New businesses

What you need to plan for

Whether you're starting a new business, moving to new premises or developing your site, you'll need access to our services. Plan ahead. Consider what you'll need and how to apply for it, the agreements with us you must have in place, and the charges you can expect. You can easily apply for many of our services online when you register with Sydney Water Tap in.

Trade wastewater

You need our written permission before you discharge trade wastewater into our systems. This applies to most businesses, including:

  • cafes
  • motor mechanics
  • car washes
  • dry cleaners.

Our requirements are different for commercial trade wastewater and industrial trade wastewater customers.

If you're discharging trade wastewater without our approval, we may disconnect the trade waste service. We may also disconnect or restrict your water service. You can apply to discharge trade wastewater online at Sydney Water Tap in.

Make sure you understand our requirements before you build or refit commercial premises. Your building or renovation plans must include enough space to install the right grease traps and treatment equipment and wastewater plumbing.

New and altered connections

You'll need to apply at Sydney Water Tap in if you want to:

  • request a new water, recycled water or wastewater connection
  • change the size or location of your meter
  • put a pump onto an existing connection
  • change the amount or quality of wastewater you discharge
  • change the location of your water or wastewater connection.

If you use our water supply during construction and redevelopment, you must have an approved connection with a meter and backflow protection. A hydraulic consultant or plumber can help you design your water and wastewater services and apply on your behalf.

Read more about connections and disconnections as well as steps for first-time developers.


You need a water meter for all connections to our water system. We provide free meters for all properties. We'll also install meters up to 50mm light duty for free. You must engage a plumber to install larger meters. 

You can apply for a meter at Sydney Water Tap in.

If you ask us to install the meter for you, we'll install it free of charge within 10 business days. If you'd like your plumber to install the meter, you'll get a letter authorising your plumber to collect one. You'll have to pay for the plumbing costs.

All 20mm and 25mm meters have a backflow prevention device. This is suitable for properties that have a low backflow hazard. 

Worried about damaging your meter during construction? 
If you have a development site, you can protect your meter with a cage. We can read the meter through the cage. 

Backflow prevention

You must have a backflow prevention device on your water connection to reduce the hazard your activities may pose to our water supplies. You'll need to engage an accredited backflow plumber to assess your site and install the right kind of backflow device.


We'll calculate how much wastewater your business discharges to our system by applying a wastewater usage discharge factor (WUDF) based on your business operations. The wastewater usage discharge factor was previously known as the sewer usage discharge factor or SUDF. We use the WUDF to determine the volume of wastewater discharged to our wastewater system from your property. The WUDF is used to determine both your wastewater usage and wastewater service charges. 

For more information, read about Wastewater charges for non-residential propertiesOr find out about all the prices for your business.

We'll be reviewing and updating discharge factors
We’re conducting a review of some of our business customers’ WUDFs. We’ll advise you of any proposed changes to your WUDF before applying them to your account. You don’t need to take any action at this time.


We'll have an agreement with you if you have special equipment or conditions. It's important that you understand it. If you need help to understand your agreement, call:

  • the person listed in the agreement
  • your business customer representative
  • our contact centre on 13 20 92.

If you sell your property, you must tell potential buyers about any agreements that apply.


We charge you to cover the cost of providing our services and maintaining our assets, including:

  • a service charge for being connected to our water and wastewater systems
  • usage charge for the amount of water you use
  • for the amount of wastewater you discharge
  • for discharging trade wastewater
  • if your property is in one of our stormwater catchment areas.

Find out about our fees. Take a look at our prices to see all of the charges for your business and prices for other services