From Master Plumber Magazine, February 2012

Real estate agents or landlords contact plumbers requesting a water efficiency certificate to be issued for a rental property.

Agents and landlords are unable to easily charge a tenant for water unless the property is water efficient. It is possible to charge for water in a nonwater-efficient property, however the process lends itself to being easier to just have the property made water efficient.

The Queensland Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009, states what the requirements for water efficiency are for a property.


The key requirements include:

  • The tenancy must be individually metered or water delivered by means of a vehicle.
  • All internal cold water taps except those serving a bath are to deliver a maximum of 9 litres per minute.
  • Shower heads are to have a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute.
  • Toilets are to be dual flush with the maximum flush volume of the full flush to be 6.5 litres, and the maximum for the half flush being 3.5 litres. An average maximum of 4 litres is calculated by determining the volume of water for one full flush and four half flushes and dividing this total volume by five.

This means you need to make sure that even the laundry spout is water efficient.


Achieving water efficiency can be done by:

  • Upgrading tapware and outlets, or
  • Installing flow restricting aerators, or
  • Installing flow restrictor fittings that are fitted behind spouts, or Installing flow restrictors fitted in-line in the pipework leading up to the tapware, or
  • Installing flow restrictors in the tap, in the form of a tap seat or similar.

Consideration should be given to using a method of flow restriction that prevents tenants from being able to easily remove the flow restrictor, otherwise the landlord may accuse you of not checking the property properly.

The Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland has developed a Water Efficiency Certificate for the exclusive use of its members. The form is easy to read and fill out, and looks professional making it a very acceptable item for real estate agents looking to help their customers achieve best results. For further information contact MPAQ on 07 3273 0800.