The water meter replacement program

Icon Water is undertaking a five yearly program to replace around 50,000 water meters across the Canberra region between 2018 and 2023. 

The water meter is required, by law to accurately measure the volume of water each property draws from Icon Water’s water supply network. Every three months our meter reader records the black numbers on the face of the meter and this information is sent to Icon Water's billing centre. The standard life of a 20mm meter is 18 years,  therefore Icon Water is conducting a large-scale replacement of old water meters in many areas of Canberra. 

The replacement program is being conducted on a suburb by suburb basis.  Residents will be notified in advance of the planned work in their suburb. We will be replacing meters in the following suburbs in the 2021/2022 financial year:

Suburb             FY                      Qty May 2021          
Aranda 2021-22 896
Torrens 2021-22 854
Forrest 2021-22 342
Fisher 2021-22 1098
Holder 2021-22 982
McKellar 2021-22 949
Mawson 2021-22 795
Deakin 2021-22 1031
Phillip 2021-22 322

Some properties have an old-style boundary tap (called stop cock, or isolation valve) buried in the ground which is often very difficult to reach, especially in an emergency. In this case we will remove the old tap and replace it, wherever possible, with an isolation valve, located next to the meter. The isolation valve permits you and your plumber to easily turn off water supply to your property to change a tap washer or work on your internal water pipes. 

Read more in the Domestic meter installation brochure.

If the water meter is obstructed, 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.

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 talktous@iconwater.com.au.

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:

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  • 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 Icon Water’s water supply network. 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 a ball valve, located next to the meter. The ball valve permits you and your plumber to easily turn off water supply to your property to change a tap washer or work on water pipes.

    An upgraded service line with a new meter will give you ease of access to the meter. This assists with monitoring your water usage or check for leaking pipes or fixtures on the house side of the meter that can result in high water consumption costs.

  • 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 plans to access your property. Icon Water will send you a notification of the proposed day of the meter replacement and whether or not your service line will need to be upgraded 7-14 days before the proposed works.
  • 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 staff.  
  • What will happen on the day my water meter is replaced?

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

    • A notice will be delivered nominating the dates and expected approximate times we’ll be at your property at least two business days before work begins.
    • We’ll knock on your door at the time your water supply is to be interrupted on the day. The supply will remain off for approximately one hour while we replace the meter and install the new ball 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 and restore the site as closely as practical 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 is 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, stencilled, stamped, coloured or exposed aggregate concrete pavements, it will usually be necessary to cut the concrete to gain 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 (checkered 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.
  • Why do I now have water hammer?

    You may experience water hammer following the water meter replacement. 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) website can recommend a suitable plumber.