Protecting services

We have provided guidelines to help you determine if your project will need protection of services action and the options available to you.

If you have reviewed our Protection of Services (POS) guidelines and determined that your project will need protection of services action, you will need to consider the options below, which are listed in order of priority.

  1. Can you relocate the proposed structure?
  2. Can our service be relocated to accommodate your project? Please note this option is only suitable if it is cost effective and will not transfer the required protection of services action to another property, unless you have a format agreement both land owners.
  3. Is provision for structural support and access required? This may involve replacement of our service and/or, for vitrified clay (VC) pipes, encasement of our service in concrete (link to sewer tunnels). You could also consider using a carrier pipe to act as a sleeve for insertion of the service. All efforts should be made to avoid building over our services.

Who is responsible for the cost of POS?

The cost of all work is the responsibility of the land owner or developer.

What types of work will need POS?

You will need to engage a structural engineer if piling is required for your structure. We have provided these guidelines to help you determine if your project will need protection of services action.

Calculating the required footing depths, will determine whether your proposed work requires POS action to protect nearby gravity pipes:

Determine the shortest distance between the centre-line of our service (whether or not it is concrete encased) and the:

  • outer leaf of wall cladding for cottages with standard footings
  • edge of the footing for other developments.

The centre-line of the service is indicated on our as constructed plans.

Determine the vertical depth of our service below the:

  • finished ground surface level, for cottages with standard footings
  • base of the proposed footings, for other developments.

The level of the service is its invert level to Australian Height Datum (AHD).

If the vertical depth is more than the following, POS action will be required:

  • for 150mm and 225mm pipes, the distance determined in 1. minus 600mm
  • for 300mm to 600mm pipes, the distance determined in 1. minus 1000mm.

For cases involving larger pipes and other soil conditions an assessment by our engineering staff is required.

Action will also be required where at least the following vertical clearance between the finished ground level above the service and the underside of any slab (or other part of the structure) is not maintained by the proposed design:

  • for 150mm to 300mm pipes, 2.4m
  • for 375mm to 600mm pipes, 2.8m.

Do not build over larger pipes.

Where the proposed work falls within the zone of influence special footings/piles and/or access to our service may need to be provided. Footings/piles are to be taken at least 300mm below the zone of influence or to refusal in unexcavated solid rock.

Where the proposed work falls within the zone of construction, but not within the zone of influence, special footings/piles are not required.

  • Repositioning may be possible, alternatively vacuum pipes should be protected in the same way as 150mm–300mm gravity pipes, as described above.
  • If vacuum pipes are in proximity to the proposed building or construction work please contact us on building.services@watercorporation.com.au or call 13 13 95.

Calculating the proximity of pressure pipes to your proposed work will determine if you require POS action:

Determine whether the proposed building or construction work is within proximity:

  • Proximity in this case is defined as within 1.5m from the centre-line of the pipe (whether or not it is concrete encased).

The centre-line of the pipe is indicated on our as constructed plans.

Building proposals will be referred to our asset management staff where the proposed building or construction work is:

  • within proximity
  • within 2m of a pressure main located on private property.

Where action is required due to the proposed building or building alteration being in proximity to our service:

  • no building works, other than exempted works, will be permitted above the level of the pressure main and within an area extending horizontally 1m either side of the centre-line of the pressure main
  • building works, other than exempted works, within the balance of the zone of influence will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances – in such cases, the structural load from the building must be taken to a continuous strip footing with its base at a depth of at least 300mm below the pipe invert; this must support a continuous structural wall
  • building works within the zone of construction, but not within the zone of influence, are permitted without special footings.

Where any open stormwater drain or compensating basin operated by us is located (other than in a dedicated reserve), no building is permitted within 5m of either the:

  • top of the bank of the drain or compensating basin
  • floodway (or waterway) of a 1 in 10 year storm event.

To determine POS requirements, please contact us on building.services@watercorporation.com.au or call 13 13 95.

Private building within our reserve is not permitted, however building within an easement may be permitted if the relevant POS requirements have been met.

For strata developments, if you are building onto an easement you will need to surrender the affected portion of the easement at the strata titling stage.

The POS requirements for the redevelopment of existing buildings, where only the building shell or portion of the building shell remains, are sually negotiated with the owner or developer.

Where it is not possible to either amend the building proposal or relocate any of our services, any requirements for POS that are not covered in detail by our guidelines must first be confirmed acceptable by us.

Do not build over pressure services

Where it is necessary to build habitable, commercial or industrial buildings or major structures, over our sewers, you will need to provide access tunnels constructed to our guidelines.

More information

For more information about our POS requirements please contact us on building.services@watercorporation.com.au or call 13 13 95. 

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