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City West Water

FAQ knowledge base

Visit our FAQ knowledge base to find answers to all of your common questions.

We want to make sure all of our customers can find an answer to their question. Use the following FAQ guide for a list of common question, however if you need more information do not hesitate to contact us.

Billing FAQs

Simply visit the eBilling page and fill out your details on the form provided, including an active email address. Once you have submitted the form you will receive a confirmation email and your next water bill will be sent directly to your inbox.
If you have not received your regular water bill via email please check your Junk folder. If you still cannot find the email please contact us on 131 691.
Yes you can. If you are unhappy receive your bills via email please call us on 131 691 to arrange to have your bills sent via the post.

There are many reasons why your bill may seem higher than normal, some common causes are:

  • Your bill may include the annual Parks Charge, usually billed in the July to September period.
  • You may have used more water.
  • There may be a leak on your property.

An easy place to start is to check your meter reading to confirm that you have been charged for the right amount of water. To learn how to read your meter visit the My Water Meter page.

Please note: your meter reading should be higher than the one shown on the back of your bill.

If you have confirmed that the meter reading is correct, and believe that the amount of water is too much for your circumstance, visit the Water Saving Tips page and complete a two-minute leak test.

Your bill may include fixed charges for water and sewerage, as well as variable charges for water and sewerage based on the amount of water used.

Need a breakdown of your bill? Visit our How to Read Your Bill page.

The water service charge contributes to maintenance of the water supply network. This includes City West Water's water mains, pumping stations and meters, as well as Melbourne Water's water mains, treatment plants, dams and the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant. This ensures we are able to provide high quality and reliable supply of water to our customers.
The sewerage service charge contributes to the maintenance of the sewerage network. This includes City West Water's sewer mains, pumping stations and emergency relief structures, as well as Melbourne Water's trunk sewer mains and the operating of the Western Treatment Plant. Your contribution ensures we can reliably transport sewage from our customers to a treatment plant for treatment and disposal.

The sewage disposal charge is for the water you discharge to the sewer, including water that goes down any inside drains, sinks, toilets and any other drains that connect to the sewer.


We estimate the volume of waste water you discharge to the sewer based on the amount of water recorded through your meter. Approximately 75 per cent of the water you use ends up in the sewer. We apply seasonal and discharge factors to estimate how your sewage disposal changes over the course of the year.

The amount of water you are charged for using is calculated from water meter readings approximately once every 90 days. The amount of water recorded is divided by the number of days in the reading period to work out, on average, how much water is used every day.

The first 440 litres per day are charged at the lowest step, water used between 440 and 880 litres per day is charged at the middle step and any water used over 880 litres per day is charged at the highest step.

For example, if you used 91 kL of water in the June quarter (91 days), this equates to an average daily use of 1000 L/day. In addition to the standard quarterly service fee, the water usage fee applied for the June quarter would reflect (an average of) 440 L / day charged at the lowest step, 440 L / day charged at the middle step and the remaining 120 L / day charged at the highest step.

We collect the Waterways and Drainage Charge on behalf of Melbourne Water. This charge contributes to the management of waterways, drainage assets and floodplains in our region. From 1 July 2016, this will increase to an annual charge of $96.80.


For more information about the charge and Melbourne Water's services and projects visit Melbourne Water's website.

We collect the annual Parks Charge on behalf of Parks Victoria. This charge helps fund the purchase, development and maintenance of Melbourne's major parks, gardens and waterways. This amount is usually charged in the July-September quarter and may be why your account, for that period, seems higher than normal. The Parks Charge for each property in 2016-17 will be the greater of the minimum fee of $74.37 and the NAV-based fee calculated at 0.445 cents per $NAV.


For more information about the charge and Park Victoria's services visit Parks Victoria's website.

Prices for water and sewerage services and consumption change on 1 July each year. Our prices are regulated by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The ESC's 2013-2018 Price Determination for City West Water sets out the process we use to update our prices annually.


Visit the ESC website for more information.

Access your bill anytime with our eBilling service. Sign up to eBilling and receive your quarterly bills directly to your nominated inbox.

To request a new copy of your paper bill call us on 131 691.

We offer our vision impaired customers the option of receiving their bills in a format to suit their needs, including in braille and large print. Visit out Accounts for Vision Impaired page for more details.

You can watch the video on reading your meter or follow the instructions outlined below.

There should be a row of up to eight or nine figures on a white background behind glass on your meter. Some numbers will be in black, some in red. The red numbers show your water consumption in litres, while the black numbers record the kilolitres.

The black numbers (kilolitres) are the ones that will be shown on the back of your bill. Compare the black numbers on your meter to the reading on the back of your bill.

The reading shown on the meter should be higher than the latest reading shown on your bill. If the reading is lower, you may have been charged incorrectly. Please call us on 131 691 to assist.

Water quality FAQs

Occasionally drinking water from the tap will have a chlorine-like or an earthy/musty taste or odour. 

We keep chlorine dosing levels to a minimum to reduce its impact on the water's taste. However, fluctuations in chlorine levels can occur from time to time, largely due to changes in water demands and hence flow rates. 

To reduce the chlorine taste in your drinking water, allow it to stand in an open container for a couple of hours.

Earthy-musty taste/odours can occur in areas where water flows are slower due to reduced consumption.

If you have an earthy/musty taste or odour please contact us by phone on 132 642, to investigate as the supply water main may need to be flushed to remove the taste/odour from the water.

Clothes in the washing machine may be stained by sediments in water mains or rust from older, internal galvanised iron pipes.

Please contact us on 132 642, so we can investigate . We may need to arrange for the local water main to be flushed. 

If the staining is caused by rust from internal pipes, you can manage the problem by  flushing particular internal taps or seek advice from a plumber.  

Fittings such as sinks and shower bases can be stained blue or brown by water. This is generally a reflection of the type of internal plumbing material present (for example, copper pipes or galvanised iron). 

We do not conduct door-to-door selling. From time to time we receive calls from customers concerned about water testing information provided to them by people offering water quality tests and selling water filters. These individuals do not represent or act on behalf of City West Water and we do not endorse these companies or their products.

City West Water representatives wear a uniform and are always able to produce identification. Customers can call City West Water on 132 642 to confirm the identification of our representatives.
 

Some of our customers choose to use water filters. We believe that there is no proven requirement for using domestic water filters in our area, due to the high level of compliance with water quality standards and Australian drinking water quality guidelines.

In many cases, individual filter units have little effect on improving the quality of a household’s water supply. For instance, it may be claimed that filters remove substances that, in fact, are not even present to any significant degree in our water supply.

Water Meter FAQs

A water meter may be installed at the request of City West Water, the property owner or Body Corporate.

The cost of meter installation for:

  • New properties is the responsibility of the property owner.
  • Existing properties is the responsibility of the party requesting a new meter.


In order to have a water meter installed, you must make application to City West Water and pay the appropriate fee.

Meters that are installed will be:

  • Supplied or approved by City West Water.
  • Installed in accordance with conditions set by City West Water.
  • Maintained by City West Water at no extra cost to the customer unless the customer has damaged the meter, made the meter inaccessible or the meter has not been installed in accordance with the conditions set by City West Water.
  • Owned by City West Water once it has been installed.

As the property owner it is your responsibility to ensure that you meter is accessible at all times for reading, testing, inspection and replacement by City West Water.

If there is no way for your meter to be easily accessible, we may leave a card in your mailbox asking you to provide a reading to us. Failing that, we may estimate your water use charges. Where we estimate your charges, we will make every effort to obtain an actual reading of your meter at least once every 12 months.

You may arrange for a remote meter reading device to be installed, for a fee. This will allow the meter to be read away from the meter itself, such as on the fence line of the property. We will still require occasional access to the meter for maintenance, replacement and calibration purposes.

Meter readings are taken once every three months. If you meter is not easily accessible, we will do our best to obtain a reading every three months, however we may need to estimate your water use if we cannot read the meter.

We will attempt to gain an actual reading of your water meter at least once every 12 months. We may ask you to provide a meter reading to us if we cannot get to the meter.

Need to complete a meter reading? Watch the video at the start of this page for instructions on how to read your meter.

Concession FAQs

We offer a range of assistance to customers who are experiencing difficulties paying their bill. See our Set Up a Payment Plan page for more information.

Free, independent and confidential financial counseling services are offered by the following community organisations:

  • Customers in Hobson Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Moonee Valley and Wyndham can contact Anglicare on 9731 2500.
  • Customers in Brimbank and Melton can contact Good Shepherd on 1300 786 696.
  • Customers in City of Yarra can contact Kildonan Child and Family Services in 1800 685 682.
  • Customers in City of Hume can contact Lentara Uniting Care on 1300 882 035.
  • Free tools and advice are also available at moneyhelp.org.au.

Change of tenancy FAQs

If you receive a City West Water bill in someone else's name, please contact us on 131 691 to ensure that we have your correct details.

Grease trap FAQs

Your business is required to have a grease trap if it discharges greasy waste as a result of food preparation, cooking or cleaning.

If you are unsure of whether you need a grease trap, please contact us by phone on (03) 9313 8366, via our online contact form, or by email to tradewaste@citywestwater.com.au.

A licensed plumber must install your grease trap in accordance with our connection requirements.

The occupier of the property is responsible for maintaining your business’s grease trap.

You are required to contact an EPA-licensed liquid waste collector to maintain, or pump out, your grease trap. We do not provide this service.

We recommend that you establish a regular maintenance schedule with your preferred waste collector to ensure that you continue to meet the requirements of your trade waste consent.

Your trade waste agreement will outline the specific maintenance and service requirements for your grease trap. Typically grease traps must be cleaned by EPA-licensed contractor every 3 months.

Accreditation FAQs

Accreditation does not cover sewerage or recycled water treatment assets or assets constructed by Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs).

Regardless of whether the Contractor or Consultant is working for a Land or Property Developer or directly for City West Water, all contractors doing one or more of the following will need to be accredited:

  • Design or construction of new assets, or
  • Design or construction for the modification or renewal of existing assets, or
  • Live sewerage system access, maintenance or inspections.

It is important that you have the correct accreditation before you commence work, as CWW may not accept the work if it has been completed by an unaccredited organisation or person.

Descriptions of the accreditation categories are listed in ARCUS and the accredited consultant and contractor lists.

The development conditions or tender documents and contracts for the project will specify the accreditation categories required by the consultant or contractor. If you don’t know which categories are stipulated for a project, contact the CWW project manager for clarification.

Open the accredited contractors list and look for contractors that have SC7, SC8, SC9 or SC10 accreditation. The degree and complexity of construction will dictate which confined space accreditation category is required and this requirement will be listed in CWW’s development or tender/ contract conditions.  
For more information or get in touch with CWW’s Accreditation Officer on (03) 9313 8646 or via email.
You can still submit your tender but you must work to achieve the relevant accreditation categories prior to any contracts being signed. Tenderers will find the tender process less time consuming if they are already accredited.

Recycled water laundry connection FAQs

Washing clothes with recycled water can save money on water bills, it has the potential to save 70 litres per household a day and it has been approved by the Department of Health and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
We conducted research on the impacts of recycled water use on the washing machine and found there were no signs of corrosion or scaling on washing machines.

Recycled water is suitable for washing all items and you should not notice any difference between washing with recycled water and washing with drinking water.

When washing delicate or valuable items always follow the washing instructions on the tag.

You should not notice any difference washing clothes with recycled water compared with drinking water. Your clothes washing detergent has the biggest impact on the quality of clothes washing, not the water you use to wash the clothes.
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