How to read water meters

Metering is an important part of water management.

It allows:

  • water users to manage their water efficiently
  • water to be managed efficiently and flexibly
  • water to be shared equitably
  • an accurate record of water usage
  • improved compliance with licence volumes.

Southern Rural Water reads all meters at least twice per year (between 1 July and 30 June). We encourage you to read your meter regularly to monitor and record your water use.

Waterline –

You can now check your usage and enter your own meter reads online using Waterline. Things to note when reading your meter and entering usage online:

  • always enter the meter read in megalitres (ML)
  • always enter the meter read to one decimal place only – do not round meter reads up or down.

For more information on Waterline contact us on 1300 139 510.


A meter reading 123.456 should be entered as 123.4ML; do not enter it as 123.456ML, 123ML or 124.0ML.

Maintaining access to meters

You are responsible for keeping your meter site free from obstruction so that our field officers can easily and safely access the meter for reading or repairs.

Your meter may be hard to access because of a locked gate, or the area may be overgrown with grass and weeds near the meter site. If we can’t get to your meter safely, we will ask you to clean the area and make it accessible.

View our handy guide on keeping access to meter sites clear Safe access to meters Fact Sheet

It is an offence to tamper with a meter. Please check with SRW before starting any works or upgrades to your meter or pump installation as changes may affect the meter selection.


  • Metering Action Plan Summary 2020

    Summary of key actions and objectives.

    In line with the State Non-Urban Water Metering Policy 2020, Southern Rural Water (SRW) has developed a Metering Action Plan (The plan) that sets out our actions in replacing the current fleet of rural water meters, with meters that are ‘pattern approved’. Pattern approval is a certification from the National Measurement Institute that states the accuracy level of the meter in various sizes.

    The objective of the plan is to ensure that all sites that fit the criteria for pattern approved meter installations are scheduled and funded within the timeframes allowed for in the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) compact which was signed by Victoria in 2018. This includes installation of remote telemetry where applicable.

    The plan details how the replacement of some 1640 meters will be achieved within the 2018-2023 pricing plan, and the 2023-2028 pricing plan. No water price or cost implications are planned for or expected in the current pricing plan and all meters not replaced before June 30 2023 will be subject to funding in the next 5 year pricing plan period.

    SRW has a total fleet of around 5,000 surface water and groundwater meters across the southern third of Victoria. Most are mechanical paddle wheel or propellor meters and their age is up to 20 years old. Most pattern approved meters are electronic and contain no internal moving parts. They are highly accurate and have the ability for customers to wire direct to the meter for information access if desired.

    After careful analysis of the resource area using a risk-based approach, SRW has established that around 40% of the groundwater and surface water meter fleet will require upgrading to pattern approved meters.

    To replace 1640 meters SRW will embark on a program where the highest resource risk is evident so that maximum value can be achieved from the earliest point in time. The first areas for replacement are:

    • Mitchell River
    • Latrobe River
    • Sale & Rosedale Groundwater
    • Yarram, Giffard & Denison Groundwater and
    • Bungaree groundwater.

    Remote meter reading telemetry is also part of the obligation of the MDB compact, and SRW are already well into a program of installing remote meter reading telemetry to much of our meter fleet. This program is well advanced, already funded in the current water pricing path and will be completed in the 2022-23 financial year.

    Southern Rural Water is currently modernising the three irrigation districts that we manage in Werribee, Bacchus Marsh and Macalister. New infrastructure is being installed to deliver water in the districts along with (where possible) new meters. Pattern Approved meters are not yet available for open channel low gravity conditions, therefore appropriate state of the art meters are being installed. Pipeline and closed conduit channel situations are receiving pattern approved meters in all districts.

    Southern Rural Water has a number of remnant Dethridge meter outlets in open channels and most of these have been grandfathered until a low-cost accurate meter can be sourced.

    An updated Metering Action Plan will be submitted to DELWP as the modernisation of the three districts nears completion.