Meters and metered standpipes

Find out how to get yours installed

Every new or existing property that uses our water services must have a water meter. We can install one for you free of charge, or you can choose to use your own licensed plumber. Meters in multi-level buildings follow different guidelines. If you're using water at different locations, you may need a metered standpipe.

Who can install a water meter

Only a plumber licensed with NSW Fair Trading can install a meter. They can install any meter we issue except for a 20 mm meter going onto a locked and tagged service like the one in the photo. We need to install those meters.

If you prefer, we can install a 20 mm to 50 mm light duty meter free of charge.

To learn more, read our Water meter policy or our Water meter installation guide.


Multi-level buildings
Note that we don't install meters inside multi-level properties. However, we will install the main meter. Find out more about meters in multi-level buildings.

Locked and tagged services are typically in new areas.

How to get a meter

When to apply

Please apply for a meter 3 weeks before you need water on site. You must have a meter on the site before you start building. Simply call us on 13 20 92 8am–5:30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) if you need to use water straight away.

How to apply

To get a meter, simply apply for a water meter installation at Sydney Water Tap in.

When you apply, you have 2 choices:

  1. Ask us to install the meter. We'll install it within 10 working days once we approve your application.
  2. Tell us that you or your plumber will install the meter. You must apply for a connection approval letter at Sydney Water Tap in. Once we approve your application, you or your plumber can collect the meter.

If you have a water service like the one in the photo above (locked and tagged service), simply apply for a water meter installation at Sydney Water Tap in. When you apply, you must ask us to install the meter.

If you don't have one of these services, please call us on 13 20 92.

We only supply or install the main meter on these properties. To get a main meter, simply apply for a water meter installation at Sydney Water Tap in.

If you need meters for the units or extra meters for the common areas, you can get them from our accredited supplier.

Find out more about meters in multi-level buildings.


It doesn't cost anything to apply for a meter. When you ask us to install a 20 mm to 50 mm light duty meter, we'll do it free of charge.

What happens next

  • If we're installing the meter, we'll do it within 10 working days.
  • If you're installing the meter, you can collect it once you have the connection approval letter from Sydney Water Tap in®.
  • If the meter is larger than 50 mm light duty, we can deliver it to a licensed plumber at the property. Simply call us on 13 20 92 8am–5:30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) to arrange delivery.

If you'd like to know more about installing meters, read our Water meter installation guide.

Where to collect a meter

You can collect a meter if you're either a licensed plumber or the plumber's authorised representative. Authorisation must be in writing, on the plumber's letterhead, and include the licence number and the specific property details. You can collect the meter from:

Unit S/10–16 South Street

Skilltech is open 8:30am–4pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays). You must show the connection approval letter from Sydney Water Tap in. We don't supply meters for inside multi-level buildings, only the main meter.

After you've collected the meter, it must be installed within 2 days.

Please return unwanted or disused meters to Skilltech. 

Where to install the meter


We need you to install the meter:

  • between 300 mm and 1,000 mm inside the front property boundary
  • between 300 mm and 600 mm from the left or right property boundary
  • parallel to the closest side boundary
  • 300 mm from the ground.

If you're installing meters close together, we need 300 mm between them.

Please don't install the meter:

  • more than 1.5 metres above the ground
  • in an area that we can't access, such as inside a house or unit, in a ceiling space or under a kitchen sink.

Doing this might stop us reading or replacing the meter.

Your water meter needs to be easy for us to get to.

Distance between the pipes

When you're installing a water service, you need to allow the right space for the meter. If the property needs a separate backflow containment device, you'll need to allow enough space for that too.

Find out how to measure the distance between the pipes for the meter.

When the meter can't be installed where we need it

If you can't install the meter where we need it, email and tell us where you propose to install it. We need you to:

  • tell us the property address
  • tell us the account number if you have it
  • attach a drawing or diagram of the proposed position
  • explain why you need to put it in another position and explain how we'll access it regularly.

We'll let you know within 7 days if your proposal is suitable.

To find out more, read our Water meter installation guide.

If you're installing meters in a multi-level building, they must be in the common area, not inside each unit.
To find out more, read our Multi-level individual metering guide.

When to disconnect a meter

You can only disconnect a meter if you have our approval to disconnect the water service. You might do this because:

  • the property is going to be vacant permanently or for a long time
  • a fire has damaged the property
  • you're installing a self-sufficient drinking water supply
  • you're installing a larger meter.

You must apply for our approval to disconnect at Sydney Water Tap in. You must leave the meter connected to the old water service if you still need to use water at the property, including during construction works.

How to get a metered standpipe

Before you buy a standpipe, you must apply for a standpipe permit. We'll send you a list of accredited suppliers if we approve your permit.

When to use a metered standpipe

You may need to access water through our hydrants when a normal connection isn't available. This may be when you need water:

  • to suppress dust
  • on a construction or building site
  • to cut concrete
  • for new landscaping projects or bush regeneration
  • to cart water.

You must have an ABN or ACN, and may only use a standpipe for business purposes. You must not use a standpipe for agriculture or as an alternative water supply.

When you can draw water

We only allow you to draw water:

  • from a drinking water main
  • between 7am and 8pm, Monday to Friday
  • between 8am and 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

When you can't use a standpipe

Using a standpipe illegally is water theft and fines of $2,200 may apply. This includes using a standpipe when:

  • it doesn't have a meter
  • the meter isn't working
  • you don't have our approval to use it
  • it doesn't have a backflow device (a one-way valve that stops water going back into our water main from your standpipe).

You're responsible for buying and maintaining your standpipe. The Terms and conditions for metered standpipe use on our hydrants (177KB) explain what you need to know before you apply.

What a metered standpipe costs

It doesn't cost anything to apply for a permit. If we approve your application, you'll pay a quarterly service charge and water use charge for each standpipe.

Charge Maximum quarterly charge 2023–24

Water service charge for a 25 mm standpipe

$27.86 a quarter

Water service charge for a 32 mm standpipe

$45.65 a quarter

Water usage


^ If dam levels for Greater Sydney drop below 60%, the water usage charge will increase to $3.61 a kilolitre until dam levels are back over 70%.

Each quarter, we'll send you a letter asking for a meter reading from your standpipe. This is to calculate your water usage charge.
You're responsible for buying the standpipe. We don't contribute to this cost.

What happens if we approve your standpipe application

If we approve your application, we'll send you:

  • A letter. This authorises you to buy the standpipe and tells you where standpipes are available for purchase.
  • A permit. This allows you to use the standpipe. Keep a copy with the standpipe, as we audit permits and will ask to see them on site.
  • A permitted use sticker. This is only if you cart water. You'll get one sticker for each truck you have.

When you buy the standpipe, your accredited supplier will tell us its meter serial number, generally 4 letters and 4 numbers. This number is unique to your standpipe.