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Great News: Watercare May Refund You For Your Water Main Leaks

August 8, 2018

Leaks from plumbing fixtures, pipes and fittings can result in significant water waste for households. Some leaks are obvious and easy to detect, but many leaks go unnoticed for years. If left unattended, they can drive up your monthly bills.

The good news is you may be eligible for a refund for your repair costs from Watercare. In order to do that, you first need to confirm the leak and fix or report it. If you are a tenant, you should call your landlord and ask them to fix it for you. The leak allowance is meant to encourage property owners to fix leaks immediately and reduce water loss.

To confirm a leak, first look for obvious signs such as a dripping faucet or a leaking water heater. If those aren’t the problem, you can confirm a leak by doing the meter test. If the dial on your water meter is turning even when all the taps are closed, that’s a clear indication that there is a leak somewhere. This method can often detect large leaks, but not smaller leaks. Using the meter test will also not tell you the exact location of the problem.

To locate the problem, call in a registered plumber. It is recommended that only a qualified plumber should fix leaks on your property to ensure a quality job.

Who’s responsible for fixing a leak?

If the leak is within your plumbing system, the responsibility is on your shoulders. You will need to have it fixed and pay for any repairs since the cause is most probably within your point of supply. On the other hand, if the leak is within the water mains supply, you may report it to Watercare and they will take care of it for you.

If you manage to find a leak and fixed it, you may be able to get a partial credit or rebate to cover some of your repair costs. To claim your refund, you need to apply for a leak allowance.

The leak allowance will be granted to you at the discretion of Watercare. If you qualify for it, the credit will be adjusted to your account and will show on your next water bill.

You may apply for another leak allowance if you have another leak within two years of receiving the first rebate. Make sure to hire a plumber to fix the leak as Watercare requires that you include your plumber’s invoice in your application. The second leak allowance will only cover excess wastewater.

For commercial property owners, the allowance will only be for wastewater. Please note that the longer you wait to fix your leak, the lower your chances of claiming a full allowance.

How to apply for a leak allowance

The application only takes a few simple steps. First, you fix the leak. Then, you accomplish the leak allowance application form which you can download here. Once you have completed the form, you may send it by post to Watercare, Private Bag 94010, Auckland 2241. Alternatively, you may scan it and email to info@water.co.nz.

If you need help finding and fixing a leak, call Euro Plumbing at 0800 832 638.

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