The water meter replacement program

Icon Water has commenced a three year rolling program to replace around 18,000 meters across the Canberra region. The upgrade will include a change in meter styles from an old boundary tap (or stop-cock) to more user-friendly ball-type isolation valve. We'll also upgrade some service connections where necessary, but we will notify residents of what kind of work needs to be done at their property in the weeks leading up to proposed works.  Read more in the Domestic meter installation brochure.

How you can help us

Please ensure that there is one metre clearance around your meter and stopcock to provide unhindered access for our staff.

If you do have something covering your water meter, we’ll take all reasonable steps to minimise damage and restore land as soon as practicable to a similar condition before operations began.  However, we are not required to restore land to a condition that would involve an interference with Icon Water's network.  The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) may direct us to pay for loss or damage if satisfied that we have not complied with our obligations under the Act.

Talk to Us

If you want to find out more about how this program will be undertaken, you can take a look at our frequently asked questions below. If you have any questions please Talk To Us on 02 6248 3111 (select option 3) or email

We appreciate our community respecting our assets and staff to ensure that we continue to provide the highest quality water and sewerage services to the ACT.

Frequently Asked Questions:


  • Why are we replacing all the old meters and upgrading service lines?

    The water meter is required, by law, to accurately measure the volume of water each home draws from the Icon Water supply network. Every three months our meter reader visits your home, records the black number on the face of the meter, replaces the lid on the meter pit and send this information to Icon Water's billing centre. When water meters are over 10 years old their accuracy becomes uncertain. Icon Water is therefore conducting a large-scale replacement of old water meters in many areas of Canberra.

    The old boundary tap (called stop cock, or isolation valve) is buried in the ground and is often very difficult to reach, especially in an emergency. We are removing the old tap and replacing it, wherever possible, with an improved isolation valve, located next to the meter. The new meter permits you and your plumber to easily turn off water supply to your property to change a tap washer or work on water pipes.

    It will also be easier for you to monitor your water usage.

  • Why do I now have water hammer?


    After replacing a water meter, you may experience water hammer.  This can occur because the new meter prevents backflow and water cannot pass back through the meter into the main.  This protects the main from damage and cross contamination.  However once the new meter is installed, it can highlight an internal issue if water hammer becomes apparent.

    We suggest you inspect your internal plumbing or seek advice from a licensed plumber.  The Master Plumbers ACT (MPA) can recommend a suitable plumber.

  • How will I know you are coming to replace my water meter?

    You will receive a letter in the mail 4-6 weeks before Icon Water plan to access your property. 7 -14 days before the proposed works, Icon Water will send you a letter of the proposed day of the meter replacement and whether or not your service line will need to be upgraded.

  • What do I need to do?

    All you need to do is ensure that there is one metre clearance around your meter and stopcock to provide unhindered access for our workers.  

  • What will happen on the day my water meter is replaced?

    The sequence of work outlined below may be carried out over five days.   

    • At least two business days before work begins, a notice will be delivered nominating the dates and expected approximate times we’ll be at your property.
    • On the day of the replacement, we’ll knock on your door at the time your water supply is to be interrupted. The supply will remain off for approximately one hour while we replace the meter and install the new isolation valve. The work will involve excavation around the existing stopcock, meter and possibly in the nature strip. 
    • We’ll fence off the any excavated area to make it safe. We’ll then restore the site as closely as possible to its original condition. 
    • An advice card will be left if we need further visits to complete the site restoration.
  • Will this cost me money?

    There will be no cost to the property owner for this meter replacement program.

  • What if there's concrete over my meter?

    Sometimes concrete paths and driveways have been laid over water supply pipes and water meters leaving very limited access for maintenance or replacement of these essential assets. Where a meter is located below plain, stenciled, stamped, coloured or exposed aggregate concrete pavements it will usually be necessary to cut the concrete to get access to the old boundary tap (stop-cock).

    A rectangular area, large enough to remove both the stopcock and the water meter, will be cut in the concrete pavement. We will use a diamond saw and make every effort to make a neat cut. The old stopcock will be removed and a new isolation tap will then be installed together with a new meter. Our field crews will make every effort to replace infrastructure as we found it.

  • My water meter is under a cobble stone or brick driveway...

    The pavers will be lifted around the water meter, the existing stopcock removed and a new isolation valve and meter installed. Where necessary we will create a new pit. A galvanised steel plate lid (cheque pattern) will be fitted in driveways; a plastic lid in paths. The old pavers will be re-laid up to the edge of the new pit.

  • How long will it take to replace all the water meters across Canberra?

    The first stage of the program will run from 2015 – 2017, with continuation of program to follow in later years. Icon Water will complete replacements from suburb to suburb.