Building near sewer infrastructure

Council’s water and sewer assets deliver valuable services to you and your neighbors.  When you’re building or excavating over or next to our assets, you must get approval from Councils Water and Sewer Group.

This includes all developments requiring Council or Private Certifier consent, as well as developments exempt from approval under the Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 (NSW). For example when you are:

  • constructing a building or driveway
  • installing utility services by excavating or non-intrusive means, eg boring
  • laying pipes and cables to service the community.

Points to consider before deciding to apply for approval to build over or near the sewer are:

  • Sewer infrastructure must be suitably protected from damage, and to enable maintenance, minimum clearances are required to be maintained from proposed structures.
  • Unrestricted access to all manholes, lampholes and/or maintenance shafts and junctions shall be provided and maintained at all times.
  • Concrete encasement of the sewer main maybe required for the protection of the affected pipe and any associated infrastructure due to the loss of access.

If you are building over or next to water and sewer assets, you need to understand Council’s requirements. They ensure you don’t damage our pipes and structures and we have ongoing access to maintain them.


You need approval from Council’s Water and Sewer Group before you can move, replace or remove our pipes, build over our pipes or within the zone of influence of our popes. This includes changing the level of your land by filling over water and sewer assets.  Council needs to ensure we can access the water and sewer infrastructure safely for maintenance and repairs.

Talk to Council’s Water and Sewer Development Engineer about getting this approval.


An application must be submitted to Council’s Water and Sewer Group that includes the following information:

  • A full set of the building plans
  • Completed application form
  • Payment of the relevant fees.

Additional information may be requested on review of the application, including:

  • Site survey plan by a Registered Surveyor. All levels to Australian Height Datum (AHD).
  • Certified engineering plans, indicating soil classification and type, and protection requirements of the sewer infrastructure and proposed/existing structure/s in accordance with Council’s Building over Sewer Policy.

Council’s Building Over or Adjacent to Sewer Infrastructure Policy specifies the requirements for building over or close to sewer infrastructure.


On receipt of an application, Council’s Water and Sewer Development Engineer will assess your application.  If approved, a Building Over or Adjacent to Sewer Infrastructure Approval Letter will be issued.  This letter outlines Council’s Water and Sewer Group approval of the proposed works close to, or over our infrastructure and defines any conditions to be complied with, including any inspection requirements.

All works relating directly to the sewer infrastructure, as specified in the Development Application Notice and Building Over or Adjacent to Sewer Infrastructure Approval are required to be carried out to the satisfaction of Council’s Water and Sewer Group Development Engineer. 

Inspection for any works should be arranged and confirmed at least 2 working days in advance and will be at the cost of the developer/applicant.


Building over the water supply assets is NOT permitted (this includes but is not limited to water service lines, water mains, fittings and fixtures). Where a development is proposed adjacent to a water supply asset, a separate written application shall be made to Councils Water and Sewer Group Development Engineer for assessment and determination.


Information relating to Building Over or Adjacent to Sewer Infrastructure can be found in Council’s adopted Building Over or Adjacent to Sewer Infrastructure Policy and Guideline or in the Water and Sewer Group - Customer Service Plan.

For further information on building over or adjacent to sewer infrastructure contact Council Water and Sewer Development Engineer on 02 6578 7290 or email

Charges will apply from 2019/2020 financial year.