Building, excavation and landscaping projects all have the potential to damage or limit access to our water, wastewater or stormwater services. That’s why we need to assess and approve your building plans before you start any work. If you can’t find what you need to know about the process, call us on 13 20 92.
If you need to lodge a development application (DA) with your council or local authority for your building work, it will not consent unless we have approved your building plans. Without a DA, you won’t get the construction certificate you need.
Plus, you may face fines and hefty additional costs. If you start work on our pipes before your plans are approved, you could be fined. We may also have to recover any costs that we incur from, say, restoring our pipes or third party claims.
Check if you need council approval
Contact your local council to find out if your building or excavation needs development consent. If it does, council may not allow you to start construction until we’ve approved your building plans.
A water servicing coordinator is a Sydney Water listed provider, who acts on your behalf in all dealings with us. You have to pay them for their services, just like any other provider, so we recommend that you shop around to find the one most appropriate for you.
Your coordinator can usually assess and approve building plans (with any requirements) without referring them to us. They’ll:
If your plans need a more detailed review, your coordinator will refer your application to us for an ‘out of scope’ application.
Your water servicing coordinator may find your building plans need to be referred to us for a specialised review. This is known as an 'out of scope' application. If this happens, you’ll need to pay us for the costs of our review. Your coordinator will let you know how much it will be.
Our detailed review ensures:
Coordinators must refer building plans to us if the building affects:
They must also refer building plans to us if you want to:
Once your plans are reviewed and the costs are paid, we’ll send our requirements to your coordinator. Your coordinator will help you meet our requirements and then they can approve your plans.
If there's no impact on our assets, you’ll be approved right away through Sydney Water Tap in. We’ll email you an approval letter and you’ll be charged our current building plan approval fee.
If there is an impact on our assets, you'll need to refer your application to a water servicing coordinator. The coordinator will let you know when they can give you a response.
If the coordinator needs to submit an 'out of scope' application to us and it isn’t complex, we generally send our conditions for approval within 42 days. This process takes a bit longer as the plans need to be reviewed by one of our specialised engineers.
These guides will help you to design your project:
For an 'out of scope' approval, the work must be designed and verified according to our Engineering competency standard (706KB).