Inside building control areas

Wastewater systems inside building control areas are subject to the Building Act. They are administered by Building Advisory Services at the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment.

You can use the online tool to check if your land is in a building control area.

Read more about building control areas.

For all plumbing and drainage works inside building control areas you will need:

  • a registered certifying plumber or hydraulic engineer to certify the design
  • a certifying plumber to certify the installation.

To find a registered hydraulic engineer or certifying plumber, search the Public Register of Building Practitioners.

Install a wastewater system alongside other works

If the wastewater system is installed alongside other building work - for example when a septic tank or alternative on-site wastewater system is installed at the same time as building a house, industrial or commercial development - your plumber or engineer will need to provide documents to the building certifier.

Before giving an occupancy permit, the building certifier will need:

  • the plumbing and drainage installation, system installation, design and certification documents
  • for an on-site wastewater system on industrial or commercial property, a Department of Health wastewater works design approval.

Install a wastewater system on its own

If there is no other building work, for example, if you just want to replace an old septic tank or alternative on-site wastewater system, your plumber must:

  • contact Building Advisory Services before starting work
  • arrange for a mandatory inspection of drainage work - do not cover or fill over this work until it has been inspected
  • submit the installation, design and certification, and plumbing and drainage installation documents
  • submit a Department of Health wastewater works design approval for an alternative on-site wastewater system installed for an industrial or commercial property.

Alternative on-site wastewater systems for residential properties

Your licensed plumber must submit a notification of installation of an on-site wastewater system before work starts on all alternative on-site systems for residential properties inside building control areas.

When work is finished, they must submit the second part of the form, the notification of installation completion.

Notification of installation/completion of an on-site wastewater system (86.8 kb)
Notification of installation/completion of an on-site wastewater system (398.9 kb)

The forms must be submitted to the Department of Health using the contact details provided.

Alternative on-site wastewater systems for industrial and commercial properties

You must seek approval from the Department of Health before you can install an on-site wastewater system on industrial or commercial property inside a building control area.

Read more about wastewater works design approval, including how to apply.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017