1Know the complaint
  • Take your time
  • Clarify the issues
  • Consider a resolution
2Read our website and FAQs  
3Try to resolve  
4Seek Further Assistance  

Understanding your water bill

The first thing we look at when opening a water bill is the amount owing - but there is much more information in your bill. From meter numbers to average daily usage, your bill contains all of this information.

Our guide helps you to find what you are looking for and provides an explanation of what each component means.

If you have concerns over something on your bill, or if you need further help understanding it, you should contact your water retailer.

What is your bill telling you?

Many people have trouble understanding their water bills or where to find specific information.

Some of the things you will find on your bill are:

  • Previous balance, amount paid, new charges and current balance.
  • Account number and meter number.
  • Your usage compared to previous quarters and to other households.
  • Current and previous meter readings.

Have you asked your retailer?

SA Water has an area on their website where they explain their bills. They will also be able to explain the details over the phone.

SA Water

Understanding your SA Water account.

Breakdown of your bill

You will usually find the following on the front page of your bill:

  1. Account number: This is your account/customer number. You should quote this number any time you call your water retailer.
  2. Invoice date: The date that the bill was generated by the retailer.
  3. Pay by: The last day by which you must pay your bill.
  4. Total due: The total amount that you currently owe. This may be an amount in credit.
  5. Property address: The address the retailer is billing you for (may differ from the postal address).
  6. Previous balance: The amount that was owed, or in credit, when the previous bill was issued.
  7. Amount paid: The amount you have paid since the previous bill.
  8. New charges: The new charges for the billing period covered by this bill.
  9. Current balance: The previous balance, minus the amount paid, and with the addition of any new charges.
  10. Total this account: The amount that is owed, or in credit, for this bill.
  11. Daily water use: This shows your water usage in the same period over the previous three years.

You will usually find the following on the second page of your bill:

  1. Meter: The meter that you are being charged for. This number should match the number on your physical meter.
  2. Previous reading: The read taken from your meter at the end of the last period/start of this period.
  3. Current reading: The read taken from your meter at the end of the billing period (which will become the previous read on your next bill).
  4. Water supply charge: A charge applied for the supply of water to the property. It covers the costs involved in the transmission and distribution of water, including maintenance of the network infrastructure.
  5. Water use charge: The charges for the amount of water you used.
  6. Sewerage: The amount charged for the removal and treatment of sewerage and wastewater.
  7. SA Government concessions: The amount of any government concessions applied.

Are you are concerned about your bill?

If you feel that there is an issue with your current bill, you should first take the time to thoroughly read it, compare it to previous bills (especially from the same time last year) and write down the issues that you wish to raise with your retailer.

When you have a clear understanding of the bill and the issue, you will be better equipped to ask the right questions when you speak with your retailer.

Links and further information