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Goulburn Valley Water

FAULTS & EMERGENCIES: 1800 454 500

Frequently Asked Questions

My Account

Why do you need my address?

We need your address so that we can send you your account and visit your property to read your meter. You will be charged interest if we haven’t been advised of your new address and the account goes unpaid.

How do I update my details?

To update your details you can fill out the form here, or contact our Customer Accounts and Services team on 1300 360 007.  You can also click here for more contact options.

When will I receive my account?

Three accounts are issued per year. Issue dates vary from area to area. Please call our customer service staff on 1300 360 007 to find out your dates.

How is my account calculated?

Residential accounts contain three elements:

  • Water consumption
  • Water Availability (Service Charge)
  • Sewerage Availability (Service Charge)

 

Business accounts can contain up to six elements:

  • Water consumption
  • Water Availability (Service Charge)
  • Sewerage Availability (Service Charge)
  • Wastewater Volume Charge
  • Fire Service Charge
  • Trade Waste Charge

Outstanding bills for new property purchases?

Solicitors may not have paid outstanding bills in settlement. They may have simply chosen to deduct the vendor's share of any outstanding charges from the purchase price of the property. There may still be money outstanding. If you are in doubt about the amount outstanding please call our customer service staff on 1300 360 007.

How are multi-tenement properties billed?

In flats, units and town houses which share a single water meter each dwelling is subject to a service availability tariff. We will generate single water meter usage account and divide it equally amongst tenements, unless the body corporate authorises us to otherwise divide the account, as agreed between the parties, and send it direct to the respective units.

It is in the interests of the owners to meter each tenement separately to avoid any conflict over proportioning of the water usage account and the Corporation encourages this action, but costs of metering are still at the owner’s expense.

Do landlords receive bills?

Yes, landlords remain liable for service availability charges for both water and sewerage services. Under Tenancy Regulations from 1st July 1994, properties tenanted in accordance with this regulation may have a water volume charge sent directly to the tenants for measured consumption. A water volume account may only be sent to a tenant where there is a separate meter to the property and we have been properly advised of the tenancy.

Why does vacant land receive an account?

Provided it is within the area serviced by us, if water and sewerage is available for connection to the block, a service availability charge is payable. Under the Water Act 1989, vacant land situated within an urban district is deemed to be a serviced property

Can my account be redirected?

Yes. On receipt of an authorisation from the property owner, we will redirect an account for payment.

How do I claim my pension/concession entitlement?

Phone our customer service staff on 1300 360 007 to register your concession details. If you are paying by mail, write your card number in the box provided on the payment slip.

For details of pension and concession eligibility go to Concessions.

Can I have more time to pay?

Usually. For information on payment assistance click here.

What are my payment options?

There are many options for paying your account. For further information on your Payment Options please click here.

How do I set up Direct Debit for payments?

Please visit here for more information about paying by and applying for Direct Debit.

How do I register for eBilling?

To register to receive your accounts via email, click here.

I have overpaid my account, can I get a refund?

If you have overpaid your account, you can apply for a refund here.

Why must I pay for a fire service when I don't use it?

A Fire Service is a separate unmetered service from the main and charges reflect the potential to draw water from the water supply system and the costs associated with the provision of infrastructure to allow that to occur.

My Property

What do I do when selling my house?

The normal procedure is that your solicitor will advise us once the house has been sold. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that we have your new mailing address so we can send out the final bill for your old house. Please Update Customer Details if any of your details have changed.

How do I arrange a special meter reading?

To arrange a special meter reading outside your normal billing cycle, download an application form and send it back to us with the fee shown on the application form.

My Sewer

I have a strong sewerage smell at my house, what should I do?

Please report the odour here or contact us.

What should I do if my sewer is blocked?

If your sewer is blocked, please report the problem here or contact us.

How do I connect my vacant land to water and sewer?

To apply to connect to water or sewer you will need to request a quote from us by completing an application form here.

My Water

Why is my water off?

Due to maintenance works or burst mains, our customers may experience times without water. Please check your letterbox to see if you have a notification of water interruptions. If not, see our incident page or service interruptions page for updates. If this is an emergency it should be reported by telephoning our Customer Service Centre on 1800 454 500. We will endeavour to restore the interruption as soon as possible.

If your account is well overdue we reserve the right to restrict properties until payment is received.

Did I use that much water?

This is an often asked question and the answer is invariably, yes. By way of example, a hose left turned on for one hour will use 2 kilolitres, (2,000 litres). However, if you believe your water usage does not align with your account please visit our detecting leaks page.

Why is my water usage so high?

Your water usage charge may be higher simply because you have used more water than usual. Compare your current usage behaviour or circumstances with those in previous periods. Have you altered your garden watering due to reduced rainfall? Is the number of people in your household the same as last year? Have you installed any new water using appliances?

Alternatively, if your meter is inaccessible the water usage is estimated based on your water usage history. This means your actual water usage may be slightly higher or lower than that shown on your account. To ensure you always receive an account based on an actual meter reading, please keep your meter accessible.

If neither of these options sound right please visit our detecting leaks page.

My water looks funny.

If your water has an unusual appearance, please report it here or contact us.

My water tastes funny.

If your water has an unusual taste, please report it here or contact us.

My water pressure is low.

If your water pressure is low, please report it here, or contact us.

How do I connect my vacant land to water and sewer?

To apply to connect to water or sewer you will need to request a quote from us by completing an application form here.

How can I help improve water quality?

  • Use less fertilisers and pesticides on lawns and gardens. These can seep into groundwater or get washed into your local waterways. Nutrients from fertilisers are a major cause of blue-green algae, while high levels of pesticides in our waterways can result in the death of fish and other marine life.
  • Protect the banks of streams and rivers and the vegetation growing on them. Don’t allow vehicles or animals to disturb and degrade them. Always leave a buffer of vegetation to act as filter for soil, nutrients and other pollutants.
  • Use house cleaning products which are low in phosphorus. High phosphorus levels in streams are another major cause of blue-green algal blooms.
  • Your toilet is not a garbage bin. Do not dispose of tissues, cotton buds, tampons, sanitary napkins, or other undesirable objects in the toilet.
  • Place used cooking oils in a jar or carton and put it in the garbage bin. Household cooking oils poured into the sink can clog pipes, and can pollute our waterways.
  • Take used motor oil to a service station that advertises collection for recycling. Your local council can tell you where motor oil can be disposed of. A single litre of motor oil down the drain can pollute 9500 litres of water.
  • Wash your car on the lawn. This stops the detergent from flowing into the stormwater system, and also waters the lawn.
  • Never pour leftover paints or solvents down the sink or drain. Place used solvents in a tin or jar and stuff with newspaper before resealing. Ask your local council about arrangement for collection of all hazardous waste.

My Meter

How often is my meter read?

Meters are read 3 times a year approximately every four months.

How do I read my meter?

The majority of meters in the region have four black numbers followed by two or three red numbers. Record all the numbers on your meter and after 24 hours, record your meter reading again, and subtract the first from the second reading to determine the amount of water used. More information can be found here.

I think my meter is faulty.

If you think your meter is reading high and you don’t believe you have any leaks, you may ask us to test it.

You are required to pay for the cost of the test, but if the meter is found to be reading higher than industry standards we will replace it and refund the cost of the test.  We will also refund any amount you were overcharged due to the meter not meeting the standards. If a meter is faulty however it will usually stop or slow down, not get faster.

Please contact us for more information.

Can I have my meter connection size changed?

Yes, if it is practicable to downsize. The minimum connection size is 20mm. The size of your meter determines your service availability tariff. For further details on our tariff charges please click here.

Who owns the meter and the water service on my property?

The meter which services your property is owned by us (Goulburn Valley Water). You are responsible for the safe custody of the meter and will have to pay for its replacement, should it go missing or be damaged by misuse. We will replace the meter if required under normal maintenance conditions.

I think my meter is damaged.

You must call us on 1800 454 500 if you notice any damage to your meter. Do not attempt to fix the meter or water service yourself. It is an offence to interfere with any meter without our authorisation. Penalties do apply.

Faults

Why is my water off?

Due to maintenance works or burst mains, our customers may experience times without water. Please check your letterbox to see if you have a notification of water interruptions. If not, see our service interruptions page or incident page for updates. If this is an emergency it should be reported by telephoning our Customer Service Centre on 1800 454 500. We will endeavour to restore the interruption as soon as possible.

If your account is well overdue we reserve the right to restrict properties until payment is received.

Do I have a water leak?

To see if you have any leaks, turn off all taps and read your meter. Do not use any water for an extended period (such as overnight). Read your meter again before turning water back on, and if the meter records any change during this period, you may have leaking taps, pipes, toilets or other appliances. You should call a licenced plumber to locate and repair the leak.

How do I report a water leak/burst?

You can report a leak or burst online using our report a problem form or by calling our 24 hour Customer Service Centre on 1800 454 500. Before you report a problem, please check our service interruptions page, or incident page to see if we are already working on it.

Water Restrictions & Conservation

What water restrictions am I on?

Please visit our Water Restrictions page to check what restrictions relate to your town and the requirements of each level of restrictions.

How can I save water in the kitchen?

  • When preparing a meal wash the vegetables in a bowl and tip the water on the garden when you’re done.
  • Rinse dishes in a half filled sink rather than under a running tap, or wipe them with a damp cloth.
  • Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher.
  • Place a container in the sink while waiting for the hot water to arrive and reuse this for filling the kettle or drinking.
  • When buying a new dishwasher look for an appliance with at least a 4 star water rating.

How can I save water in the bathroom?

  • Use the half flush button when flushing the toilet.
  • If your toilet doesn’t have a half flush button place a container filled with water in the cistern.
  • To check for leaks in your toilet place a few drops of food colouring in the cistern and leave it for 15 minutes. You will know there is a leak if colour appears in the toilet bowl.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and shaving.
  • Take a shorter shower. A shower only needs to be long enough to soap up, wash and rinse off.
  • When filling your bath check the temperature and only fill to the required depth.
  • Place a bucket in the shower to capture the water while waiting for the hot water to arrive and reuse this on your garden.
  • Install a water efficient showerhead with at least a 3 star water rating.
  • Shower with a friend!

How can I save water in the laundry?

  • Wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine.
  • Adjust the water level in the washing machine to suit the size of your load.
  • When hand-washing laundry, choose an ecofriendly detergent and tip the water on the garden when you are done.
  • If you have several loads of laundry to wash, use the suds-saver option on your washing machine if it has one.
  • When buying a new washing machine look for an appliance with at least a 4 star water rating.
  • Install flow control valves or aerators on all your taps to reduce water use.
  • Check regularly for leaking taps. Fix a leaking tap by replacing the washer.

How can I save water in the garden?

  • Careful planning is the key to saving water in the garden. Group plants of similar water needs together and plant windbreaks to protect delicate species.
  • Soil moisture content is vital to plant health. Improve the ‘organic matter level’ of your soil by adding compost, manure and mulch.
  • Choose the right plants! There are many plants, including some of our Australian natives, that flourish on very little water. You just need to choose wisely when planting!
  • Watering must be done at during the cooler part of the day (6pm to 10am) in line with Permanent Water Saving Rules to prevent evaporation.
  • Water the roots of your plants, not the leaves.
  • Train your plants to need less water by watering deeply and less frequently.
  • Mulch every part of your garden with a good mulch at 75 mm thickness. This can reduce evaporation from the soil by as much as 75%.
  • Use a tap timer – a forgotten sprinkler can waste more than 1000 litres an hour. A timer makes sure you never forget.
  • Reduce grassed areas as lawns require more water than other areas of your garden.
  • Let grass grow longer – when mowing, don’t cut the grass shorter than 2½ centimetres and it will hold moisture better.

What can I do with greywater?

Using greywater in the garden is a great way to save but always follow the these greywater rules:

  • Only use greywater from baths, showers, hand basins and washing machines (preferably the final rinsewater).
  • Only use greywater on the garden and rotate which areas you water.
  • Only apply the amount of water the soil can absorb.
  • Wash your hands following watering with greywater.
  • Stop using greywater during wet periods.
  • Stop using greywater if odours are generated and plants do not appear to be healthy.
  • Don’t water vegetable gardens if the crop is to be eaten raw or uncooked.
  • Don’t use greywater that has faecal contamination, for example water used to launder nappies.
  • Don’t use kitchen greywater (including dishwasher water) due to the concentration of food wastes and chemicals that are not readily broken down by soil organisms.
  • Don’t store greywater for more than 24 hours.

Moving House

I am a residential tenant and I am moving into / out of a rental property. What do I need to do?

If you are moving house please notify us two days prior to moving out of a rental property so that we can read your meter. This will ensure you are not charged for water used after you move out. If you are moving into a new rental property, you may notify us of the address of your new property at the same time.

To register your move, please complete the appropriate form here, or call 1300 360 007.

I am a non-residential tenant and I am moving into / out of a property. What do I need to do?

If you are a non-residential tenant moving out of a rental business premise, please notify us two days prior to moving out so that we can read your meter. This will ensure you are not charged for water used after you move out. If you are moving into a new rental property, you may notify us of the address of your new property at the same time.

To register your move, please complete the appropriate form here or call 1300 360 007.

I have bought / sold a property – what do I need to do?

If you have sold your property and are using a Solicitor or Conveyancing business, they will notify us on your behalf at settlement. However it is your responsibility to ensure that we have your correct mailing address.

A water information statement is prescribed under the Water Act. Vendors of property in our service region are required to provide an information statement prior to contract signing under the Sale of Land Act 1962.

An Information Statement provides all information related to the requested property, water and sewerage service charges and estimated consumption up until the requested settlement date. This statement is to detail any encumbrance affecting the land (excluding those shown on land titles), works required to be carried out, matters outstanding and any relevant rate or change.

Information statements are provided to solicitors, conveyancers and customers doing their own conveyancing.

More information can be found here.

About GVW

Where is GVW's office located?

We have two offices which are open to the public, these are both located in Shepparton. Our main office is at 110 Fryers St and our Operations Centre is on the corner of Old Dookie Rd and Florence St. We also have operational offices in Cobram, Seymour and Alexandra. These offices are not open to the public.

What is GVW's Australian Business Number (ABN)?

84 578 076 056

Is GVW registered for GST?

Yes, we are registered for GST.

Is GST included in my account?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not charged on standard residential and commercial water and sewerage services. This includes water and sewerage services charges and water usage charges.

Which GVW charges and fees attract the GST?

  • Commercial Leases and Rentals.
  • Sale of Equipment.
  • Cheque dishonour recovery fees.
  • Legal cost recovery fees.
  • Administration and Engineering fees.
  • Inspection, construction audit and as constructed survey fees.
  • Feasibility study fees.

Must suppliers be registered for GST?

Yes. All suppliers must be registered for GST and are required to submit a compliant Tax Invoice in order to avoid any delays with processing of payments. If you are unable to provide a compliant Tax Invoice due to not being registered for GST you will need to contact our Accounts Payable department immediately.

How long do suppliers have to issue a tax invoice?

Current regulations stipulate that a business has 28 days to provide a compliant tax invoice which includes their ABN after being requested. If you cannot provide an invoice that includes your ABN we are required by law to withhold 49% of the invoice and remit this amount to the Australian Taxation Office. It will then be your responsibility to obtain any refund when you lodge your annual tax return.

How do GVW prefer to pay suppliers?

We prefer to pay all our supplier accounts by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Payment by EFT improves the efficiency and effectiveness of our Accounts Payable department and, more importantly, will result in a quicker and better service to our suppliers. Please complete the Bank Details Authorisation Form to register for EFT payments. Completed forms should be returned to GVW via email accountspayable@gvwater.vic.gov.au.

Can supplier invoices be changed?

If there is a change to the amount of the invoice either a replacement tax invoice or adjustment note must be provided prior to any payment being made.

Trade Waste

What is greasy waste?

Greasy waste is liquid waste that is generated by a commercial business from food preparation activities and then discharged into the wastewater system. Greasy waste can cause sewer blockages which may result in spills to the environment and overflow of sewage into your business premises. More information can be found in our Greasy Waste Information Sheet.

What is Food, Fat, Oil and Grease (FFOG)?

Food, is residual food particles from washing of preparation and cooking equipment and utensils or crockery.

Fat, is used as an ingredient or for cooking or released from fatty foods during cooking.

Oil, is used as an ingredient or for cooking.

Grease, is waxes in food, petroleum based ingredients in soaps and cleaning products.

How do I reduce greasy waste?

Some easy housekeeping rules to help reduce greasy waste include:

  • Dry-wipe plates and utensils to remove grease before washing;
  • Use less cooking oil where practical;
  • Pour used oil into containers or drums for recycling, not down the sink;
  • Collect all food particles such as scraps or peelings and place them in the bin; and
  • Sweep floors before washing to avoid wastes being washed into the wastewater system.

What is a Grease Interceptor Trap (GIT)?

A GIT (or grease trap) is a device used to capture food, grease and solids before wastewater is discharged to the sewer network. Untreated or inappropriately treated trade waste discharged from a GIT can cause blockages to the property drain and can compromise the efficiency of our sewer system. 

A well maintained GIT is required for food premises, restaurants, butcher shops, bakeries, supermarkets and fast food chain stores (among others). This is a requirement of the Trade Waste consent and our Trade Waste guidelines and regulations.

Why is pre-treatment required for commercial food businesses?

Sewerage systems are typically designed and configured to transport and treat sewage from residential premises.  Wastewater from food businesses typically has higher concentration and/or load of suspended solids (food particles) and fat, oil and grease (FFOG).

This significantly increases the potential for damage or loss of function in the downstream sewerage network and treatment plants which can cause risk to people, processes and the environment and can result in breach of regulatory requirements.

How do I reduce the amount of grease entering the sewer?

Ensure the GIT is installed correctly and adequately sized for the premises, and is cleaned by a licensed contractor on a periodic basis as detailed in the premises’ trade waste consent.

Some easy housekeeping rules to help reduce greasy waste:

  • Dry-wipe plates and utensils to remove grease before washing
  • Use less cooking oil where practical
  • Pour used oil into containers or drums for recycling, not down the sink
  • Sweep floors before washing to avoid wastes being washed into the wastewater system
  • Use less water by dry or waterless cleaning methods
  • Collect all food particles such as scraps or peelings and place them in the bin

How do I clean my Grease Interceptor Trap?

It is your responsibility to organise the cleaning of your grease trap. Cleaning and maintaining your grease trap is very important and must be performed by an EPA licensed waste collector. It consists of removing the entire contents of the grease trap and properly disposing of the material in accordance with all Federal, State and local laws.

Frequency of cleaning or ‘pump outs’ will depend on the size of the grease trap and the amount of greasy waste washed into the trap.  As a general rule ‘pump outs’ should occur every three months.

The possible consequences of not maintaining your grease trap are:

  • Rancid grease and oil odours;
  • Greasy waste entering the sewer pipes with the potential to cause blockages; and
  • The possibility of a greasy waste spill within your property.

     

 

 

What are the requirements to discharge trade waste?

Occupiers of premises that discharge trade waste to sewers are required to complete a trade waste application form.  Customers are legally required to obtain a current ‘trade waste consent to discharge’ from us.

If the installation of a pre-treatment system is required and below ground plumbing is applicable, an application to connect to our sewer is required to be completed by a licensed plumber.  Following application approval, a trade waste consent/agreement will be issued for the premises detailing specific requirements

Recycled Water

Is recycled water returned to rivers and creeks?

Yes, but only in specific situations. We return recycled water back to the community for the watering of golf courses and as irrigation water for farmers. If water is not needed for these activities, then it is available to be returned to the Goulburn River. The river benefits from receiving the recycled water to boost its environmental flow.

Will the recycled water encourage algal blooms?

No. Extensive monitoring has shown that the recycled water does not promote plant growth, algal blooms or mosquito outbreaks.

Will recycled water affect animals?

No. Extensive monitoring over several years has shown that the risk of recycled water impacting on the river ecology is extremely low. We continue to have an extensive and on-going monitoring program to ensure the protection of river health and its fauna.

Will recycled water affect plants?

No, recycled water does not affect riparian vegetation and embankments. Following treatment, recycled water is discharged in a controlled manner and assimilates with the river's natural flow. Aesthetically, there are no negative visual or odour consequences as the water is thoroughly treated prior to release.

How does GVW know the recycled water quality data is correct?

Goulburn Valley Water relies on independent environmental consultants to extensively monitor a range of water quality and biodiversity measures to safeguard the health of the Goulburn River. The methods used to monitor and assess river health are current and extensive. Long term testing for effects from returning recycled water to the river has shown no negative impacts on the ecology or the water quality in the river.

Is returning recycled water to the river expensive?

Yes. Returning recycled water to the river requires substantial capital (eg treatment infrastructure) and operating (eg chemical, power, river monitoring) costs and consideration of these are included in our water and wastewater customer tariffs as set by the Essential Services Commission.