Building over or adjacent sewers
You will need approval to build or carry out work near Unitywater’s infrastructure. This approval is additional to any other approval needed to carry out the works you propose.
Unitywater aims to let you use your property without unnecessary constraints. However, Unitywater must also ensure the works you propose do not impede the organisation’s current and future ability to provide water supply and sewerage services. This includes avoiding unnecessary expense or risk of damage to water supply or sewerage infrastructure.
Instances where you will need to seek approval include (but are not limited to):
- Where driven piles or piers are located within 10 metres of Unitywater infrastructure;
- Where any building or structure is deemed to be within the “zone of influence*” of Unitywater infrastructure;
- Where earthworks are directly over or will affect the structural integrity of Unitywater infrastructure;
- Where bored excavations for piers or footings are located within the “zone of influence*” of Unitywater infrastructure;
- Where the width of the access path from the front boundary to any access hole or sewer property connection located on the property is less than 3 metres;
- Where the vertical height to finished surface over Unitywater infrastructure will be reduced to less than 2.0m;
- Where the clearance from Unitywater infrastructure to a fence, building or other structure will be reduced to less than 1.5m.
A Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) may be required to design and/or approve the proposed building or structure. The RPEQ also may be required to prepare “as-constructed” drawings.
Works to reline any Unitywater infrastructure must be performed by Unitywater or by a Unitywater approved contractor.
Works to relocate any Unitywater water infrastructure may require separate approval under the Sustainable Planning Act.
Submitting your application
Moreton Bay Region
If the development is on private land in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area, council will continue to manage the approval process for Unitywater. Accordingly, please submit your application and associated enquiries to Contact Moreton Bay Regional Council - Building and Plumbing.
For information on forms, visit the Moreton Bay Regional Council website.
If the development is proposed on a public road in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area, please contact the Unitywater office at Strathlink on (07) 3480 6703.
Sunshine Coast Region
If the development is in the Sunshine Coast Council area, please submit your application and any associated enquiries to the Unitywater office in Maroochydore.
Building over or adjacent to sewers applications are currently assessed against the Council Planning Schemes (The Maroochy Plan 2000/The Noosa Plan 2006/Caloundra City Plan 2004 and the associated amendments of adopted in 2009) (LINK to Council Website).
Generally, building over Unitywater sewers or within 1.5m of a sewer is not permitted, however there is a range of light weight structures and minor encroachments, that may be considered upon application. In these situations a Deed of Indemnity may be required to be signed by the property owner indemnifying Unitywater from any damages that may occur during maintenance of or access to that sewer within the area of encroachment.
For more details please view the Application to build over or adjacent to water supply or sewerage infrastructure (PDF). Please note that an application fee is payable to Unitywater upon submission.
* Zone of influence – The zone of influence is that area of strata likely to be affected by superimposed loads. The boundary of the zone of influence is nominally defined as a line projected at a 45o angle from the invert of the sewer to the natural surface. The actual boundary of the zone of influence may be affected by factors including groundwater and soil type and must be determined by an RPEQ.
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