In North Cyprus, water is supplied by the local municipality. Historically periodic water shortages on the island were common, as a result water is normally fed from the mains into a water tank, usually located next to or very close to the house or even underground in the garden. Water is then fed from the tank to your cold water tap comes. This ensures if the mains water supply is cut at any time you still have water.
In 2015 a pipeline supplying water from Turkey was opened and has increased the availability of water, however water shortages are still a feature of life in North Cyprus. In 2019 the water pipe from Turkey was damaged repair work is underway but is not expected to be completed before end September.
Generally for apartments tanks are either 2 or 5 tons in size, but some older houses may have a 10 ton tank.
Tank – to ensure that your water is safe you should periodically clean your tank, as this can be a source of bacteria.
It is not recommended you drink tap water directly, as the water quality is not sufficient, however the water is safe for washing vegetables or cleaning your teeth. If you boil the water it is fine for drinking.
Normally drinking water is bottled and most people have a drinking water dispenser and purchase water in re-usable 19 litre bottles, available from supermarkets or delivered to your home. Water Filtration systems are also becoming increasingly popular.
Plastic is recycling is in its infancy, so most plastic is not recycled, hence it is preferable to use the large 19 liter water bottles, rather than purchase 3, 5 or 10 litre bottles of water which are not re-usable.
Sceptic tanks and soak aways are the most common form of sewerage in North Cyprus.
Connection and Takeover of Water
If you move into a new house which has never had service, you will need to pay a connection charge. This charge covers your share of connection of the development to the water supply and the charge for a standard /smart water meter to measure usage of water at your property. This charge is usually paid to the Developer.
Most Municipalities are encouraging customers onto smart water meters so developers normally install Smart water meters in new properties. If you are building your own property you may have a choice of a standard or smart water meter.
Prices shown below are for Girne Belediye (charges may be different for other municipalities).
⦁ Charges for Smart Meter – 1975 TL
⦁ Charge for Standard Meter – 1450 TL
If you are moving into a ‘used’ property the charge for taking over the water supply is 200TL. This deposit is returned, at the end of the rental period if you are renting a property, however if you own the property the charge in non-refundable.
To take-over the water supply – go to the Belediye Office, with your kocan/sales agreement/rental agreement plus passport/kimlik.
If you experience an issue with your meter and wish to change your water meter the charges are:
⦁ Change-out of Standard Water Meter – 201.84 TL
⦁ Change-out to Smart Water Meter – 850 TL (charges include a Smart Card)
⦁ To Replace a lost/damaged Smart Card – 65 TL
Water charges vary depending on your district, but the following (Girne Belediyesi) is indicative charges for water:
⦁ Standing / Fixed Charge – 53 TL per month (this covers the cost of canalization/sewage and includes up to 10 tons of water)
⦁ Above 10 tons of water you will be charged for each additional ton used.
Your water bill is usually a paper bill, which is left at your property after the meter has been read. Online billing is available, and you can pay both your water bill and property tax from the Belediye main website.
Paying your Water Bill
There are 4 ways you can pay your water bill:
⦁ At a Belediye Office - Visit your local office and pay your bill at the counter (Cash or card)
⦁ By Standing Order via your TRNC Bank – The payment will be sent from your bank every month
⦁ At a Bill Payment Point (Fatura Ödeme Noktası) – available at many supermarkets (Cash or card) – for more information see the electricity section
⦁ Online on the Belediye website.
If you go to your Municipality’s main website there is generally an option whereby you can pay your water bill online, see below for Girne
To pay your water bill (Su borcu) enter your customer number (abone) which can be found on your paper bill (see above) and is in the form XX-XXX-XXXX-XX and press ‘getir’
You will then be able to see you bill summary, the last payment date (son ödeme tarihi) and the total amount you owe (toplum). Click to progress to the payment screen.
If you have a smart meter and do not top up your card then once you run out of credit you will be without water until you top up your card.
If you have a standard meter you will only be disconnected if you do not pay your bill for a few months and your bill exceeds approx. 1000 TL.
If you are disconnected, contact your Belediye, pay the outstanding bill and you will be reconnected. There is no charge for re-connection.
If you have a leak, on the Municipality side of your water meter call your local Belediye and ask them to resolve. If you have a leak on your premises you will need to call a plumber to resolve the issue.
Types of Water Filtering Systems and their Pros & Cons
Water filtration systems are becoming increasingly popular. Here is a list of various types with their pros and cons:
Carbon Filters absorb many toxins (like chlorine), contaminants, and microorganisms while letting most minerals pass through.
Many freezers have a water and ice dispenser with a built-in carbon filter that is easy to replace.
Be aware that carbon filters are subject to developing mould if left unused for long periods of time. Ideally, you should replace them every 3 to 6 months.
When mould spores are present in large quantities, they can become a health hazard, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
Ceramic Filters are adept at filtering out microscopic particles and microorganisms
The filters can be renewed by brushing them under running water.
One downside is that ceramic filtration does not remove chemical contaminants and viruses.
Also, ceramic filters tend to noticeably decrease the flow of water, so it’s not the most practical method.
Reverse Osmosis is most commonly known for its use in drinking water purification from seawater, removing the salt and other effluent materials from the water molecules.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters are readily available in a variety of sizes.
They remove almost all toxins, but you must remember that the good minerals are also removed.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation systems use a special lamp to kill all living organisms and leave the minerals untouched.
However, the lamp loses its effectiveness over time and you can’t tell whether it’s still working without testing the water.
Another big downside is that these UV systems are primarily targeted at killing microorganisms but they don’t remove heavy metals and other chemical toxins from your water.
Water distillers definitely produce water that is free from impurities.
However, the distillation process also removes minerals from water.
Your body needs many of the minerals found in tap water.
This means that if you go the water distiller route, you need to make sure you’re getting plenty of minerals elsewhere in your diet.
Water distillers also tend to produce more acidic water, which isn’t the healthiest. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a pH of between 6.5 and 8.5.
Water for Swimming Pools
It is not permitted to fill your swimming pool with mains water, except for small top ups. For large top ups and to completely fill your swimming pool you should still call a water tanker to provide the water.
If you require a tanker of water, there are many private companies who can supply. Prices vary, with delivery in the summer months being more expensive compared to winter delivery charges. For 2 tonnes of water, expect to pay around 40 TL.
To save on water costs, especially watering of your garden many older properties have a well. It is unwise to drink well water unless it has been analysed, as septic tanks and soak-ways are the usual method of disposal of domestic waste and sewage and therefore well water could be affected.
Lapta Belediyesi have recently announced the withdrawal of all Smart meters and top up cards. Under the new system your water meter will be visited and read by council workers monthly. Lapta Belediyesi believe the new system will be more efficient, as customers will avoid water cuts, when their credit expires and they anticipate a reduction in the volumes of disputes regarding water charges.
The switch-out process is currently underway and will continue for a few months. When your meter is modified you will receive a notification, posted through your door (see below) asking you to visit the council office to return your water payment card. Once you receive the notification, visit the council office, your card will be read and any credit on the card will be added to your water account. This ensures customers will not be disadvantaged by the change-out. If you have money owing you will be asked to settle your outstanding bill.
In future, meter readings will be read during the first week of every month and a paper bill produced and left by/close to your water meter.
Water charges are as follows:
⦁ monthly charge fixed charge of 18.34 TL - covers the cost of cleaning and pest control
⦁ water consumption charge of 5.75 TL per ton used
Customers can pay their water bill via any of the following methods:
⦁ At a Belediye Office - pay your bill at the payment counter (Cash or card)
⦁ By Standing Order via your TRNC Bank – The payment will be sent from your bank every month
⦁ At the At a Bill Payment Point (Fatura Ödeme Noktası) – available at many supermarkets (Cash or card) – for more information see the electricity section
⦁ Online via the payment option on the Lapta Belediye website, https://paypointcyprus.com/LAPTA - by TRNC Bank Credit Card
If you wish to use the online bill payment method you should click on the link above or click on the ''Kredi Karti ile Ödeme'' option on the left hand side of the Lapta Belediyesi website home page.
This link takes you to the payment option below, which can be used to pay either your water bill or your property tax. In the top right hand corner of the screen there is an option to switch the language to English. Press on this then continue in English.
If you wish to pay your property tax choose the TAX/EMLAK option on the system if you wish to pay your water bill select WATER/SU.
To pay your property tax you need to enter your customer reference number which starts with TLA00XXXX and can be found on your last receipt/bill.
To pay you water bill you need to enter your customer (Abone) reference number and which is in the form XX-XXX-XXXX-XX. Enter this number ignoring the dashes. If your number doesn’t have a 2 digit number at the end, enter 00.
Enter next and you will see your account information, see above.
Enter your email address and click on the box to accept the terms and conditions.
You will then see a summary page for your bill scroll down to choose the credit card option you wish to pay – visa/mastercard is available as an option at the bottom. You can choose to pay the full amount of pay in instalments. The amount shown is the total amount you will pay if you choose to pay in installments.
Depending on which credit card option you enter you will see a payment screen where you need to enter your credit card information. If it is in Turkish this is what you need to enter:
Kart Sahibi – this is the name on the card
Kart numarası– this is your 16 digit credit card number
Son Kul. Tarihi – this is the expiry date ay = month, yıl = year
CVVx (Güvenlik Kodu) = CVV = 3 digit security code on the back of the card
Vazgeç = Cancel (button in red)
Öde = pay (button in green)
Choose the option to pay and then you payment will be progressed. You may be prompted to enter a further security code which you receive as a message on your mobile phone depending on which card you use.