Plumbing work

Plumbing work in Queensland is regulated by State Government legislative requirements and is categorised under four types:

Property owners can contact Council or a licenced plumber/drainer to discuss types of domestic plumbing works. For any enquiries regarding domestic, multi-residential or commercial plumbing applications including on-site sewerage facilities contact Council.

Anyone undertaking plumbing work must also consider if there are any building requirements involved and, if so, should contact a private certifier to see if building approval is required. 

Various changes to plumbing law became effective 1 July 2019, details are available through the Department of Housing and Public Works.

At the General meeting 9 December 2020, Council, in accordance with the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019, approved the inclusion of certain plumbing and drainage work as fast track permit work.

Unregulated work

Unregulated work does not require approval or permit from either the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) or Council. The person doing the work does not need to be a licenced plumber, however, the work must still meet the minimum standards of work under the legislation and codes.

Some examples of unregulated work:

  • replacing a shower head, domestic water filter cartridge, jumper valve or washer in a tap
  • repairing or replacing a drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cup rubber in a toilet cistern
  • replacing caps to ground level inspection openings on a sanitary drain or cleaning or maintaining a ground level grate for a trap on a sanitary drain
  • installing or maintaining an irrigation or lawn watering system downstream from a tap, isolating valve or backflow prevention device on the supply pipe for the watering system
  • repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from a greywater use facility or on-site sewerage facility
  • any work on stormwater drainage.

Minor work

Minor work must be performed by a licenced plumber/drainer, however, does not require notification to QBCC or a permit from Council.

Some examples of minor work:

  • unblocking sanitary plumbing or sanitary drainage
  • repairing a broken or damaged pipe
  • maintaining or repairing an apparatus
  • installing, replacing or removing an apparatus, other than a dual check valve with atmospheric port, a temperature control device, a testable backflow prevention device or a water heater.
  • maintaining, repairing, replacing or removing a fitting or fixture
  • maintaining or repairing a greywater use facility or an on-site sewage facility, other than repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from the facility
  • installing a greywater diversion device
  • maintaining, repairing or replacing a fire hydrant or fire hose reel, unless the work is deemed unregulated work
  • sealing a supply pipe downstream from the water meter for house or shed/garage.
  • installing, removing or replacing an automatic switching device for a rainwater tank.

Notifiable work

Notifiable work includes common everyday plumbing and drainage work on existing buildings. This work must be performed by a licenced plumber/drainer and must be reported to QBCC by the plumber/drainer using a Form 4.

Council conducts audit inspections on 5% of the notifications of work reported to QBCC. This inspection is done at no additional cost to the customer.

Some examples of notifiable work include:

  • extending, altering, replacing or removing existing sanitary plumbing in an existing house
  • extending, altering replacing or removing existing sanitary drainage in an existing house
  • installing, replacing or removing a temperature control device, water heater, testable backflow prevention device and/or a dual check valve with atmospheric port within an existing house
  • installing or replacing a greywater treatment plant or facility
  • installing or relocating fixtures in an existing house
  • sealing a sanitary drain upstream from the connection point for a treatment plant or Unitywater sewerage system.

Permit work

Permit work must be carried out by a licenced plumber/drainer and Council approval is required prior to the commencement of this type of plumbing work. Mandatory inspections are also carried out by Council inspectors at various stages of the work. Once work has been completed to Council’s satisfaction, a final inspection certificate (Form 19) is issued by Council to the applicant, property owner and plumber/drainer.

Permit work is separated into two types - Fast track permit work or Standard permit work. The currency period for these permits is 2 years from the date of issue of the permit. Under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019, a request can be made to amend or extend the currency period of an existing permit. These requests must be submitted to Council in the approved form (Form 2), accompanied by the required documents and application fee.

All plumbing forms are produced by the Queensland Government and are not available from Council. Council provides a plumbing application checklist and fee schedule(PDF, 289KB) to assist with plumbing application lodgement.

Fast track permit work

Fast track permit work must be carried out in an area serviced by Unitywater water and sewerage. As Council does not assess a plan of the work, the permit is issued within two business days of the lodgement of a properly made application.

Note: to be considered a properly made application and be processed under the fast track permit process, all required forms, documentation, plans and fees must be submitted with the application at the time of lodgement to Council.

Some examples of fast track permit work include:

Where the building/s connect separately and directly to the water and sewerage system:

  • a new house
  • a new shed/garage with plumbing
  • simultaneous building of a new house and shed/garage
  • a new multi-residential building.

Multi-residential buildings where the community or premises water and sewer mains and water sub-meters have previously been approved and installed under a separate permit.

Standard permit work 

Standard permit work covers all other permit work that is not included as Fast track. Council will assess plans of the work with a permit being issued within 10 business days of the lodgement of a properly made application.

Some examples of standard permit work in sewered areas include:

  • work on commercial buildings
  • a new multi-residential building.
    Note: where an application for a multi-residential building meets the requirements for lodgement as Fast track permit work, the applicant may choose to submit the application as either Fast track or Standard permit work.

Some examples of Standard permit work in unsewered areas include:

  • a single house
  • a single shed/garage with plumbing
  • simultaneous building of a new house and shed/garage

Inspections

The plumber will arrange for Council to inspect the plumbing work throughout the various stages of construction. A completed Form 7 nominating the responsible person for the work must be received by Council before an inspection can be booked. To book an inspection, contact Council.