Building Over or Near Our Assets


We have specific requirements relating to building over or near our water or sewer assets. This includes ensuring unrestricted access to manholes, junctions, lamp holes, maintenance shafts, water meters, valves and hydrants.

Water Supply Assets

Building over our water supply assets is NOT permitted under any circumstances. This includes, but is not limited to, water mains, water service lines and meters, hydrants, valves and other fittings and fixtures on the water network. 

Sewer Assets

Building over sewer assets is generally not permitted, however in certain circumstances we may permit building over a sewer main so long as we are satisfied that there is no alternative and specific conditions and requirements are met. An application will need to be submitted to Council for approval prior to commencement of works. 

Building Over a Sewer Manhole or Sewer Rising Main is NOT Permitted Under Any Circumstances

Buildings and structures should be erected away from our Water and Sewer assets as per the following:

  • Water & Sewer Mains by a minimum of one (1) metre
  • Sewer Manholes by a minimum of 1.2 metres
  • Clear of any easements that contain Council sewer and water mains.

Should you have any further questions or require further information relating to building over or near assets, please contact a member of our Development Services team on (02) 4868 0888 or refer to the Development Control Plans (DCPs) for your location.

Plant Trees Away from Water and Sewer Pipes

One of the most common causes of blocked drains and sewer pipes are trees with invasive roots. This can mean that your pipes will need to be repaired and your tree removed, which will result in significant financial impact to you. 

As there is currently no industry standard in relation to distance for planting trees from water and sewer pipes, to minimise maintenance issues we recommend a minimum distance of 3 metres be applied at time of planting. Planting trees in Council easements are not permitted as access to our assets must always be available.

Tips on planting trees:

  • Spend time planning your garden with consideration to both your water and sewer pipes.
  • Ask your local nursery to recommend plants with non-invasive roots.
  • Obtain plans from Council and Dial Before You Dig to help you locate pipes and other utilities. 
  • Water your garden regularly so that your trees will have less need to take aggressive, invasive measures to find it.

Locating Water and Sewer Assets

Excavating? Our underground assets can be anywhere and may be closer to the surface than expected. Get all the facts on underground assets before potentially damaging pipes or essential networks. Failure to do so may result in financial impact, joint failure, asset damage, flooding and injury.


Dial Before You Dig (BYDA)

Before You Dig Australia (BYDA) is a free service that provides information and indicative plans of where our water, sewer and stormwater assets are located. 

Enquiries can be submitted online

Once submitted, a confirmation advice will be sent to you from BYDA listing all the utilities with potential underground assets near your proposed excavation location. You will receive indicative plans of our assets by email within 2 business days of lodging your enquiry.

For any emergencies, contact the utility directly quoting the unique sequence number provided on your confirmation advice. 

Please ensure you define your dig site accurately when lodging the enquiry. The plans you receive will be based on the location indicated on the map displayed in your confirmation advice - not the address details or other information provided.

The Plans

The plans will be issued via email in PDF format. Depending on the size of the location indicated selected, there may be multiple pages. Plans are valid for 30 Days from the date of issue.

The information provided by Before You Dig is indicative only and Council does not accept responsibility of accidental damage to assets. If you are unsure about the location of our services and have attempted to locate them via Potholing, we can assist and undertake an onsite location visit. 

Conducting Excavation

Identify underground assets by potholing or non-destructive digging – comply with the instructions we have given you and excavate by hand (Pothole) to expose the services. Do not use large heavy machinery to locate Council assets. It can lead to possible damage to the asset.

Any damage to Council’s water and sewer network MUST be reported immediately to Customer Service on 02 4868 0888 (available 24 hours).

Some Useful Tips When Looking For Assets

Water mains are generally located in the road shoulder or nature strip. To help with locating water mains, look for fittings such as hydrant lids, stop valve lids, raised reflective markers or marker posts.

Sewer pipes can be found in a number of locations. These can include: within private property, road reserve, public reserves and other public spaces. To help with locating sewer assets, look for structures such as manholes. For pressure sewer mains, look for stop valve, scour valve lids or pits, air valve pits or marker posts.

Sewer Reference Sheets

Sewer Reference Sheets are available for purchase from Council. They show the approximate location of Council’s sewer assets in relation to the identified property, external to the property boundary. This does not show stormwater assets.

Drainage Diagrams

Drainage Diagrams show a representation of the drainage plumbing work internal to the property boundary. This diagram does not give you information on drinking water pipes or stormwater drainage. These plans are also available for purchase from Council.

To apply for any of the above plans, please complete the Drainage Diagram & Sewer Reference Application form

Water and Sewer Asset Responsibility

Council is responsible for the installation, repair, removal, replacement of any water and sewer assets.  These include: water mains, main tapping’s, hydrant points, fire services, sewer mains, manholes and other sewer inspection openings.

Only Council and its authorised contractors may access and conduct works on our water and sewer assets and property. Any unauthorised works or tampering on any Council assets, may result in prosecution.