Manage your Water and Sewer Service

Overview

In this section you will find information about your water or sewer service connection, including what your responsibilities are for when it comes to maintenance and ownership.

Council supplies and maintains one service connection per property. Additional service connections are only permitted in accordance with our Provision of Water & Sewer Services policies.

Report a Problem

Have an issue or want to know more about your water or sewer service? Check out our FAQs page or contact us by calling (02) 4868 0888 or reporting here.

Keep Wipes out of Pipes - The 3 P’s

Wet wipes are not of the same material as toilet paper. They don’t breakdown and can block sewer pipes. Once wipes are flushed through the toilet system, they stay intact and   travel through the sewer system. Wipes then get caught on debris, roots and in pumps and machinery leading to blockages, overflows and equipment failures. Despite the claims from the manufacturers - wet wipes are not flushable.

It is estimated that more than half of all Council sewer blockages are a result from flushed wet wipes and other common foreign objects (e.g. rags, nappies, sanitary items, cotton buds, dental floss, cigarette butts, cooking fats and oils etc.) that don’t belong in the sewer system. 

The only items that should be flushed down the toilet are the Three P’s – Pee, Poo & (toilet) Paper. All other items should be disposed of correctly in your household waste collection bins.

Understanding your Sewer Service

As the property owner, you are responsible for all the fittings and pipes inside the property boundary up to the connection point with Council’s sewer main, this includes the Boundary Riser (may be known as a Boundary Trap). This includes any repairs, replacements or maintenance costs associated with these pipes and fittings.

It is also your responsibility to ensure that any manholes, lamp holes, boundary risers, gully traps that are within your property boundary can be seen and accessed in the event of a sewer blockage or overflow. They should be clear of any surface objects or debris.

The diagram below shows an example of sewer service connection including where the responsibility for repairs and maintenance starts and ends:

 sewer service connection including where the responsibility for repairs and maintenance starts and ends
 
Understanding Sewer Pipes and Connections

Gully Trap/ Overflow Relief Gully (ORG)

A gully trap is one of the most important fixtures on your property. It will generally have a loose-grated metal or plastic removable lid to allow sewage to overflow if a blockage has occurred. This helps prevent the sewage from overflowing inside your house. Please note: 

  • A gully trap is not for stormwater
  • Gullies can be damaged or become too low when the surrounding ground level is raised, such as landscaping
  • Damaged and low-lying gullies must be repaired or replaced by a licensed plumber
  • The gully opening must be at least 75mm above the ground to stop stormwater entering
  • The gully must be at least 150mm below internal floors or from the lowest point to be drained
  • Keep your gully clear of all objects and debris
  • You should not glue or fix the removable lid on the concrete surround

 Overflow Gully trap with inner black grate, with concrete outer grate

Example of compliant Gully Trap

Boundary Riser / Boundary Shaft

This is an access point to your property’s sewer system that allows you to inspect and clear blockages. If you suspect a blockage, first locate your boundary riser (it looks like a plastic cap with a concrete surround) before contacting a licensed plumber. Your boundary riser must have a watertight lid and it is important that it is easy to locate.

Example of round white Boundary Riser in Garden

Example of Boundary Riser

 

Manhole/ Lamphole

Where a sewer main changes horizontal or vertical direction, you will find a manhole or lamphole. These are concrete structures about one metre in diameter and are essential for the maintenance of the sewer. They provide an access point for any blockages/overflows that may occur in a sewer main. If a manhole / lamphole is within your property, then it is important to ensure they can be clearly seen and accessed. Keep your manhole / lampholes clear of all objects and debris both from on top and around so that it is easy to locate when required.

Manhole lid with green grass surrounding the lid

Example of Manhole Lid

Pressure Sewer Systems (PSS)

These systems are small on-property units that collect, grind and pump household sewage directly into a pressured sewer main. They are generally in areas where a gravity system cannot be installed. 

Wingecarribee Shire Council have Pressure Sewer Schemes in areas where Council owns and maintains the Pressure Sewer System. All maintenance issues related to Pressure Sewer Systems outside of these schemes are the owner’s responsibility.

Find out if you’re eligible for Council’s Pressure Sewer Scheme below;

Council Managed Pressure Sewer Schemes(PDF, 360KB)

Pressure Sewer System surrounded by green grass

Example of a Pressure Sewer System

Understanding your Water Service

Understanding your Responsibility

We provide and maintain the entire network up to and including your water meter. If you notice a problem with your meter, contact us and we’ll repair or replace it. However, if you damage or tamper with your meter we may need to forward the repair charges on to you.

Please make sure your water meter is always accessible and that your internal plumbing after the meter is in good condition. If you have any issues with your internal plumbing, please consult a plumber.

The below diagram shows your water connection including where the responsibility for repairs and maintenance starts and ends:

 water connection including where the responsibility for repairs and maintenance starts and ends

Water Leaks

Leaks can occur when water pipes crack under the ground, in walls and underneath concrete driveways, which can make them difficult to locate. A dripping water tap or hidden water leak on your property can waste thousands of litres of water over a three-month period, which could add unnecessary cost to the water account holder and can lead to property damage. 

How do I check for water leaks?

1. Ensure no water is being used in your house and turn off all water appliances, such as washing machines.

2. Take a reading of your water meter, including the red numbers.

3. Wait overnight, ensuring no water is used. The longer the time, the more obvious the results are. 

4. If the meter shows water has been used, you may have a leak. It is recommended you contact a licenced plumber to locate and rectify any leaks.

If you find a leak that is Council's responsibility, please contact us for assistance, by calling (02) 4868 0888 or report here.

Understanding Water Pipes and Connections

Water Meters

There are several styles of water meters installed throughout the Wingecarribee Shire however they generally operate the same. Your water meter records the amount of water your household consumes, and this is used to calculate your bill. Council reads the black numbers only and charge per kilolitre.

 20mm brass water meter

Example of 20mm Water Meter

Water Shut-Off Valve

Every water service connection includes a shut-off valve at the meter to enable the water supply to be isolated to your property. There are several types of shut off valves however they all operate the same way. The most common type is a quarter-turn style shut-off valve.

Ball Valve on white background

Example of Shut-Off Valve

Water Meter Covers

Water meter protection covers help to protect the water meter and associated pipe and fittings that are above ground. They help prevent damage, vandalism, condensation and potential freezing in cold conditions. 

Council supply water meter protection covers as part of the installation process for any new water connection. Replacement meter cover requests are the responsibility of the owner to purchase. Meter protection covers can be purchased from most plumbing supply outlets. 

Black meter cover

Example of Meter Cover