View the most commonly asked questions about water below.

  • Where can I find more information about water pricing?
  • Are water restrictions still in place, if so what are they?
    • Water restrictions have been in place since 1996.

      Permanent water restrictions are a central part of Townsville Water's strategy to conserve the city's primary water reserves in the Ross and Paluma Dams all year round, regardless of good or bad wet seasons.

      Townsville City Council is authorised by law to impose water restrictions within the local government area of Townsville. This power comes from the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (the Act), which states that a water service provider may impose a water restriction where a reasonable and comprehensive strategy is in place for demand management for water and the restriction is essential to ensure the aims of the strategy are met. The section of the Act which covers this section 41 part (2)(c). Section 41 part (1) also provides the ways in which water restrictions have been imposed.

      As a part of the overall management plan for Townsville Water, Townsville City Council must develop a Drought Management Plan (the DMP), the Act section 123. The DMP provides for water restrictions and this aligns with the strategy that Council has adopted to manage water demand. Townsville Water has opted for permanent low-level water restrictions to manage our demand, with increasing levels of restrictions as the capacity of our dams reduce.

      While we are currently in a much better position than many water service providers, the local government area of Townsville city is growing rapidly, at around 2-3% per annum which is one of the highest growth rates in Queensland. Additionally, Townsville is historically quite a dry area and has experienced periods of drought lasting up to five years. Therefore, we must manage our water supply responsibly to ensure long term sustainability. Although we do have the option of pumping water from the Burdekin, should we need it, Townsville Water views this as an emergency supply option as it is extremely costly.

      Follow this link for more information on our current water restrictions.

  • Can I use greywater (water from showers and laundries etc) to water my yard?
    • Recent amendments to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 allow residents in sewered areas to apply for approval to install greywater use facilities (Class 1A dwellings only). Greywater from showers, basins, laundry, baths, and clothes washers can be reused for subsurface irrigation or manual 'bucketing' into household lawns and gardens. However, kitchen greywater is not allowed due to a higher potential of problems associated with food waste and grease, including clogged pipes and increased potential health risks. It's advised that you don't store greywater for longer than 24 hours as it may turn septic. Also, avoid putting greywater on edible plants such as leafy greens or root crops.
  • Does council recycle?
    • Yes. Treated wastewater is recycled as irrigation on golf courses, sports fields and council grounds.
  • How often is my water meter read?
    • The majority of residential meters are read up to four times a year to monitor water consumption.

      Follow this link for more information on water meters.

  • Why has my water meter been replaced?
    • Council's water meter replacement program involves exchanging water meters that have been in place for eight or more years. This program aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of water consumption measurement.
  • How do I apply for a different sized water meter or to relocate my meter?
    • We will provide a quote to add, resize or relocate a meter.

      Fees applicable for the relocation of a meter will be detailed as part of our quote and will be invoiced after the job is complete. Once the quote has been accepted, we will commence the proposed work.

      Follow this link for more information on private works quotations.

      Commercial relocation of meter:
      You will need to submit a Site Plan showing the new location of the water meter.

      Plans must show two dimensions, for example the distances from side boundary and front boundary.

      Fees applicable for the relocation of a meter will be detailed as part of our quote and will be invoiced after the job is complete. Once the quote is accepted, we will commence the proposed work.

      Residential relocation of meter:
      You will need to submit a Site Plan showing the new location of the water meter.

      Plans must show two dimensions, for example the distances from side boundary and front boundary.

      Fees will be charged for the disconnection of a meter at the existing site and for the reconnection of a meter to a proposed location.

  • How do I apply for a new water meter or wastewater service connection?
    • To apply for a new water meter/wastewater (sewerage) service connection, applicants will need to complete application Compliance assessment application for plumbing, drainage and on-site sewerage work (Form 1) under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.

      Applicants will also need to select their preferred water billing scheme and submit the below form along with the application. For more information on your water billing choices please see our Water Pricing FAQ's

      Authorisation to Change Water Billing Option - New Water Meter Connection (PDF)

      These forms should be submitted to Planning and Development.

      Please note: This option is only available in conjunction with a new water meter application or if a material change of use has occurred.

      Water connection:
      The completed application needs to be accompanied by a Site Plan showing the proposed location of the water meter. Plans must show two dimensions, for example distances from the side boundary and the front boundary.

      Applicable fees will be charged for the size of the proposed water meter and relevant connection.

      Sewerage connection:
      A request for private works quotation will also need to be completed.

      The completed application will need to be accompanied by a Site Plan showing the proposed work to be carried out.

      Fees applicable for sewerage connection will be detailed as part of our quote and will be invoiced after the job is complete. Once the quote has been accepted, we will commence the proposed work.
  • How do I apply to disconnect an existing service?
    • To disconnect an existing water/wastewater service, applicants will need to complete application Compliance assessment application for plumbing, drainage and on-site sewerage work (Form 1) under Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.

      These forms should be submitted to Planning and Development.

      Water disconnection:
      Water meter disconnections may require to be quoted if not a standard size, contact Planning and Development for further information. Fees are applicable.

      Wastewater disconnection:
      You will need to provide a reason for wanting to disconnect the service. Fees are applicable.
  • How do I apply for restoration or reconnection of an existing service?
    • To apply for restoration or reconnection of an existing service, applicants will need to complete the application Compliance assessment application for plumbing, drainage and on-site sewerage work (Form 1), detailing the site address for connection.

      These forms should be submitted to Planning and Development.

      Water connection:
      The completed application will need to be accompanied by a Site Plan showing the proposed location of water meter. Plans must show two dimensions, for example distances from the side boundary and the front boundary.

      Fees are applicable to the size of the proposed water meter and relevant connection.

      Sewerage connection:
      A request for private works quotation will also need to be completed, detailing the work to be carried out.

      The completed application will need to be accompanied by a Site Plan showing the proposed work to be carried out.

      Fees will be detailed as part of our quote and will be invoiced after the work is complete. Once the quote is accepted, we will commence the proposed work.
  • What happens when I purchase a property?
    • Once the Solicitors have processed all the necessary paperwork for the sale of the property they will lodge the settlement/transfer of ownership documents with the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM). These documents are lodged with the Titles Office to change the name on the title deed for the property. DERM will then inform Council of the change of ownership. This process can take up to six weeks.

      Any adjustments for water usage/excess water should be calculated at the time of settlement, usually by the Solicitor. Residential properties are billed half yearly, in arrears for water consumption charges and in advance or water service charges. If there are any charges the owner of the property will receive the account, after the quarterly meter reading.
  • How do I find out if my property is in a water or wastewater service area?
ISO-9001 MarkISO-14001-Mark