Application and assessment information

Find important information on Brisbane City Council's application and assessment process for plumbing and drainage work.

New dwelling or ancillary building | Alterations to existing building | Installation other than dwelling | Other Fast-track permit work | Referral agency advice wastewater management

New dwelling or ancillary building

This category includes permit work that is for:

  • New class 1a dwelling house
  • Secondary dwelling (class 1a)
  • Class 10a building.

One application must be lodged for each class 1a dwelling house that is the subject of the proposed plumbing and drainage work.

When hardcopy plans are lodged for assessment, three full sets are required with the application.

Key information

Secondary dwellings

For plumbing assessment, Council deems a dwelling to be a secondary dwelling if it is not under the same roof as the primary dwelling. Connecting structures such as awnings, covered walk-ways, patios roofs and similar structures are not considered to be the same roof as the primary dwelling. A separate application is required for the secondary dwelling in sewered areas.

Scope of work 

The application is to clearly indicate the scope of work proposed and for which a permit is being sought. The scope of works is indicated by:

  • the type of application lodged
  • the description of work provided in the application
  • whether the dwelling house is connecting to sewer or an on-site sewage facility
  • the number of fixtures stated in the application
  • the floorplans and elevations from the approved building plans.

The plumbing and drainage work carried out must not differ from the scope of works for which the permit was issued.

Assessment timeframe

Applications will be assessed within 10 business days unless further information is requested by Council. If an Information Request is issued to the applicant, the assessment timeframe pauses and does not resume until a final response is received by Council.

Applications are assessed in order of receipt by Council. 

Permit term

The permit is valid for up to four years from the date it is issued.  An extension of the permit term may be requested by lodging a Form 2 and the required fee. An application to extend the term of the permit must be made at least 10 business days prior to the end of the term. If the permit expires before the final certificate is issued, a new application must be lodged and approved.

Inspection fees

The relevant inspection fee must accompany the application at lodgement.

Application requirements

The following is required at the time of lodgement:

Additionally, if the work involves On-site Sewage Facility (OSF) installation, include:

  • site and soil report
  • site plan showing:
    • location and details of the proposed or existing OSF
    • location of the proposed and/or existing buildings when applicable.

Lodgement options

Online lodgement is the easiest and cheapest option (note: you will need to sign in/sign up to use our online lodgement). Additional fees apply for hardcopy lodgement.

Applications and supporting documentation may be lodged in one of the following ways:

Alterations to an existing building

This category includes permit work that is alterations or additions to:

  • Class 1a Dwelling house
  • Secondary dwelling (class 1a)
  • Class 10a building.

Additionally, for all classes of building:

  • Install wastewater treatment facility to existing – greywater or on-site sewage facility
  • Replace on-site sewage facility plant or tank
  • Install on-site sewage facility trenches to existing

Alterations to dwelling houses may be performed under the Notifiable Work scheme if they have their own direct connection to sewer (not on a combined drain) or, where the dwelling is connected to an On-site Sewage Facility (OSF), the work does not involve the facility. 

Where alterations to a dwelling house with an on-site sewage facility (OSF) involve the addition of one or more bedrooms, the Planning Regulation 2017 requires a request for Referral agency advice be lodged with Council. This should be done before lodging the plumbing application.

Not including the required information or supporting documentation with the application will delay assessment.

Alterations to dwelling, secondary dwelling and class 10a buildings

Application requirements

The following is required at lodgement:

Additionally, if the work involves On-site Sewage Facility (OSF) installation, include:

  • site plan showing:
    • location and details of the proposed or any existing OSF
    • location of the proposed and/or existing buildings when applicable.

Lodgement options

Online lodgement is the easiest and cheapest option (note: you will need to sign in/sign up to use our online lodgement). Additional fees apply for hardcopy lodgement.

Applications and supporting documentation may be lodged in one of the following ways:

Install wastewater treatment facility trenches to existing only

Application requirements

Replace on-site sewage facility plant / tank only

Application requirements

Lodgement options

Online lodgement is the easiest and cheapest option (note: you will need to sign in/sign up to use our online lodgement). Additional fees apply for hardcopy lodgement.

Applications and supporting documentation may be lodged in one of the following ways:

Guide for relocating a dwelling

The table below outlines the type of application to be lodged.

Activity Application required
Removal dwelling relocated onto vacant land that has no previous association with the dwelling Lodge an application for a new dwelling
Existing dwelling relocated on the same lot with no changes to the internal plumbing and drainage Lodge an application for a Drain Reconnection
Existing dwelling relocated on the same lot plus alterations to plumbing and drainage Lodge an application for Alterations to dwelling house

Installation other than dwelling

Permit work involving buildings that do not meet Council’s definition of a dwelling house require the lodgement of plans unless included under Council's Fast-track declaration for other permit work.

When hardcopy plans are lodged for assessment, three full sets are required with the application.

For specific Brisbane City Council requirements for preparing hydraulic plans contact Plumbing Services Group on 3403 8888.

Key information

Amending plans

Applicants wishing to make amendments to plans currently under assessment (no permit has been issued) may either withdraw the current application and lodge a new application or, wait until the permit has been issued and lodge a Form 2 with the amended plans and applicable application and assessment fees.

Amendment applications and plans are to be lodged via email.

Staging an application

Applications previously lodged with Council may be broken up into smaller stages upon request. The following rules apply:

  • only one request to stage an existing application of up to two new stages is allowed, i.e. one application may be staged into two new stages only
  • all stages must not exceed the scope of the original application. No increase in fixtures or amendments are permitted
  • a new commercial application must be lodged for each stage. The original application is superseded by the new stages
  • a full set of the original hydraulic plans must be lodged for each stage with the works relating to other stages hashed out
  • a staging fee is charged per stage application instead of the normal application and assessment fees
  • staged applications are to be lodged via email
  • assessment will not commence until all stages are lodged.

Assessment timeframe

Applications will be assessed within 10 business days unless further information is requested by Council. If an Information Request is issued to the applicant, the assessment timeframe is paused and will not resume until a final response is received by Council.

Council express assessment options

Council offers the following options for an additional fee:

  • three business days – applications involving less than 10 fixtures where a Development Application is not involved
  • five business days – applications involving up to and including 250 fixtures.

Express applications must be lodged online and include all required documents and information.  Applications that do not comply with Council’s hydraulic design requirements or that are not considered properly made under the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 will be assessed within the legislated timeframe.

Permit term

The permit is valid for up to four years from the date it is issued.  An extension of the permit term may be requested by lodging a Form 2 and the required fee. An application to extend the term of the permit must be made at least 10 business days prior to the end of the term.  If the permit expires before the final certificate is issued, a new application must be lodged and approved.

Performance based/alternate solution

Where a performance based or alternate solution is included in the plans lodged for assessment, the Performance based/Alternate Solution Submission form is also to be completed and submitted.

Calculating assessment fees

In addition to the application and assessment fees, there is a charge per fixture or water meter depending on the nature of the work plus a charge for each testable backflow prevention device in the design. Where no fixtures, meters or devices are involved, only the application and assessment fees are required.

Inspection fees

Prior to issuing the approved plans Council calculates the applicable inspection fee for the current financial year and records the fee on the plans. The inspection fee is recalculated each financial year until it is paid. The inspection fee must be paid prior to any inspections being requested. 

Chargeable fixtures

Council charges for the following fixtures when calculating assessment and inspection fees:

List of fixtures Council charges for when calculating assessment and inspection fees.
Chargeable fixtures - A-G Chargeable fixtures - H-Z
  • Autopsy table
  • Bain-marie
  • Basin
  • Bath (foot, baby, shower)
  • Bedpan sterilizer
  • Bedpan washer/sterilizer
  • Bidet, bidette
  • Boiling water unit (includes under bench)
  • Circular wash fountain
  • Clothes washing machine
  • Coffee machine
  • Dental unit/chair
  • Dishwashing machine
  • Drinking fountain
  • Floor waste gully without fixture connected
  • Glass washing machine/glass cleaner
  • Garbage grinder
  • Ice maker
  • Potato peeler
  • Sanitary napkin disposal unit
  • Shower (single/multiple)
  • Sink
  • Sink/bar
  • Sink cleaner
  • Sink laboratory
  • Sink (pot or utility)
  • Sink/tea
  • Slop hopper
  • Trough (ablution)
  • Trough (laundry)
  • Tundish
  • Urinal - wall hung (includes waterless)
  • Points capped for future use

Application requirements

The following is required at lodgement:

Additionally, if the work involves On-site Sewage Facility (OSF) installation, include:

  • site plan showing:
    • location and details of the proposed or any existing OSF
    • location of the proposed and/or existing buildings when applicable.

Lodgement options

Online lodgement is the easiest and cheapest option (note: you will need to sign in/sign up to use our online lodgement). Additional fees apply for hardcopy lodgement.

Applications and supporting documentation may be lodged in one of the following ways:

Other permit work declared as fast-track permit work by Council

Council has declared certain types of permit work to be fast-track work. Following lodgement of an application, a permit will be issued within two business days to the email address provided by the applicant. Inspections may be booked following receipt of the permit.

The following permit work has been declared as Fast-track permit work:

  • Minor commercial installation (up to four fixtures, no in-ground drainage or trade waste)
  • New pre-fabricated units (pods)
  • Plumbed-in rainwater tank
  • Drain seal-off
  • Drain reconnection
  • Drain works

Pre-fabricated units (pods)

Pre-fabricated units (pods) that contain plumbing and drainage and that do not have Watermark approval must be inspected during construction at the factory. The application must identify each pod (e.g. serial number) to be inspected.

Applications may be lodged for the inspection of a maximum of ten pods at a time.

Minor commercial installation

Plans do not need to be lodged for plumbing and drainage works in a commercial premise that meet the following criteria:

  • four fixtures or less
  • no in-ground drainage
  • does not involve trade waste.

The number of inspections is limited to four. Fees apply for additional inspections.

Plumbed-in rainwater tanks

Applications may be lodged to connect up to four rainwater tanks to internal fixtures. Only one inspection is performed. Fees apply for additional inspections.

Other work includes:

  • drain seal-off 
  • drain reconnection
  • drain works.

Applications may be lodged for one inspection. Fees apply for additional inspections.

Application requirements

Lodgement options

Online lodgement is the easiest and cheapest option (note: you will need to sign in/sign up to use our online lodgement). Additional fees apply for hardcopy lodgement.

Applications and supporting documentation may be lodged in one of the following ways:

Referral agency advice wastewater management

If you plan to carry out building work involving adding one or more bedrooms to a class 1 building connected to an on-site sewerage facility and you wish to retain the existing facility, a Referral agency advice for on-site wastewater management form must first be lodged with Council (Planning Regulation 2017 - Schedule 9 table 11).

Council will advise whether the facility (including the land application area) has sufficient capacity to handle the potential increase in wastewater.

Application requirements

  • Completed request form
  • Floor plan
  • Site plan as described on the request form

On receipt of the request, a Plumbing Services team member will contact you to arrange fee payment.

Lodgement options

Applications and supporting documentation may be lodged in one of the following ways:

Last updated:16 July 2019