As outlined in Ballina Shire Council's Water Meter Policy application can be made for private meters to be read and maintained by Council on a case-by-case basis given the following conditions are met:

  • Meters are at the boundary and are readily accessible for reading or Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) Devices are installed.
  • Meters are in good condition, of suitable quality and have the appropriate level of backflow prevention. If not, meters can be upgraded through Council at the applicant’s cost.

Process requires a:

  • Signed letter from Body Corporate and all tenants (signed by Body Corporate representative and all tenants) confirming intention to transition to sub-meter billing, confirming intention to pay all costs
  • Council to issue sundry debtor invoice for payment
  • Payment received by Council
  • Council staff issue water meters to Body Corporate’s plumber to install (pick up from Depot when advised), including Council’s AMR devices, if/as required
  • Council staff inspect / read water meters / commission radio devices

Please also note that once an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) device is fitted on your water meter you would be eligible to apply for Council’s smart metering service of $20* per year per assessment. See more information on Smart Metering and its advantages.

Body Corporate’s should provide a signed letter upfront agreeing to pay:

  • $350* per meter plus minimum call out fee (if meters are not in a readily accessible location)
  • $50* per meter plus minimum call out fee (if meters are in a readily accessible location)
  • Plus additional $150* per meter and $20* per assessment if desired for smart metering services

Fees that apply:

1. AMR Device Cost - Are the water meters located in a readily accessible location for reading?

  •  If yes, $0 (but you could then have them installed anyway for $150* per radio device
  •  If no, then the cost can vary depending on radio reception quality, but typically less than $300* per meter.

2. Water Meter Upgrade Cost - Are the water meters of a suitable condition, quality etc?

  • If yes $0
  • If no, Council would issue your new water meters at a cost of $50* per meter (for 20mm meters), depending on actual costs to Council, to be installed by your plumber

3. Council inspections / attending site

  • Minimum call out of four hours for field staff to attend site, currently $530*

*All fees are based on the 2017/18 financial year. To check the current rates and charges, please visit 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 Dial Before You Dig enquiry before commencing work.

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

Phone:  1100

You can use the Shire's recycled water for:

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

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 able to receive recycled water, although you will still need to check with Council to see if the recycled water supply is turned on in your area.

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.

No, there are no restrictions on water use in Ballina Shire.

Rous Water, the regional bulk water supply authority, notifies councils to implement water restrictions when the level of Rocky Creek dam drops to 60 per cent.

Because of the relatively high rainfall on the far north coast water restrictions are not implemented very often.

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