Meter Replacement Program
Why is my meter being replaced?
Water meters are mechanical devices and like all mechanical devices they wear with usage and with age. As part of the proactive water meter replacement program, water meters are routinely replaced when they have been identified as having reached the end of their life cycle. These replacements are undertaken as general maintenance. (Kindly note, generally water meters register less usage as they age.)
- DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): The reason the meter is being replaced is because it has been identified as having passed its useful life or has stopped working altogether. This enables Unitywater to include the meter in its annual Meter Replacement Program.
- LARGE METERS (>25mm): Large meters are replaced when they have been identified as having passed their useful life or have stopped working altogether.
Other reasons for replacement:
- METER TESTING: Your meter will also be removed and replaced if you have asked for your meter to be tested. Domestic water meters are randomly selected for testing as part of our asset management conditioning monitoring program. Your domestic meter may in some instances already be included on the allocated testing program for the year.
- DAMAGED METER: Your meter will also be removed if it has been damaged. (This is reactive maintenance, not part of this proactive Meter Replacement Program.)
Who is replacing my meter and how can I identify them?
- DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): The meter replacement work is undertaken by licensed plumbing contractors authorised by Unitywater to deliver this work. They are identified by ID cards and vehicle signage and wear standard high-visibility work uniforms.
- LARGE METERS (>25mm): The meter replacement work is undertaken by Unitywater field crews, wearing Unitywater uniforms, with Unitywater ID and vehicles.
Will I be advised as to what day the meter will be replaced?
- DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): A notification card is delivered to your letterbox at least 48 hours in advance. Also the plumber will make personal contact with customers who are at home on the day the works are to be carried out, prior to replacing the meter.
- LARGE METERS (>25mm): A Unitywater plumber will personally contact the property owner/tenant to arrange the most convenient time for the meter to be replaced.
Will water supply be interrupted?
Yes, in most instances water supply to your property will be temporarily interrupted to enable the meter installer to replace the meter, before re-establishing water supply to the property. Duration of water interruption in most cases will be less than one hour. However, the replacement of some larger meters may take a little longer. At all times, we endeavour to minimise the disruption and inconvenience as much as possible.
How long will the meter replacement process take?
In most instances, the water meter replacement will take less than one hour, unless specific issues are encountered during replacement that will impede the replacing of the meter. Larger meters may take longer, however the Unitywater plumber can advise of this when making arrangements for the most convenient time to carry out the replacement works.
What if I have a water reliant appliance in use during the replacement period, e.g. dishwasher, washing machine, timed sprinklers, water bottle machines?
You will be advised to turn off all water-reliant appliances prior to the water being turned off.
Do I need to be home during this meter replacement process?
No, it is not necessary to be home at the time the work is being completed.
How will I know when the work is completed?
Upon completion of works, the plumber will leave a Works Completed card in the letterbox advising that works have been completed and recording the consumption of the old meter.
Will I be charged for this meter replacement?
If your meter was replaced as part of our proactive program, this replacement work is fully funded from Unitywater's water meter replacement program and is at no additional charge to customers.
However, fees apply if you have requested to have your meter replaced as you believe it may be damaged or faulty.
Where will the new water meter be positioned?
In most instances, the new meter will be placed in the same position as the existing meter. However, if there is a reason to relocate the meter, we will discuss the new position with you.
Will the area around my meter be affected and restored?
A small area around the meter may be disturbed during the replacement. Wherever practicable we will restore this area to its original condition and this includes the replacement of any dirt or grass in the affected area. If the restoration cannot be completed on the day the meter was replaced, the property owner/tenant will be advised.
If, after the meter is replaced, I have an issue with low pressure, leaking meter or taps, dirty water, or incomplete restoration around the meter (ground not restored properly) etc, what can I do?
We encourage you to contact us if you have any concerns or issues.
DISCOLOURED WATER? Disturbance of soil and pipes during water meter replacement may cause temporary discolouration of water for a short period. Air in the pipes may also cause milky-coloured water. If this occurs, please turn on the tap nearest to ground level (usually an outside tap) and let it run for up to five minutes until water runs clear. This costs less than 25 cents and on average uses less than 125 litres of water. If the problem continues, please contact us.
How do I know the water consumption reading is correct?
When the water meter is replaced the plumber records the final reading of the old meter on the card. This recording is also checked again against the actual meter by another person to confirm accuracy. We recommend you keep this for reference, to cross check against your next Unitywater Bill.
- DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): We take a series of digital photos of the new and old meters as we replace them, as 'proof' of the meter reading. We also keep all old meters for a period of 6 months. All customers have a right to request their old meter is tested.
- LARGE METERS (>25mm): We take digital photos of all the large meters replaced. We do not keep the replaced large meters - they are sent to Brisbane City Council for testing and refurbishment. Only the meters that are in such bad condition they cannot be tested are then scrapped. If you wish, you may also be in attendance while the meter is being tested. Arrangements will need to be coordinated between Unitywater and Brisbane City Council.
My neighbour's meter is being replaced why isn't mine?
- DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): That's because your water meter does not meet the replacement criteria, which is the meter has been identified as having passed its useful life or stopped working altogether. OR your neighbour's meter may be replaced as part of the random selection process for the testing program.
LARGE METERS (>25mm): That's because your water meter does not meet the replacement criteria, which is the meter has been identified as having passed its useful life or stopped working altogether.
Why does the tap on my water meter look different, after the meter was replaced?
We may also replace the water mains tap (stop cock) on your water meter with a new lockable lever (ball valve). This is part of an ongoing maintenance program to ensure reliable water supply through the water meter.
What happens to my old meter?
The water meter that is replaced is stored by Unitywater for a period of 6 months.
- DOMESTIC METERS (20mm or 25mm): are not routinely tested but as the customer, you can request a test of an old meter if you believe that it may be faulty.
- LARGE WATER METERS (>25mm): Every large water meter is routinely sent for testing within one month of removal unless it has been removed for testing as you believe it may be faulty, in which case it will be sent for testing as soon as practicable. All meters removed under our proactive meter replacement programs are sent to the Scientific Laboratory at Brisbane City Council.
A meter removed for testing at your request is also sent to Brisbane City Council unless you specifically nominate an alternative testing facility.