Building Near Sewer or Stormwater Lines

Council needs to access all parts of the sewer and stormwater mains in order to ensure the health and safety of the public.

Sewer & Stormwater Mains Protection

The public sewer and stormwater systems are major assets, of which Wagga Wagga City Council is responsible for. Faults in these systems can cause substantial damage to property quite quickly, and damage can occur a long way from the problem in the pipe.

Council needs to access all parts of the system in order to ensure the health and safety of its public. Access for inspection, maintenance and long-term renewal is critical, particularly at connection and access points. This means that buildings or other constructions should not be built over, or too close to, sewer and stormwater mains.

Building Over or Near Sewer and Stormwater Mains

Nearly every landowner will have some part of the sewer and stormwater mains located within their property. Council recognises that in some cases the inconvenience of such restrictions makes it worthwhile for owners to fund alterations to the mains allow the works to proceed while managing the risk. Council’s encumbrance policy (located within Council's Sewer Policy) has been developed to address these cases.

We aim to help landowners maximise the land use and enjoyment of their property, while maintaining the integrity of the sewer and stormwater mains. We can provide accurate, helpful and specific information to you and aid you in the construction process.

Council also pursues continual advances in pipe and construction technology to make new mains installation as reliable as possible, minimising the future need to carry out the work on individual properties.

Encumbrances over Mains and Easements

It is highly undesirable for any building or other encumbrance to be located over a sewer easement, or sewer asset.

However, an application can be made for approval to encumber a main or easement, in some cases, when:

  • Relocation of the main to accommodate the development is not possible.
  • The development is able to be removed to access the main.
  • It is impossible to avoid building over sewer easements.
  • No access chambers or junctions are involved.

In Council’s Sewer Policy, an encumbrance refers to anything that hinders access to or may damage any part of the public sewer or stormwater network.

Some examples of potential encumbrance include:

  • Sheds, carports and pergolas
  • Retaining walls, barbeques, stone walls
  • Pools (in ground and above ground), storage tanks
  • Underground utilities (water, gas, power)
  • Fences, paving
  • Houses, habitable rooms
  • Landscaping that significantly changes the ground level

Private sewer and stormwater pipes (those that serve only the owner’s property) are not subject to protection by this policy. However, plumbing approvals may impose certain restrictions which are covered by the normal council approvals process.

Applying for a Proposal to Encumber a Service Line and/or Easement

If you are planning on building a new structure, or if you have an existing structure encumbering a sewer or stormwater line, you are required to make an Application for a Determination regarding a Proposal to Encumber a Service Line and/or Easement. This application must be accompanied with details of the structure, including:

  • A sketch plan showing your proposed works, their position relative to the property boundaries and in easements, and their size
  • If available, architectural plans
  • Detailed structural designs of footings, and
  • Any other information that you think may assist your application

Encumbrance Brochure and Application Form - Building Near Sewer or Stormwater Lines 379.1 KB Download

NOTE: The development proposal is required to obtain formal Development Approval through lodgement of a Development Application with Council, prior to any construction works being commenced. This build over permit does not constitute Development Consent, nor guarantee that a development application will be approved by Council once lodged. Each application will be assessed on its merits