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Topics > Water > Water licences and permits > Metering water use

New Requirements for Meters Installed after 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019, any new or replacement water meter used for licensed purposes must comply with national metering standards for water meter selection, installation and maintenance. This will ensure that new meters, and their ongoing operation, are consistent nationally.

The three key new requirements as of 1 July 2019 are that:

1. Meters installed after 1 July 2019 must be “pattern approved

A list of current pattern approved meters and meters in the process of being pattern approved can be found here. This list will be updated as additional meters receive pattern approval.  

2. Meters installed after 1 July 2019 must be validated by a certified person

Any new or replacement meters must be validated by a certified person following installation (the installation, however, may be performed by a non-certified person, including the water entitlement holder).  A certified person is someone holding a current certificate issued by Irrigation Australia certifying that the person is qualified as a meter installer and validator. A list of current certified installers/validators can be found here. This list will be updated as further certifications are granted.

3. Maintenance on meters installed after 1 July 2019 must be in accordance with national metering standards 

As of 1 July, maintenance must be carried out in accordance with the national metering standards, which can be summarised as follows:

  • using a certified person to perform certain maintenance work where accuracy of the meter may be affected;
  • using a certified person to ‘validate’ the meter installation if installations are changed or affected by maintenance; and
  • testing of a meter where it is necessary to do so to confirm meter accuracy.

A certified person is someone holding a current certificate issued by Irrigation Australia certifying that the person is qualified as a meter installer and validator. A list of current certified installers/validators can be found here. This list will be updated as further certifications are granted.

To support the key new requirements outlined above, detailed specifications for new and replacement meters installed after 1 July 2019 will be added to the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Policy and Specification. These documents also outline additional requirements relating to meter selection, location, installation, maintenance, meter reading and provision of information to the Department for Environment and Water. The Policy and Specifications are currently under development and will be made available by 1 July 2019.

Why is this occurring?

The new metering requirements are being implemented as part of South Australia’s national commitments to the Murray-Darling Basin Compliance Compact, the National Framework for Non-Urban Water Metering and National Water Initiative.

The national metering standards are outlined in the National Framework for Non-Urban Water Metering and 'Australian Standard for Non-urban Water Metering AS4747'. These standards aim to ensure meters, and their ongoing operation are consistent nationally and to provide an acceptable level of confidence that meters operate within permissible accuracy limits.

Do the new requirements apply to existing water meters (installed prior to 1 July 2019)?

Meters installed prior to 1 July 2019 do not need to comply with the new metering requirements.

It is only if or when a meter is replaced after 1 July 2019 that it will need to be replaced with a pattern approved meter, validated post installation and be maintained in accordance with the national metering standards.

Meters installed prior to 1 July 2019 must continue to comply with the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification. This specification covers requirements relating to meter selection, accuracy, location, installation, maintenance, meter reading and provision of advice to the Department. Greater detail is being included in these specifications to include the new metering requirements (that will apply to meters installed after 1 July 2019) and to make current processes transparent. The updated specifications will be made available by 1 July 2019.

In accordance with the conditions of your licence and the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification, it is your responsibility to ensure your meter is maintained and continues to operate effectively. 

The Department routinely checks installed meters to ensure they are compliant with the above. In accordance with current processes, if a check of your meter identifies that there is doubt that the meter is operating accurately, you may be required to test, validate, maintain or repair your meter. If the meter is not compliant with the South Australian Licensed Water Use Meter Specification then you may be required to replace your meter.

In limited low risk circumstances, water sources may be granted flexibility (or exemption) from metering. The introduction of the national metering standards does not affect or change any existing exemptions granted from metering.

Further information

For further information on the key requirements download:

For more information, contact details for your local water licensing office are provided below:

Contact Numbers Areas managed by this office
Adelaide
(08) 8463 6876
McLaren Vale, Northern Adelaide Plains, Western Mount Lofty Ranges, Far North
Berri
(08) 8595 2053
River Murray, Angas Bremer, Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges, Mallee, Marne Saunders, Peake Roby and Sherlock, Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, Eyre Peninsula
Mount Gambier
(08) 8735 1134
South East Region

Email (all areas): DEWWaterLicensing@sa.gov.au

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