Water Metering

What are they?

Water metering includes the main utility meter and any sub-metering. The meters measure the amount of water passing through them. Some meters will incorporate monitoring to record half-hourly water consumption which may be communicated to the building’s metering system or Building Management System.  Sub-metering is particularly beneficial if there are large water  consuming areas in the building (e.g. cooling towers,  shower blocks, canteens)  or equipment present (e.g. swimming pool).

Advantages / Disadvantages

Essentially all buildings in mainland Australia have  mains water meters, although most are only read monthly.

Water sub-metering will provide  greater transparency for the management of water use, and are particularly useful for the detection of leaks (typically caused by valves passing water through to the sewer, rather than by purst pipes).

Water efficiency

Sub metering is essential if an tenant wants to plan effectively  to reduce their water usage and monitor the success of  their activities.

Running costs

Maintenance costs of any sub-metering will be minimal.  However, there will be a cost associated with monitoring  the meter readings which might be part of the building  management team or outsourced to a third party organisation.

Retrofit / improvement opportunities

Metering is easy to retrofit and low cost to install.

Applicable buildings

Sub-metering  can be installed in any building, bit should be focussed on identifying major energy uses such as cooling towers, amenities and food preparation areas.

Floor plate implications


Occupant comfort

No issues.

Maintenance implications

The water utility company will carry out all necessary  maintenance on the main water meter. Periodic checking  and servicing of any sub-metering will need to be undertaken  by the owner who typically installs it.


The main utility meter is typically located in a plant room in the  basement or on the ground floor on the incoming water main.  Sub-metering will be located on the water supply pipework to  the area or equipment served.

What to ask for

  •  How many water sub-meters are in place and what areas    or equipment do they serve?
  • How is water consumption charged back to the tenants?
  • Who takes responsibility for monitoring and is there an    associated cost?

More information

References required