Meter readings

Measuring the amount of water you use

We read mechanical meters every 3 months so that usage charges on your bill will be accurate. We receive readings from smart meters automatically. Usage charges differ from fixed charges, which are for connections to water and wastewater systems and other systems we manage.

If we can't read your meter

We'll leave a self-reading card and ask you to read your mechanical meter or standpipe. We may not be able to read it because it's:

  • behind a locked gate or door
  • buried in concrete or dirt
  • hidden by trees, plants or grass
  • on a property that's unsafe to enter (for example, if there's a dog).

Please tell us your reading within 3 days

If we don't have your meter reading, we'll need to estimate your water usage based on your past patterns or base it on similar properties in your council area. Provide your account number, the date of your reading, your contact number, your meter serial number and, of course, your meter reading.

All water meters have a display that allows you to read your water usage in kilolitres (kL). One kL equals 1,000 litres, or one cubic metre. When we calculate your bill, the charge is per kL.

  1. Tell us your reading online.
  2. Call us on 1300 314 834 9am–5pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays).
  3. Send an SMS or MMS to 0478 308 922 24/7.

Tips to help us read a hard-to-access meter
If your mechanical meter is behind a locked gate or door, you can purchase an Abloy utility lock to provide secure access. Call Integrity Locksmiths on 1300 366 488 and tell them it's for Sydney Water access. If you don't want us coming onto your property and don't yet have a smart meter, consider getting a remotely read meter.

How to read a mechanical meter

The whole black number (or white number reversed out of black) is the kL. It's the only number required to calculate water use. The red numbers or dials are the litres. The location of the serial number varies. It depends on the brand of the meter. The meters below are our most current mechanical meters.

How to read a metered standpipe

All the numbers on the dials (plus the number the black pointer points to, if there is one) are the kL. You don't need to read the red pointers. The location of the meter serial number varies. It depends on the brand of the meter. The metered standpipes below are typical.

How to read a smart meter

Smart meters (digital meters) provide accurate, real-time data automatically and help identify costly hidden leaks early. In addition to kL, some smart meters also display other information, such as flow rates.

Bonus: free automatic leak alerts
Free leak alerts are only possible with smart meters. When you're registered with My Account, we can notify you immediately by SMS, email or even phone if your overnight water use looks too high. You can stop potential costly leaks early. We'll help you with leak detection and suggest possible solutions.