Tips & Advice

Average Water Bills in Sydney, Illawarra and Shoalhaven

Dams levels are starting to decline once more in the Shoalhaven, Sydney and Illawarra regions. Residents will pay an even higher price for water usage if the dam levels drop below 60%.

Since 2020 prices for Great Sydney water consumers have been determined by dam levels. Prices are triggered to rise whenever dam water levels fall below 60%.

Be aware of all the different factors contributing to your water bill: how you are charged for your water; the dam level price trigger; and how much your household uses. 

Water management regulators have to take measures based on the harsh reality that drought conditions may be developing. It is inevitable that water catchment supplies for the Shoalhaven (Shoalhaven Water) and Sydney and Illawarra (Sydney Water) regions will fall below the 60% threshold at different times, and this will impact on your household bill.

With water charge increases a fact of life, reviewing your household water usage is the key to managing the size of your next bill. So, as you wash the car on the lawn and put on yet another necessary load of laundry, it will definitely pay to have a good understanding of local water charges.

Dam NSW – Average Water Bills In Sydney, Illawarra And Shoalhaven
Dam NSW – Average Water Bills In Sydney, Illawarra And Shoalhaven

Current pricing arrangements from Sydney Water (Sydney and Illawarra)

Every four years the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), a state government regulator of utilities, sets Sydney Water prices for water, wastewater, recycled water, stormwater and other services.

A trigger built into the billing arrangement since 2020 means a further increase in the consumption price whenever dam water levels fall below 60%.

In 2023/2024, if dam levels remain above 60%, you will pay $2.67 per kilolitre of water you consume. But if dam levels for Greater Sydney fall below 60%, this price will rise to $3.61 per kilolitre, according to the Sydney Water calculator.

Sydney Water estimates the target for a 3 person household on a small property should be under 456 litres a day, which would be under 166.44 kilolitres per year, on average.

The drought price trigger helping to safeguard water resources

IPART has explained the reasoning behind the new pricing arrangements. “The drought price provides stronger incentives for customers to conserve water when it is most scarce, without locking in higher prices when dams are full,” said IPART Chair Dr Paul Paterson in a media release.  It will also make greater capital expenditure possible for Sydney Water, “The prices will allow for a record $4.6 billion in capital expenditure by Sydney Water over the next four years.” 

The pricing incentivises Sydney Water consumers, “to conserve water all of the time while ensuring that customers only pay for the additional costs of drought when necessary”, Dr Paterson said.

Calculator – Average Water Bills In Sydney, Illawarra And Shoalhaven
Calculator – Average Water Bills In Sydney, Illawarra And Shoalhaven

What costs are included on a water bill?

Regardless of rainfall or drought, the more water your household consumes, the bigger your bill from Shoalhaven Water or from Sydney Water. It’s important to understand the bill from your water authority so you know what fixed charges you have to pay and where you might be able to cut back on consumption to save money.

Typically, each residence receives a Shoalhaven Water or Sydney Water bill quarterly, based on the metre readings that are taken every three months. The bill covers three main charges for residential metred properties: the usage-based water consumption charge; the fixed water service availability charge; and the fixed wastewater (sewage) service availability charge.

Pensioners pay a lower amount due to the pensioner rebate, as do owners of vacant lots, as they pay no water usage charges.

Water Consumption Charge

The water consumption volumetric user charge is levied for each kilolitre (1,000 litres) of water used and is based on the reading from a property’s water meter. This fee is charged after the water is used, unlike the water service availability charge. The water consumption charge is a single amount per kilolitre. This price is for metred properties and is the same for both single-family homes and apartments or flats.  

  • In 2023/24, the drinking water usage charge for the Shoalhaven area (Shoalhaven Water) is $2 per kL, for metred properties. 
  • In 2023/24, the drinking water usage charge for the Sydney and Illawarra areas (Sydney Water) is $2.67 per kL, for metred properties, but will increase to $3.61 per kL if dam levels drop to below 60% for Greater Sydney. 

Water Service Fixed Availability Charge

This fixed annual fee (levied as a quarterly amount at the time of meter reading) is for the connection, or ability to connect, to the drinking water supply. All residential properties are levied a water service fixed availability charge, typically based on a 20mm connection and the same for both single-family homes and apartments or flats.

  • For 2023/2024, the base water service charge for metred properties in the Shoalhaven area (Shoalhaven Water) is $88.00 per year.
  • For the 2023/204, the base water service charge for metred properties in the Sydney and Illawarra areas (Sydney Water) is $71.32 per year.

Wastewater service (sewer service) fixed availability charge:

This fixed annual fee (levied as a quarterly amount at the time of water meter reading together with the water charges if applicable) is for the connection, or ability to connect, to the wastewater distribution system. All residential properties are levied a wastewater fixed availability charge generally based on a 20mm service and the same for both single-family homes and apartments or flats.

  • The annual sewer service charge for the Shoalhaven area (Shoalhaven Water) residences for 2020/21 is set at $876 per year.
  • The annual sewer service charge for Sydney and Illawarra areas (Sydney Water) residences for 2020/21 is set at $549 per year.
Glass of Water – Average Water Bills In Sydney, Illawarra And Shoalhaven
Glass of Water – Average Water Bills In Sydney, Illawarra And Shoalhaven

A Typical Water Bill in Shoalhaven, Illawarra or Sydney

The NSW Water Supply and Sewerage Performance Monitoring Report compares prices across different water authorities and provides a Typical Residential Bill (TRB). This is the annual bill paid by a residential customer using the utility’s average annual residential water supplied. It is the principal indicator of the overall cost of a water supply or sewerage system.

Look up water usage calculators, such as the online calculator provided by Sydney Water, to find out how much water you are using and how much it will cost.

On average, each person in Sydney uses about 200 litres of drinking quality water every day

Comparisons of Typical Residential Bills

It is harder to compare regional water bills. In the past the average Shoalhaven Water household used less (150kL per year) than the Sydney Water household (201kL per year). Also the dam level pricing arrangement applies to Sydney Water but not Shoalhaven Water households.

For the sake of comparison, the table below uses an example of a small household using an average of 166 kilolitres per year as the common basis.

2023/24 Projected Typical Residential bill per annum 

Water Charges Shoalhaven Water Households Sydney Water Households
Supply – Average usage $495.77 

[Based on example of 166 kL@ $2 per kL]
$443.22   (non-drought) 
$599.26  drought 
[Based on example of 166 kL@ 
@ $2.67  per kL (non-drought) 
@ $3.61 per kL (drought)]
Supply – Fixed Charge $88 $71.32
Wastewater/Sewerage Service – Fixed Charge $956 $621.84
TOTAL ANNUAL BILL $1539.77  $1136.38 (non-drought) or $1292.42 (drought)

How to save money on your water bill 

You can reduce water consumption and the size of your bills by making some simple adjustments. If your household water consumption is high, try introducing these measures: 

  • Have shorter showers 
  • Fix existing leaky pipes, and monitor both visible and concealed pipes regularly 
  • Economise with garden watering, and ideally invest in a rainwater tank 
  • Wash vehicles on the lawn 
  • Use a pool blanket or cover to minimise evaporation of pool water 
  • Utilise water-efficient devices such as showerhead restrictors and dual-flush toilets 
  • Wait for fuller loads of laundry 
  • Only run the dishwasher when it is full 
  • Avoid keeping the tap running while brushing your teeth. 

Water Wise Rules

The Shoalhaven Water and Sydney Water websites have information on the latest water-wise rules and recommendations. For more tips on what you can do, see our articles on conserving water around the home and other water-wise tips. 

Check Your Plumbing

We don’t know what the year ahead will hold, but Sydney Water users will certainly hope for continued good rains so dams don’t fall below the 60 % ‘drought price trigger’.  

Something you can control is water leakages in your property. Get in touch with us today to request a professional inspection of your plumbing system to ensure you are not spending too much on your water bills. 

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Viktoria Staunton
March 25, 2024
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Excellent customer service- Josh went to great lengths to assist my mum who is vision impaired. Great job Josh!!
Helen Anderson
March 21, 2024
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Very impressed with the fast service! Josh and Nathan highly efficient and are both fantastic ambassadors for Curran! Thanks again, great job!
Zvoni Hodak
March 21, 2024
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What a great company! Our plumbing problem was fixed in less than 24 hours by a super friendly plumber, backed up by an extraordinarily professional team of managers and admins. Based on this first experience with Curran, we didn't hesitate to sign up to their partnership plan, confident in the knowledge that we now have a reliable team of plumbers, electricians and other service technicians when we need them. Highly recommended!
Francesca Pami
March 20, 2024
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Very professional service. Jake came to quote me for the job and was the plumber who eventually did my plumbing. A beautiful person who was both extremely polite and respectful as well as being very skilled and so helpful. He cleaned up after the job and made sure I was happy with everything he did. I will definitely use Curran’s for my future plumbing needs.
Tim Lukacevic
March 19, 2024
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From time placed call last night to the time technician arrived was good service and kept informed. Early morning phone call to get more info and see how was the tap going under the sink . Will who attended our place very nice guy . As have had Currans plumbing in the past for jobs. Now they have more different things do in the business which is great Renewed our membership We were happy and didn't realise our tap was still covered when was installed in just over a year ago. Always hold upfront what job will cost
Elizabeth Carr
March 18, 2024
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Josh was very informative and took the time to ensure I understood exactly what he was doing and what the options were. Lovely fella. Even offered to take the bins out
Julie Street-Smith
March 11, 2024
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A very efficient service. Knowing what you pay upfront was great, it certainly eased my anxiety about receiving a blown out bill. The service was fantastic. Very polite, courteous and respectful of my time. No hesitation In using Curran again. Grist job. Julie S
Kevin Foreman
March 3, 2024
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Super responsive, prompt and professional. Very impressed.
Caitlin Williams
February 29, 2024
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Ryan was very friendly & helpful. Provided great customer service during the appointment for my quote.
February 29, 2024
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Excellent service! Super helpful & informative! Allowing extra time to teach and explain each step of the works carried out. :)
Julia Blom
February 26, 2024
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Very good service. The plumber was polite and gave a good explanation of what the problem was with the blocked drain. I was very suprised with the low price. He got us out of a problem so we can continue to use our sink and dishwasher.
Jennifer Fraser
February 20, 2024
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Jake checked out my drainage problem and was extremely helpful in providing some solutions. He was very knowledgeable and very informative. A lovely young man who was a pleasure to talk too . Highly recommend this local family owned business
Tor W-wise
February 5, 2024
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Great service. Same day. Good advice. Explains everything really well
Shaun Bradley
February 4, 2024
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Billy and Sam were both friendly and supportive of the project. They managed to mitigate the problem with the drainage and completed the maintenance issue professionally. Billy installed the hot water system to my satisfaction and I was very impressed with the quality of the work and the cleanup work done. I would recommend Curran plumbing to my friends, neighbours and family. Thanks Billy and Sam for your services.
Stephanie Robinson
February 1, 2024
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Really helpful, guys explained everything clearly and were very thorough.
Garry Paterson
January 31, 2024
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Dylan and Jake provided great service. They were professional and respectful. Communications of the job at quote time and during the job cannot be faulted.
Sandi Sattlecker
January 29, 2024
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Great, friendly, professional service. I was kept informed at every point, even receiving updated info on the Sunday of a long weekend, about my upcoming appointment. Thank you Andrew, Jake and Josh!
ForTunes Well
January 24, 2024
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Great service and the young guy Isaac was very friendly and super informative.
Susan Russell
January 20, 2024
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Prompt reply to initial enquiry. Date and time to suit. Wonderful customer service from trades and helpful polite and skilled. Love the service partner plan
Cherie Rien
January 17, 2024
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Lovely people to talk to and so helpful. A very professional service and the tradies are all very friendly I would highly recommend Curran Plumbing to anyone who is looking for a fairly priced plumbing solution 😊
Tracey Xuereb
January 12, 2024
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Great service. On time, explained everything thoroughly, very friendly and job done professionally. Highly recommend.
January 12, 2024
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Prompt efficient service to our house in Jamberoo, happy to recommend.
Tertius de Vries
January 10, 2024
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Professional prompt and good workmanship!
Roger Summerill
January 10, 2024
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I found staff excellent and helpful they explained everything clearly
Saheel Singh
January 10, 2024
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Reliable and efficient - great service 😊
Jessica Kennedy
January 9, 2024
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Curran plumbing were on time every time we were booked in, the young men that came to our house were efficient and very friendly. I would recommend them to anyone.
Tony Crawford
January 8, 2024
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Arrived on time, fully explained what needed to be done then quoted up front. Completed the job and cleaned up afterwards. I will be using them again for future plumbing jobs.
Tessa Jane Ryland-Parsons
December 19, 2023
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Thank you Curran Plumbing. Once again excellent customer service. Prompt notification of when the technicians would arrive and honest opinion on our options.
Arvin Villano
December 10, 2023
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Excellent customer service and the quality of the work done is perfect. Very professional.
Kathy Mckenzie
December 6, 2023
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I have nothing but praise for the guys (Josh, Hunter & Bailey) that visited my house recently to undertake several electrical jobs and an air conditioner service. They were all very polite, professional & answered all of my questions. Also you can’t beat an interest free payment plan to help with the expense at this time of the year. Thank you
Steve Taylor
December 4, 2023
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The team were on time, very professional and I was informed of all that was to be done before and during and then a summary at the end of the job. We were very impressed. Thank you also for replacing our old gas hot water system so quickly
December 4, 2023
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Excellent professional service and work completed quickly and without any incidence. All work was carried out in a timely and expedient manner and workmen were very courteous
Helen Barlow
November 30, 2023
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Good service by courteous efficient and helpful tradesmen!
Lee Jourdain
November 29, 2023
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Curran were out within an hour of my call. I was fully advised by the person on the end of the phone of their procedures and they communicated with me by text and email during my wait. The technician gave me 25 mins notice of his arrival. He advised me what he would be doing, the price, and when he was about to turn the power off. Fixed the problem in 20 mins. I was very impressed with their customer service.
Kathryn Hughes
November 22, 2023
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Same day service a bonus. On time and presented well. Explained everything well. Very happy with the service. I have used them in the past and will continue to use and recommend.
Ann Cameron
November 22, 2023
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I was very pleased & impressed with the quick service & politeness of this young men & also the way they cleaned up & put everything back the way it was ,I would definitely recommend Currans Plumbing to anyone.
November 20, 2023
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I have no hesitation in recommending Curran's to anyone needing repairs or installations in their homes. Top service and attention to detail; tradesmen are all polite, courteous and respectful. At every stage of the job they checked before going ahead if problems were discovered. Great work Currans!
Max Zalakos
November 18, 2023
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Excellent and friendly service by experienced personnel who knew exactly what to do, and do it well, and expeditiously. Very happy!
Brendan Nolan
November 16, 2023
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Shout out to the team at Curran's for the quick response and top-quality service!
Radu Bliuc
November 15, 2023
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Great service from Jake and CJ. Professional, punctual, efficient, great in communications the technical aspect of the job. Well done!
Brett T
November 14, 2023
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Explained the job. Professional and friendly. Great after sales service.
Onge Onge
November 9, 2023
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Guys did a great job in not so easy circumstances and short notice, very polite and professional. Answered any questions I had and kept us updated all the way. No problem recommending Curran for any plumbing work.
Belinda Dakin
November 7, 2023
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Levi was informative, did the job in a timely fashion and was a pleasure to have here.
HelloBeauty Home Salon
November 2, 2023
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These guys never disappoint.professional, courteous and transparent.I wish more tradies used this business model.
David Smith
November 2, 2023
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We had a blocked sewer. Communication with the organisation wad easy. I was kept informed about the job. Nathan was polite, well presented and had a great attitude. He explained what he would do and why. The job was done well, he explained what he did and what the result of his work was. He did a great job. Thanks
Narelle Lovell
November 2, 2023
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Very professional service would recommend highly
Dianne Hosa
October 31, 2023
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They were on time. They rung before coming as they said they would. They explained what they were doing before they started doing the work. They show me what they did and made sure everything was working efficiently before leaving.
Cheryl Harris
October 27, 2023
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I found the guys at Curran Electrical and Plumbing to be great, they were open really friendly and helpful. They did the job on time with no mess. I also found them to be honest. I thought I had to replace two lights in the bathroom however while installing the new ones we found another switch so I did not need them replaced after all and the quote was adjusted to reflect this.
Bryan Rugg
October 25, 2023
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I found the work that was completed was to an excellent quality. The workers were professional in their responses to questions and they were always on time.
Paul Blanden
October 25, 2023
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Excellent work from Josh & Hunter. Very professional, polite & great work. Greatly appreciated. Thank you
Jimmy's Burger Truck
October 23, 2023
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very professional service and friendly, knowledgeable staff. tidy workers that kept the business clean as they were working throughout the job. highly recommend !
October 18, 2023
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Very efficient and friendly service. I highly recommend these guys.
Jennifer Bean
October 16, 2023
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The contractors (both electrical and plumbing tradespeople) were personable and professional. It was great service, they arrived on time, checked each decision with me and worked hard. They were clean and tidy and treated my place respectfully.
Kevin Ryan
October 15, 2023
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Quick service and helpful staff both on the phone speaking to office staff and the young plumber who came to do the job
Michael C
October 10, 2023
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They assessed the job clearly, told us what was needed, and explained how they would work. They turned up on time, were polite, and did the work with a minimum of fuss.
Charlie Bell
October 6, 2023
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Curran were able to come to me at short notice after a sewer disaster. They kept me informed of timing and Jake the plumber was clearly knowledgeable and passionate about his trade. He was efficient, thorough and happy to answer questions and tell me why and what he was doing offering a practical solution to our ageing property’s plumbing needs. Thank you. I’ll be in touch
Tracy Webb
October 5, 2023
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Fast and efficient service with everything explained before the job was commenced. Professional and friendly which was very nice.
Jono Q
October 3, 2023
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Very helpful people, happy to talk through what they were doing and why.
Katrina Toland
September 25, 2023
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We use Curran's for any plumbing requirement we have. They communicate well and are conscious of the importance of everyone's time. I totally recommend their services.
Mitch Ashford
September 12, 2023
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My mother who's in her 80's needed her toilet fixed. Curran Plumbing and Electrical did everything perfectly. Service was fast, plumber did a great job after informing me of the several options I had. He was also polite, well mannered and friendly, taking the time to ensure I understood everything he did. Service was perfect and I highly recommend Curran Plumbing and Electrical
Merryn Wright
September 12, 2023
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Curran Plumbing & Electrical recently installed a new pump on my rainwater tank. I am very pleased with their work and also that they were able to do it within a few days of getting their quote. I also appreciated that when the quote was done that a video was taken of what needed to be done, so that whoever did the work knew what needed to be done.
August 26, 2023
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Had a new toilet installed and 6 taps replaced with ‘quarter turn’ taps to aid my arthritic fingers. Perfectly happy with the work and the very professional and friendly tradesmen. Gold stars to Luke, Josh and Jake
Jeff B
July 01, 2023
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Jake arrived on time, we talked thru our issue and he checked out our storm water problem. He was easily able to pinpoint our blockage and put together 2 quote options to rectify the fault. Jake is a good representative for the business👍
John Q
June 29, 2023
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Well done team. Great to finally meet a professional company. You guys responded quickly, found the problem, gave a respectable quote (unheard-of nowadays) and got the job done. This is the place to go if you have any electrical or plumbing needs. Thanks again Curran
Kelly S
June 28, 2023
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Sam was excellent. He was on time, polite, and did a fantastic and thorough job. He gave us detailed options for the job and we appreciated his honest and professional opinion. We will 100% use Curran plumbing again.
Dave P
June 04, 2023
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Sam was bang on time and fixed our septic issue very quickly. He also sent a camera up the pipes to ensure everything else was fine before leaving. We've enjoyed our ongoing relationship with Curran after they did some major works for us last year and our membership is well worth it.
John D
May 26, 2023
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The people doing the work were friendly, professional and informative and the work was carried out in a timely manner. You should be proud of the plumbing and electrical people who completed this work
Gordon M
July 18, 2022
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Currans supplied us with constant updating of the project and when completed arranged for an inspection of the completed works.
Mitchell F
July 16, 2022
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From the first phone call Curran plumbing services were professional, showed up on time for scheduled quote , then me updated when the job was going to be completed . On the day of install all of the staff were well trained , well spoken and installed my new instantaneous gas hot water system like they were installing it in their own home . The quality in detail to make sure I was satisfied didn’t go unnoticed. At the end of the day I feel like I have gained a plumber for life . 100% recommend.
InJect A Joint V
July 13, 2022
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Luke was a Complete Gentleman and he explained every detail to my wife and i!! On this basis we excepted his Quote on the Spot and told him to go ahead and install our Brand New Australian made Hot Water System!! It was all Done that afternoon with Expert Precision d we had Hot water by 4pm!! Absolutely Marvellous Well Done! Sid you should be Very Proud of the Workmanship that Luke Performed!!
Brian D
July 13, 2022
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From my first contact with your company to completion of the job was only a few days tree roots in the sewer pipes gone, big thanks to your team.
David Collins
July 11, 2022
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Hi it's Dave from Dapto for Block drain problem, Part of Sewer drain renewal and ground was leveled nice & looks good, kitchen drain came apart and was reconnected all services where friendly and good communication excellent work. Thank you
Kingfisher Maritime
July 10, 2022
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I found Josh from Curren Plumbing to be very honest and trustworthy in the work he carried out at my home. Josh communicated everything he was going to do and the results of these actions in a manner I was able to understand. I was happy with the work Josh did at my home.

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