Urban Consumption & Meter Readings

Calculating Your Urban Water Consumption

Meters record how much water has been used. Deducting the current meter reading from the previous quarterly dial reading (as shown on your bill) will give you how many kilolitres have been used since the last meter reading.

Consumption or Water by Measure as it is referred to on your bill is calculated by a step-volume charge.

Meter Readings

Meters are read four times a year, in the months of September, December, March and June.

Readings by the customer

If we are unable to gain access to read a Customer’s meter, the Customer will be requested to read the meter and advise us of the reading. If a Customer refuses or fails to read a meter when requested to do so, we may make an estimate of the property but may exercise its right to require the Customer to provide access.A typical meter reading is shown below, the Black numbers (usually 4) show the reading in kilolitres. The red numbers (usually 3) indicate hundreds, tens and units of litres respectively.

We only read the black numbers. The dial reading above would be read as 462 kilolitres. This is deducted from the previous reading to calculate consumption.

Flow Rate

We aim to supply water at an adequate flow rate.
Under normal operating conditions customers supplied from a water main owned by us can expect supply at an adequate flow rate.
We aim to supply water at or above the following flow rates:

Diameter of the meter (mm) 20 25 32 40 50
Minimum Flow Rate (Litres/Minute)* 20 35 60 90 160

*As measured by Lower Murray Water or a Licensed Plumber, on the downstream side of the outlet of the water meter.

These flow rates may not be achieved in the following situations:

  • If there is a planned or an unplanned interruption to your water supply.
  • If there is a water shortage due to a drought, which causes restriction of the amount of water available to the Corporation in its Bulk Entitlement, peak summer demand or any unavoidable causes.
  • When the section of the property service pipe which is your responsibility to maintain is damaged or in poor condition. Contact us at any Office if you would like to know which sections of your service pipes you are responsible for maintaining.
  • If you have agreed to accept supply at a lesser flow rate.
  • If you are supplied by a private main.
  • If Lower Murray Water has restricted your supply via the installation of a restrictive meter.
  • Where conditions exist which are beyond the control of Lower Murray Water.

Backflow Prevention

Backflow is a term commonly used in the water industry to describe a situation where an unintended flow of water passes from a customer’s property back into the Corporation’s water mains.

A common Backflow occurrence may be, for example, an industrial site where a hose is left submerged in a vat of hazardous chemical liquid. The Water Corporation attends a broken water main further down the street. To repair the water main the Corporation need to dig down, cut out a section of the main and replace it with a new section of pipe. The opportunity for Backflow to occur is at this stage when the section of damaged water main is removed. The remaining water in the main drains out creating a type of siphon effect on properties upstream. The vat of hazardous liquid containing the garden hose is completely sucked dry, the hazardous liquid ending up in the Corporation’s water main.

Reported occurrences of Backflow are rare, but the potential for an isolated incident similar to the above to occur pose a significant risk to the Corporation’s infrastructure and customers.

The most common form of prevention against Backflow is via the installation of an extremely sophisticated valve (Backflow Prevention Device). In 1997, we introduced a Backflow Prevention Policy. The owners of properties where a potential risk was identified were contacted and advised that there would be a requirement for them to have one of these devices installed on their water connection.

In most instances, the device is installed immediately upstream of the water meter. (This is referred to as containment protection). There are currently around 300 Backflow prevention Devices installed across the Corporation’s region. These devices are normally located on non-residential properties.

The Victorian Plumbing Regulations also require that a registered person carry out an annual maintenance check of these devices, the results of which are passed on to the Corporation. For all other properties, the Corporation addresses the Backflow potential via the installation of a new type of sophisticated water meter known as a Dual Check Valve meter.

An ongoing water meter replacement program will ensure that all properties are adequately protected from Backflow.