If you are unable to pay your water and sewerage bill by the due date it is important to contact your water provider as soon as possible. Unlike electricity, you cannot be disconnected from water supply. However, some water providers may restrict your water flow to your home if you do not pay your bills. They are also permitted to charge interest at up to 11% per annum compounding daily on any amount owing after the due date.
Under the Water and Sewerage Services Code for Small Customers in SEQ (Sections 10.2 and 10.3), water providers in South East Queensland (SEQ) must have a financial hardship policy which includes offering flexible and affordable payment plans and turning interest charges off while you pay off the debt.
Some water providers offer additional assistance such as alternative payment methods, referrals to free financial counselling services or water efficiency advice. For information about specific assistance available through your water utility visit:
If you live outside SEQ, you should contact your local authority as soon as possible and discuss payment options with them to pay off the bill. The Water and WasteWater Code does not apply outside of SEQ so water providers are not required to have a financial hardship policy. However many of them may take financial difficulties into account and work out payment arrangements to assist their customers to pay their water bills.
Concessions and rebates
The Queensland Government provides a Pensioner Water Subsidy of up to $120 per year to assist eligible households in South East Queensland (SEQ) to meet the costs of their water bills. To be eligible for this concession, you must hold a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Health Card. The subsidy is not available to tenants or customers outside SEQ. For more details visit the Queensland Government website.
Some water utilities offer financial assistance to customers who use haemodialysis machines to help with the water costs associated with their medical condition. Contact your water utility to find out more.
To find out more about concessions, or to apply through you water utility or local council, visit your provider's website:
- Queensland Urban Utilities
- Gold Coast City Council
- Logan City Council
- Redland City Council
QCOSS has produced a number of factsheets on essential services including guidance about options if you are unable to pay a water bill and some tips to help you get the best outcome from your water provider. You can print these factsheets to hand out to customers.