Blockages, leaks & floods


TasWater is responsible for maintaining pipes from the main to the customer's connection point on their property.  For a water service, the connection point is the meter or the first valve that is closest to the property boundary..  For sewerage service, the pipe from the connection point to the house (usually at the inspection opening) is the private service line and the customer's responsibility.

Sewer blockage

Should a customer experience a sewerage blockage, the first step is to call your plumber.  If upon inspection, your plumber determines that the blockage is not an issue for TasWater, continue to liaise with your plumber to have the blockage resolved.

If the plumber determines that the blockage is a TasWater issue, then you should contact TasWater on 13 6992.  We will send a TasWater representative to assess the blockage and provide advice and/or repairs.  Please note that a plumber is not authorised to carry out works on TasWater infrastructure without seeking permission from TasWater in the first instance.  TasWater will not accept charges for works carried out on our infrastructure by plumbers if the repair was not authorised by TasWater.  If in doubt, please contact us.  More specific information about responsibility regarding sewer blockages and failures can be found here.

Initial assistance provided by TasWater

If your property is impacted or has the potential to be impacted by a blockage in TasWater’s infrastructure, TasWater will:

  • Attend site promptly upon being notified
  • Assist with rectification works around your property in an effort to reduce the impact upon you and keep it to a minimum.
  • This will include disinfecting the area to minimise the risk to public health, where necessary.

If your internal household is impacted, the most effective method for rectifying the damage is to, as soon as possible after you become aware of the impact, contact your insurance company, as they are best equipped to deal with the damages and have them rectified in a timely manner.

Preventing sewage flooding in your home

An overflow relief gully (ORG) is a plumbing fitting designed to release any sewage outside and away from the interior of your home or business, should a property connection, drain or sewer become blocked.  In the event of a sewer blockage that causes sewage to back up, the ORG is designed with a loose fitting grate that pops open and releases the sewage outside your home or business.  To assist preventing sewage entering your home, it is very important that you never cover your ORG as this may prevent it working as designed.  Please check that the ORG is not covered by bricks, pavement, pot plants, mulch etc. 

Property owners are responsible to ensure their home or business is fitted with a properly designed and working ORG.  Check your ORG regularly to ensure that it is not covered by garden beds, landscaping and pot plants.  Ensure the grate is not prevented from popping open as a result of corrosion, being filled with silt or permanently fixed with concrete. 

A licensed plumber should be contacted if you do not have an ORG or require an alteration to an older fitting. 

All costs are the responsibility of the property owner.

Insurance and compensation

Damage to property from failed water or sewer pipes may be covered by your domestic household insurance.  Contact your insurance company immediately if you have suffered loss or damage as a consequence of a water or sewer pipe failure.  Please ensure that any damaged items for which you are claiming is not disposed of until the matter is resolved.

Storm water flooding

Storm water is a local council responsibility, except in cases where there is a combined sewer and storm water system.  A combined network, (meaning combined storm water and sewerage system) is the responsibility of TasWater.  If you experience storm water flooding please contact your local council.

You can find the local council directory here.


Water leaks

If you suspect a water leak, it is a good idea to confirm this through reading your water meter.  This can be achieved by:

  • at the end of the day, when you have no further requirement for water, turn off all household and garden taps, flush the toilet
  • record the numbers on your meter
  • first thing in the morning, before anyone uses water, read the meter again
  • record the numbers on your meter if there is a difference between the two readings, you have a leak

Contact your plumber to identify the source of the leak.  If the leak is on your property between the connection point and your home, it will be your responsibility to repair.

If a TasWater representative identifies a leak on your property, they are required to report the leak to the property owner where possible.  Water leaks that occur between the connection point and our water mains are the responsibility  of TasWater to repair. The connection point is the meter or the first valve that is closest to the property boundary.

In the instance of a leak on your property, it is a good idea to contact TasWater on 13 6992 to discuss your water usage statement.  If the leak is concealed, TasWater may provide you with a rebate of up to 50% of the water usage amount over your average bill.  To claim the rebate you will need provide TasWater with written evidence that the leak has been repaired by a licensed plumber and Concealed Water Leak Remission Form.  TasWater allows one rebate per property for the duration of the ownership.

Water and sewerage flooding

We understand that flooding of private property is very distressing and inconvenient.  TasWater is committed to working with customers to resolve flooding issues.  Flooding can be caused by ground movement, tree roots, varying water pressure, vibration from heavy traffic or general wear and tear.  Blockages within a sewer system can be caused by a build-up of fats and solid or tree root infiltration.  This can result in sewage overflow either on private property or from a manhole.

In the first instance, it is very important that you contact TasWater on 13 6992 as soon as you are aware of flooding from either water or sewerage systems.  We can be contacted 24 hours per day, seven days per week.  TasWater will respond to flooding incidents during and after normal working hours as soon as possible.  Severe weather may hamper our ability  to respond quickly, however customers will be kept informed in these situations.

Reimbursement for plumbing work

TasWater will consider reimbursment for plumbing work when it is determined the blockage is in the TasWater system and TasWater authorise a plumber to carry out work to unblock it, in accordance with the policy. Please complete and return the Reimbursement for Plumbing Work form and send your invoice to TasWater.

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