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FAQs mō te wai

Water FAQs

Frequently asked questions about water supply, how we treat water, water meters, and the leak allowance.

Water supply

Which areas does Watercare supply?
Are there other sources of water?
What is the average rainfall per year in the Auckland region?

Treating water

How we treat your water
Treating water from dams
Treating water from the Waikato River

Drinking water quality

What is drinking water?
What's in my water?
Why is Auckland's water considered soft?
I want to report a water quality issue

Flush your pipes

Why should I flush my tap?
What is plumbosolvency?
Is plumbosolvency a problem with the water supply?
Are there any health risks from the drinking water?
Does it matter if I am on public or private water supplies?

Our dams

How do our dams compare in size?
How much does Hays Creek Dam store?
How much water do the Hūnua dams provide?
How much water do the Waitākere dams provide?
Why can’t you strategically keep your dams low and prevent them from spilling?
Why is Waitākere Dam typically one of the first to spill?

Leak allowance

How can I confirm that I have a leak?
Who pays to repair a leak?
How soon should I apply for the allowance?
What does the allowance cover?
When will the allowance take effect?
I've fixed a leak. Why is my latest bill still high?
Can I get a refund if my account goes into credit due to a leak allowance?
I am a commercial customer. Can I apply for the allowance?
Can I get an allowance for another leak?

Water meters

Do I have to pay Watercare if I use a rain tank for my water?
How do I read my meter?
I want to add another meter/move my meter
Where is my meter?
Who repairs my meter?
What if the meter reader can't access my meter?
How do I arrange for a meter reading?
What is my water meter number?
Which water meter serves my property?
Who maintains the meter?
Can I add/move/disconnect a meter?

Smart meters

What is a smart meter?
What are the benefits of a smart meter?
Will every property's water meter be replaced?
How will I know if my meter is going to be replaced?
What impact will the replacement have on me?
How is the installation done?
How does the smart meter work?
How often will the smart meter transmit my data?
Will I be able to receive my water usage data?
Will the battery in the smart meter need checking and/or replacing regularly?
Will I be able to read my water meter after the smart device is installed?
If I have a leak, will the meter show constant movement?
What do I do if my meter is in flight mode?
How long will a smart meter last?
How should I care for my meter?
Will the new device affect my bill?
Can I choose the day I get billed?
Is my smart meter being billed automatically?
Will I continue to receive estimate reads?

Master and subsidiary meters

How is the water bill calculated?
Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs of master and sub meters?

Check meters

I have a check meter. Will this change my water bill?
Who owns and maintains check meters?
Who tests the meter?

Irrigation meters

Why use an irrigation meter?
How do I apply for an irrigation meter?
What does it cost to install an irrigation meter?
What does it cost to use and maintain an irrigation meter?
What are the alternatives to an irrigation meter?
Why does the meter have a backflow prevention device?
Will my wastewater charges change with an irrigation meter?

Rain tank water meters

Why install a water meter?
What will it cost to install a meter?
Can I switch to a combined fixed/volumetric charge for a rain water tank meter?

Purified recycled water

What is purified recycled water?
What are the benefits of purified recycled water?
Quality and safety
How are we engaging with our customers?
Important points from the Water Services Association of Australia

Town to tank service

How is a town to tank connection different from a standard connection?
How do I connect to a town to tank connection?
How do I operate a town to tank connection?
How quickly can you connect my property after I apply?
Can my neighbour and I share a connection?
Can I upgrade later to a standard connection?
If I install a tap at my boundary, how can I stop other people from using it?
My house and rain tank are uphill of my property boundary. Is the low-flow connection suitable for me?
What are the connection and ongoing charges for town to tank?
What type of water meter and backflow device will be installed?
Why does a town to tank connection require a backflow prevention device?
Why do I have to pay an infrastructure growth charge for town to tank?
Why do I need a wastewater connection in order to apply for a town to tank connection?
Will my wastewater charges change?

Water and wastewater servicing strategies

What is a water and wastewater servicing strategy?
What does a servicing strategy consider?
Why the need for a 70 year servicing strategy?
How do you work with mana whenua?


Who installs and tests backflow devices?
Which water connections require a backflow device?
What information is required when I apply for a connection?
Is my property a backflow risk?
Where are the devices installed?
More information