Water connections and moving

Water connections and moving

Checking the water and sewerage before you buy, sell or move into a new property can sometimes be overlooked yet it’s very important.


When you buy a property, your conveyancer is required to tell you:

  • current water charges
  • any balance outstanding (including water use charges as a result of the special meter reading)
  • information on future charges that may apply
  • details of any encumbrances that are on the property. Encumbrances include easements over part of your property.

(If you are a conveyancer, please contact us to get this information for your client.)

In most cases, the property is already connected, unless:

  • You're building a brand new home. Check that your builder has applied for water and sewerage connection on your behalf. If your contract with your builder doesn't include a water and sewerage connection, you will need to apply via the Connection Application form
  • You're moving into a newly built home. If there is a connection, but no water meter on the property, you will need to apply for a meter via the Connection Application form. If there is a meter, and no water supply, check the meter is in the 'on' position. If there is still no supply, call our Customer Service Centre for help.

The following checks will help you to understand the connections on your property before you buy.

Buyer's checklist: general

  • Ask your conveyancer if there any encumbrances, agreements or authorisations on the property that must be addressed before you can buy the property.
  • Ask your real estate agent if the property has a water or sewer easement as this may impact any building or additions you plan to undertake.

Buyer's checklist: water

  • Check if the property has a water meter and where is it located.
  • The property already has an account and, if it’s an existing building, the water is already connected and ready to use.  If a water meter is installed, will it need to be relocated to fit in with your plans? If relocation is required, a fee will be payable. Please read the current fees for more information. You can find out more about relocating your meter here.
  • Make sure the water meter is accessible. Water meters must be kept free of obstructions so they can be read, maintained, and periodically replaced. If the meter is partially buried or encased in concrete, you have to remove the obstruction, or the meter may be relocated at your cost.
  • Find out if the property is located in a dual water supply development. Prior to sale, each property must be checked to ensure no cross-connection exists between the drinking water and recycled water supplies. Check with the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) that this audit has taken place. Also, check any required alterations to plumbing work have been fixed before you buy the property.
  • Check if the water connection for the property is located away from the property. If so, the property will have a special type of connection agreement. It's important to note you are responsible for the maintenance and replacement of the water pipe between the meter and the property if repairs are required.

Buyer's checklist: sewerage

  • Find out if the property has a sewerage connection and where it is located. A sewerage connection is a small steel plate usually on the footpath or outside the boundary of your home. It's a good idea to know where it is in case a plumber requires access.
  • The property already has an account and, if it’s an existing building, the water is already connected and ready to use.
  • Some properties cannot be connected to SA Water infrastructure because they sit outside a serviced area. For this reason, some properties use septic systems for sewerage.
  • Check the condition of the drains connected to the sewerage connection. Cracked or leaking drains can allow tree roots to enter, resulting in drain blockages. Use a licensed plumber to inspect and report on the plumbing, sanitary drainage system and water pipes before you buy.
  • Find out if there is an external overflow point on the property. In the event of a blockage, an overflow relief gully may be required. This will enable the discharge to flow from the dwelling.


When you sell a property, you are responsible for rates and charges up to and including the date of settlement. After settlement, the buyer becomes responsible.

Your conveyancer will arrange for a special reading of the water meter. As a part of the property settlement, they will adjust water use based on the daily average for the property between our last meter reading and your settlement date. The water use charge will be listed on the next bill we send to you when we next read your meter.

A fee applies for special meter readings. You can view our fees and charges here and please Contact us if you need to make your own arrangements for a special meter reading.

When to organise disconnection of your water and sewerage

Unless the property is being subdivided or having the water service relocated, you do not need to organise a disconnection of your services. Fees and charges apply to disconnect water and sewerage services. If you are demolishing your property with the intention of rebuilding, only the internal pipework needs to be removed, with a cap placed on the meter outlet.

Property information application

Please visit EPIC, our fast, easy and convenient online service that enables you to view property information applications that you have made in the previous 3 months.