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Changes to internal drainage inspections (NSW)

Information for the Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains region

Plumbers and builders are required to book inspections for all internal drainage in the Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains area from 1 July 2012.



To create uniformity across NSW in line with the introduction of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 and Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2012, all internal drainage work commencing after 1 July 2012 must be booked for an inspection. (Inspections are already required for commercial and industrial internal drainage, and alterations and additions to existing internal drainage).

With the establishment of NSW Fair Trading as the regulator for plumbing and drainage improved consistency in regulation will be seen.

NSW Fair Trading is supporting greater consumer and licensed trader protection, and reduced environmental and health impacts caused by non-compliant plumbing and drainage work. Lack of access to rectify such problems as construction progresses, means a pro-active approach to internal drainage is the best option. The destructive impact associated with rectifying non-compliant internal drainage after slabs are poured or access is lost can be avoided in most situations where inspection processes are in place.


Internal drainage inspections

The internal drainage inspection process includes:

a flexible inspection booking process to minimise impact on construction schedule (inspection within 24 hours attempted, within 48 hours guaranteed),
fixed appointment times ensuring a maximum wait of not more than 30 minutes,
concurrent internal and external drainage inspections, if required.
As with all attended inspections, if an inspector does not arrive at the site within 30 minutes after the booked time, or if they do not notify you of their delay, you can assume the job has not been selected for an audit inspection. You can now continue work on the job or backfill the trenches.

There is a 3 month transition period from 1 July to 30 September 2012 on the new internal drainage processes.

During this time the emphasis is on giving industry time to adjust and plan for the new approach. During the transition period non-compliances will initially be issued as a caution only. (When this change is fully implemented non-compliance can result in fines and licence suspension).

The new requirements only apply to work commenced after 1 July. You are not required to lodge retrospective notices and book inspections for internal drainage work. This means that if the work was committed to be undertaken prior to 1 July and you have already lodged paperwork and booked inspections for the other work you do not need to lodge additional paperwork and book inspections for the internals only.

You should plan to make inspections of internal drainage part of your planning and quoting for all future work.



Internal drainage inspection benefits include:

The opportunity to rectify works prior to additional construction.
Clear identification of layout prior to covering.
A higher standard of work with less ‘after the fact’ disputes.
A fixed inspection time of 30 minutes.
Improved consistency and quality of work for the customer and builder.
Greater uniformity of requirements across NSW.

For more detailed information about what work to book an inspection for, go to the Work requiring inspections page on Fair Trading’s website.

Go to the Plumbing and drainage inspection fees page for a fee listing for plumbing and drainage work in the Sydney, Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Newcastle area. Click here to visit NSW Fair Trading website.

For inspection bookings, call 1300 889 099.

Submitting a Notice of Work prior to starting work

Go to the Notice of Work page on the Fair Trading website for more information (Click here).
Have a suitable representative onsite at the scheduled inspection time.
Make sure work is complete and exposed for inspection during the 30 minute inspection period.
Have a sketch of the work, or suitable representative, to convey the configuration to the inspector.

NOTE: where the licensee is ONLY carrying out internal drainage work, a compliant Sewer Service Diagram and Certificate of Compliance must also be issued at the inspection.


For more information, click here to visit NSW Fair Trading website.


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