New plumbing and drainage regulatory arrangements
On 1 January 2013, the Office of Fair Trading became the single plumbing and drainage regulator for all on-site plumbing and drainage work in NSW.
What does this mean for plumbers and drainers in NSW?
For plumbers and drainers working in regional NSW (i.e. outside of the areas where Sydney Water and Hunter Water are the water supply and sewerage service provider), plumbers should continue to contact their local water supply and sewerage service provider for enquiries and to book inspections, pay inspection fees and submit documentation.
In metropolitan areas where Sydney Water or Hunter Water are the water supply and sewerage service provider, plumbers need to contact Fair Trading to book inspections, pay inspection fees and submit documentation.
For more information go to the Fair Trading website or call 1300 889 099.
Liquid trade waste
Plumbing work for liquid trade waste installations must now comply with the Plumbing Code of Australia and Australian Standard AS 3500 Part 2 Sanitary Plumbing and Drainage.
In non-metropolitan areas in NSW, local councils regulate any trade waste discharge to their sewerage systems. Council approval is required under section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 for any discharge, other than domestic sewage, to the sewerage system.
Council requirements for trade waste discharges into sewerage systems need to be in accordance with the Liquid Trade Waste Regulation Guidelines (PDF 3.1 MB).
The guidelines also provide important information for plumbers, including sizing and installation requirements for pre-treatment equipment (see Appendix F 'Overview of common methods of liquid trade waste pre-treatment' on pages 239 to 273 and 288 to 302).
Prohibited waste discharge
Plumbers should note that the Liquid Trade Waste Regulation Guidelines prohibit waste discharge from the following devices to any council sewerage system (see page 171):
- Food waste disposal units – the connection of food waste disposal units (also known as in-sinkerators, in-sink food waste disposers, or garbage grinders) in non-residential premises to a council's sewerage system is not permitted. Existing installations in hospitals and nursing homes may be permitted to remain connected, provided the wastewater is pre-treated by an adequately sized grease arrestor.
- Devices that macerate or pulverise waste – macerators and any other similar devices that are used for pulverising solid waste must not be connected by trade waste dischargers to a council's sewerage system. Solid waste includes, but is not limited to, animal waste, sanitary napkins, placenta, surgical waste and disposable nappies, bedpans and urine containers.
Documents and forms
Plumbing and drainage work
As part of the reforms, plumbers and drainers are required to submit the following documents at certain stages of the work.
Plumbers working in the areas serviced by Sydney Water and Hunter Water can obtain these forms from the Fair Trading website or by calling 1300 889 099. For work in all other areas, plumbers should obtain the relevant document from their local water supply and sewerage service provider.
Compliance plates for relocatable homes
Relocatable and manufactured homes should be fitted with a compliance plate displaying information from a certificate of compliance issued to manufacturers of relocatable and manufactured homes.
Compliance plates may be obtained from Fair Trading by calling 1300 889 099.
Thermostatic mixing valves – commissioning and maintenance
The installation, commissioning and maintenance of thermostatic mixing valves should continue to be undertaken within the requirements of NSW Health.
Thermostatic mixing valve commissioning and/or maintenance report forms may be obtained from the Office of Water by calling 1800 353 104.
Backflow prevention devices – testing and maintenance
Water supply and sewerage service providers may require the installation of backflow prevention devices. Report forms for the testing and maintenance of backflow prevention devices may be obtained as follows:
- For installations within Sydney Water's area of operations, visit the Sydney Water website.
- For installations in all other areas, forms may be obtained from the Office of Water by calling 1800 353 104 or by contacting the relevant local water supply and sewerage service provider.
More information on plumbing matters
Please contact the Office of Fair Trading and your local council for plumbing and drainage requirements.