Water usage in strata

Is Your Strata Building Using Too Much Water?

In an era where environmental sustainability is paramount, strata owners are increasingly asking: Are we using too much water? Managing your building’s water usage is eco-friendly and can result in significant financial savings.

Understanding water usage: shared vs individual metres

Buildings built pre-2014 generally have a single master communal water meter that sees your water bills shared on the basis of unit entitlements, rather than actual usage.

Individual owners were billed for fixed services, while water consumption costs were shared through strata levies.

Post-2014, Sydney Water mandated separate meters for new multi-storey residential buildings, promoting a fairer ‘user-pays’ system. This change enhanced accountability and aids in leak detection, preventing surprise high water bills.

With individual metering, tenants usually bear excessive water costs, freeing owners from charges for excessive consumption outside their control. This aligns costs more closely with actual usage.

Retrofitting individual meters

Individual meters make people more accountable for their water usage however retrofitting individual meters for existing buildings can be a costly exercise and may not always be feasible. If you would like to explore your options, contact your Strata Plus strata manager.

Initiating a water usage assessment

Sydney Water offers a complimentary desktop assessment to evaluate if your strata’s water consumption exceeds the average. If high usage is detected, a detailed inspection of 10% of the apartments and common areas will be conducted. You’ll then receive a no-obligation WaterFix Strata quote for any necessary remedial actions. WaterFix Strata is a holistic end-to-end service for multi-unit properties that are not individually metered.

One notable WaterFix Strata example is an inner city building reducing its water usage by 28 million litres annually, saving over $64,000. By choosing a performance agreement, this strata scheme avoided up-front costs and unnecessary levy increases.


Waterfix® Strata works with owners corporations to find and fix leaks or replace inefficient old fixtures in common areas and units. The service covers:

  • repairing tap and toilet leaks
  • installing water-efficient devices
  • replacing faulty tapware and single-flush toilets
  • finding concealed leaks
  • repairing leaks in common areas

Sydney Water provides various payment choices, such as a one-off service fee, 12-month payment distribution, or a performance agreement where water savings offset costs. A performance payment plan is ideal for significant savings, covering costs through the value of water saved and eliminating out-of-pocket expenses.

How to apply?

Call 1800 354 107 or email waterfixstrata@sydneywater.com.au to request a Benchmark Assessment ​or find out more here WaterFix Strata (sydneywater.com.au)

Online Monitoring

Sydney Water is revolutionising how strata owners monitor water usage with the latest smart meter technology. Attaching a data logger to your main meter transforms your standard meter into a smart meter, providing regular reports on your water consumption (applicable for main water meter size between 20 mm and 100 mm).

For sub-meters accounting for more than 15% of total site water use, individual data loggers can also be installed, allowing you to check the data anytime through an online portal. This means you’ll have real-time insight into your site’s water use, empowering you to make informed decisions.

The benefits of data loggers include the ability to quickly detect leaks, identify unexplained water use or odd patterns, and access up-to-the-minute data for precise reporting.

You’ll receive email alerts for any abrupt increases or spikes in water consumption, ensuring you can resolve issues quickly. Plus, you’ll have access to baseline data, which is invaluable for measuring the effectiveness of new water-saving measures. This proactive approach to water management is a game-changer for strata owners looking to conserve water and reduce costs.

How it works

Sydney Water installs a data logger on your main water meter or submeter and provide access to an online platform with real time data. The cost for 12 months is $495 including GST and $150 incl GST to renew yearly subscription. To find out more, Request an appointment online or email OnlineMonitoring@sydneywater.com.au

Concealed Leaks

Strata buildings, like all properties, can face the challenge of concealed water leaks. Sydney Water also offers a program called WaterFix® Concealed Leaks. The program skilled contractor, equipped with advanced technology, will handle the detection and repair of any concealed leaks on your property. This service is designed for all Sydney Water customers, ensuring every strata building has access to top-tier leak detection and repair services. Additional information can be found on the WaterFix® Concealed Leaks page at sydneywater.com.au. 

WaterFix Residential

A significant portion of water usage in strata buildings comes from private use, mainly in showers. The WaterFix® Residential service helps residents assess potential savings in their apartments independently of the owners corporation. Sydney Water provides a comprehensive service to replace inefficient showerheads, taps and toilets, and fix leaks, often for the callout fee only.

Read about how to reducing water consumption in strata

Read about compliance for water safety 

Read more

Step 1 of 2

  • Give us a compliment

  • Your suggestion


Step 1 of 2

  • Your complaint

Translate »