FAQ EXPAND ALL

If your smart metering application has been approved and you have received a reference number, you will need to pay for installation and subscription.

Download the payment instructions here. 

For more information call Council's Water and Wastewater Team on 1300 864 444.

 

For each tenancy to be separately metered, the existing meter would remain at the property boundary as the master meter, with each tenancy individually metered via subtract meters.

To apply, the Owners Corporation must submit a Water Service Application with a hydraulic plan that is prepared by a suitably qualified plumber or hydraulic consultant.

The following requirements apply:

      • All flow through the master meter must also be metered through subtract meters, such that the sum of flow through the master meter minus the sum of flow through the subtract meters is zero. 
      • The hydraulic plan must clearly confirm that there are no connections between the master meter and the subtract meters (for example an unmetered connection to an external hose tap). 
      • The hydraulic plan must show the current pipework configuration and any proposed alterations on the privately owned component of the properties’ water service to demonstrate that these alterations are able to be carried out. Please note: plumbing and drainage fees apply for internal plumbing works. 
      • Council's Smart Metering Devices must be installed on the master and all subtract meters. Learn more about Smart Metering.

The Owners Corporation nominated plumber will be responsible for the supply and installation of the subtract meters. The subtract meters will need to be compatible with Council’s smart metering devices (i.e. Elster meter).

If the existing main meter servicing the property is older than 15 years it will be replaced by Council as part of our meter replacement program. If a larger water service is necessary, the plumber or hydraulic consultant will need to indicate on the hydraulic plan the required size and charges may apply. Please note that any meter service greater than 25mm will require a backflow prevention device to be fitted to the customer's side of the water meter. The customer will be responsible for the installation of the device and associated costs.

Recycled water is treated to a high standard and is crystal clear. It should not have an odour.

If you do notice an odour it could be ‘aged’ water, which is water that’s been still or sitting in the network for an extended period.

Council’s Water Section regularly flushes key areas of our drinking water and recycled water network to ensure water is ‘fresh’.

If you’ve been away from your home you may experience this issue on your return. Simply, flush your internal taps for a few minutes and the problem should resolve.

Milky water is caused from fine air bubbles present in the water, which are usually caused after works on the water main.

Air trapped in the pipeline dissolves into the water under high pressure. The fine bubbles are completely harmless and safe to drink.

To confirm if this is the case, put water into a clean glass. The water should settle and become clear within a minute or two.

The most common cause of dirty laundry after washing is from poor washing machine maintenance, not poor water quality.

You can fix this by cleaning your washing machine regularly. Mold or greasy residue can buildup in your washing machine drum.

We suggest you clean the drum by running an empty washing cycle with a cupful of white vinegar or bleach instead of detergent (or look for products specially designed for this purpose).

Then, wipe out the drum and around the door seal with a clean, dry cloth.

This can occur with both drinking and recycled water and is a result of calcium and magnesium in the water, which is naturally occurring and is also known as ‘water hardness’.

The higher the levels of calcium and magnesium in the water the ‘harder’ it is to make soap suds and the more likely it is to leave a white residue.

Due to the slightly higher hardness of our recycled water, users might experience white scaling or deposits visible on glass or cars, if not dried with a cloth.

Noisy or banging pipework inside homes is related to the state of internal plumbing.

The problem has increased over recent years with the introduction of flick mixers in homes. The rapid turning off/on of water from these fixtures, along with air within the system, is the main culprit of water pipework noise in homes.

This is unlikely caused in Council’s larger water network. If you are concerned, we suggest you consult a plumber.

This can be a problem in drinking and recycled water. It is a result of water sitting in hoses and chemicals leaching from the hose into the water.

When sprayed into a glass or onto the ground, the water can appear soapy and have a strange stale odour. This usually takes around 5-8 minutes of flushing to clear and is not a problem with the water quality.

To confirm, remove hose from the tap and carry out a similar test by trying to make foam into a glass directly from the tap. If the water is still foaming please contact Council’s Water and Wastewater Section.

Fluoride is added to Ballina Shire drinking water supply under strict standards prescribed by NSW Health. It is dosed into the water as part of the NSW Health dental program. NSW Health support water fluoridation as a safe and reliable way to prevent dental decay.

Our Water and Wastewater Section closely monitor fluoride dosing.

For more information contact NSW Health, who are the fluoride regulator and have a range of resources available.

Applications for private meters to be read by Council are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

To apply, the Owners Corporation must submit a Water Service Application with a hydraulic plan that is prepared by a suitably qualified plumber or hydraulic consultant.

The following requirements apply:

  • All flow through the master meter must also be metered through private (subtract) meters, such that the sum of flow through the master meter minus the sum of flow through the subtract meters is zero.
  • Meters must be in good condition, of suitable quality and compatible with Council's Smart Metering Devices. 
  • All meters have the appropriate level of backflow prevention.

A Council officer will contact the plumber nominated on your water service application to inspect and confirm the existing private meter meets Council requirements. Meters not meeting these requirements will need to be upgraded by your plumber at your expense.

Following approval of the water service application, the process to have your private meters read by Council is as follows:

  • Provide a signed letter from Body Corporate (signed by Body Corporate representative) confirming intention to transition to subtract-meter billing and agreement to pay all costs;
  • Payment received by Council;
  • Council staff inspect meters to record meter details and initial reading; 
  • Council staff commission Smart Metering Devices.

Please also note that once a Smart Metering Device is fitted on your water meter you are eligible to apply for Council’s smart metering service of $22* per year per assessment. See more information on Smart Metering and its advantages. 

Please note plumbing and drainage inspection fees will apply.

Fees that apply:
*All fees are based on the 2020/21 financial year. View current fees and charges on Ballina Shire Council's website.

For more information call Council on 1300 864 444.

Council keeps records and maps of underground infrastructure. Anyone who intends to begin digging or excavation work (even in your own backyard) should lodge a FREE Dial Before You Dig enquiry before commencing work.

Dial Before You Dig website:  www.1100.com.au

Phone:  1100

You can use recycled water for:

  • toilet flushing
  • cold water clothes washing tap
  • watering food crops and gardens
  • ornamental ponds
  • washing cars, bikes, boats
  • firefighting (domestic)
  • washing pets
  • irrigating sports fields.

You cannot use the Shire's recycled water for:

  • drinking
  • cooking or other kitchen purposes
  • baths, showers, hand basins or personal washing
  • swimming pools and recreation involving water
  • rainwater tanks
  • evaporative coolers.

Recycled water comes from easily distinguishable purple-coloured pipes connected to some of the taps and fittings in your home, such as toilets, laundry and garden taps.  If you have these purple-coloured taps and fittings, then you are receiving recycled water.

If you don’t have these fittings, but live in one of the supply areas, you may still be eligible by retrofitting your property with the necessary dual reticulation pipes and fittings.

If you are still unsure, contact Council.

Recycled water is highly treated and suitable for a range of uses. It is not recommended for some uses such as drinking, bathing and cooking but should you accidentally use recycled water in this way, it is unlikely you will fall ill. It is recommended however that you seek medical advice and inform Ballina Shire Council.  

All customers who have recycled water on their properties should have purple-coloured taps in order to distinguish recycled water from drinking water. Recycled water is highly treated and suitable for a range of uses. It is not recommended for drinking, bathing and cooking but should you accidentally use recycled water in this way, it is unlikely you will fall ill. It is recommended however that you seek medical advice and inform Ballina Shire Council.

Yes it is safe for pets such as dogs and cats. Just change the water regularly as you would with any water you provide for pets.

 

Yes, it is safe for children to come into direct contact with the recycled water, however, water toys and playing under sprinklers is not considered acceptable as children can swallow water during these activities.

If you have been in contact with recycled water, there is no great need to wash your hands before undertaking further activities.

It is advisable, however, to wash hands after gardening or agricultural activities or before eating and drinking, to minimise the presence of disease-causing micro-organisms accumulated from your daily activities. 

Yes you can. It is safe to handle and eat vegetables that have been grown with recycled water. As a normal hygiene practice it is recommended that all vegetables be washed with drinking water before eating them.

Bathing, swimming and cooking are not recommended by regulators as accepted uses of recycled water.

Both the Ballina and Lennox Head Water Recycling Facilities produce high quality recycled water that goes through a number of treatment processes in accordance with the Environment Protecton Authority, the NSW Office of Water and the Department of Health Guidelines. Both facilities have 24 hour online monitoring equipment which monitor pH, electrical conductivity (salinity), turbidity (filter accuracy), chlorine residual, Ultra Violet (UV) intensity and temperature. The facilities will automatically shut down if any of these elements fall below standards.

The Ballina and Lennox Head Water Recycling Facilities both produce high quality recycled water. This recycled water goes through a number of treatment processes in accordance with the Environment Protection Authority, NSW Office of Water, the Department of Health Guidelines and the Australian Water Recycling Guidelines. The treatment processes are rigorous and continuously monitored to ensure that these guidelines and best practice standards are constantly adhered to.

Dual reticulation refers to properties which are supplied or have access to both standard drinking water and recycled water. ‘Dual’ means ‘two parts’ and ‘reticulation’ means a ‘system of pipes’. Recycled water is delivered through purple-colored pipes and taps.

Potable water is drinking water. Potable means ‘safe to drink’ or ‘drinkable’. Most of Ballina Shire’s drinking water comes from Rocky Creek Dam and we use it to shower, cook, garden and drink.

Water rates charges are issued quarterly with your rates notice.

The due dates for quarterly rates and water charges are 28 Febuary, 31 May, 31 August and 30 November.

Rous County Council, the regional bulk water supply authority, notifies councils to implement water restrictions when the level of Rocky Creek dam drops.

To view the current dam levels or for more information visit Rous County Council's website

 

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