Level 1 restrictions are now in place across the shire.
We are keen to tell you about our water and sewerage services and how to use water effectively so you get the best value for money and enjoy all the benefits that water brings to our lives.
Read common questions and answers about water accounts, usage and pricing, water restrictions and service interruptions.
Water charges are included on your rates notice, issued every three months (four times a year). Accounts must be paid by the due date or interest will be charged.
For information on how to pay your rates and water charges, see Make a payment.
Phone us on 6566 3200. If the account is incorrect, we will fix the problem straight away.
You are entitled to a concession on your account if you hold:
Please call us on 6566 3200 so we can arrange this for you.
Please note: the concession applies to the water access charges and not the usage.
You will receive an account for your water usage only if:
As a tenant, you should raise this with your agent or landlord. Your real estate agent should read the meter when you start or finish a tenancy so you pay only for the water you use.
If you do not ensure the meter is read, you may become responsible for the previous or following tenant’s charges.
If you are selling a house, your solicitor will normally arrange for Council to be notified as part of the conveyancing process.
If you are moving without the use of a solicitor, please add us to the list of people you need to notify. Please give us two days’ notice, as we have to read your meter before you leave. There will be a charge for this special reading.
Call us on 6566 3200 as soon as possible so we can help. We will provide you with information about alternative payment arrangements.
We have payment schemes that will put you in control of your account payments, enabling you to pay an agreed regular amount. The easiest way to do this is by direct debit from your bank account.
We will send a reminder notice to you if your account remains unpaid after the due date. You may have just forgotten or have been on holidays.
Your water access charges depend on the size of your water meter and how much water you have used.
Please see the Water charges & meters page for current costs.
Download our Household Water Reference Chart(PDF, 226KB) to figure out how much water your household uses.
Your toilet consumes most of your water, so remember to check it for leaks.
The most common source of leaks is the toilet. Check toilets for leaks by placing a few drops of food colouring in the tank. If after 15 minutes the dye shows up in the bowl, the toilet has a leak.
Water meters measure the amount of water that has entered your property. The water usage charges you have to pay are based on this measurement.
Our meter readers use equipment that automatically compares your current usage with the amount used in your previous period. If it is much higher than the time before, we will let you know. There may be an unidentified water leak on your property – under your home, for example.
Water meters are read in September, December, March and June each year.
It is your responsibility to make sure your water meter is easy to access at all times. Sometimes home security systems, guard dogs and overgrown bushes stop us from reading the meter. In these circumstances, we may estimate the amount of water used based on your previous usage.
If there is anything that may prevent us from accessing the meter or present a danger to our meter readers, please tell us so we can make alternative arrangements.
We have special equipment that will allow us to test the accuracy of your meter. There is a charge for this service.
If the test shows the meter is inaccurate, we will replace the meter and refund the cost of the test. We will also refund any amount you were overcharged because of a faulty meter.
Water meters are Council property. Call us immediately if you think your meter may have been damaged. Depending on the circumstances, we may recover the cost of the repair from the person responsible for the damage.
We recommend that you take extra care when mowing long grass. Identify the meter position with something highly visible.
If you have no water, there is a sewerage spill or other emergency maintenance is required, please call us, night or day, on 6566 3200.
We need your help to make sure Kempsey Shire's extensive network of pipes, pumps, signs and valves keeps working effectively and continually.
We can’t be everywhere all the time, but our customers are. If you see something that is wrong or damaged with any of our equipment or installations, please call us immediately.
If there is a burst water main, you may notice:
Please call us on 6566 3200 so we can assess the situation and respond.
You may have a leaking pipe or appliance somewhere on your property.
The service pipe is the pipe that connects the large water main in the street to your meter.
If you think there is a problem with the service pipe, please call us.
Information about any interruption of service can be obtained by phoning Council on 6566 3200.
If you have no water or there is a sewerage spill, please call us at any time.
You will need a licensed plumber and must get Council approval for the work. We offer free technical advice on all aspects of water and sewerage services and we’ll be glad to help.
If you have a life support machine, please register with us. That way we can contact you well before any planned interruption.
We will contact you immediately if we know of any unplanned interruption in your area. You will also be eligible for a small free water allocation towards use of the machine.
You now have more control over your water costs than ever before. Read our Water saving tips.
You have a right to collect and store rainwater for your own use. We are not responsible for maintaining this service or providing any minimum level of water quality.
NSW Health does not recommend the use of rainwater for consumption where a town water supply exists. Using tank water outdoors is fine – for example, in your garden. Contact NSW Health to check what restrictions apply to your home or business. The Department of Health also provides circulars on the proper maintenance of rainwater tanks.
In general, you cannot recycle domestic wastewater in urban areas. It is your responsibility to check with Council and the Department of Health for conditions and approval. This will ensure that your property is suitable for certain reuse applications and the water reuse will not be dangerous to your health or your neighbours' health.
You can reduce your water usage costs by using tank water. However, there are a few points to consider. You will need to do your sums to see what may work for you.
Water restrictions have recently been made uniform across the NSW North Coast region, from the Great Lakes area to the Tweed Shire. This means, for example, that Kempsey Shire’s level 1 restrictions are similar to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s level 1 restrictions. It does not mean that the councils or water utilities in the area will be on the same restriction level at the same time.
Kempsey Shire has five stages of water restrictions. Staged water restrictions are imposed when Macleay River flows at rates below certain percentile bands. A flow percentile band is the percentage of time for which the river flows at a given rate. This rate is based on historically recorded figures.
The Kempsey water cycle relies on the flow of the Macleay River. The flow of the river is governed by rainfall in the upper Macleay catchment area, the area around Armidale and Walcha. Heavy rainfall in the Kempsey Shire does not necessarily mean a high river flow and no water restrictions.
No matter what level the water restrictions are at, Council needs your help to manage water, whether you are a resident or a visitor. Being water-wise means:
For more information, visit our Water restrictions page or view the Kempsey Water Cycle:
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Please see our Chloramination factsheet(PDF, 200KB)
Due to better water management, Council no longer routinely flushes water mains. We may perform reactive flushing if required.
If your water is dirty please contact us on 6566 3200 and we will try to assist.