Plumbing and drainage applications

Depending on the nature of the proposed works you may need to confirm the following items before lodging an application with Council:

Does the property have a sewer connection?

To find out if your property has a sewer connection, or to apply for a new connection contact Queensland Urban Utilities on 13 26 57.

Is the property on a combined drain?

A combined drain is a shared private house drain that is not owned by Council or Queensland Urban Utilities and serves two or more properties. When an application is received for a property that is served by a combined drain, Council may require the applicant to perform one of the following options prior to commencement of the work:

  • Provide Council with video footage proving the drain is in good condition
  • Replace the drain within the boundaries of the property
  • Arrange for a new sewer connection to be installed for the property and any upstream properties.

There are particular maintenance requirements for combined drains.

To find out if you have a combined drain on your property, contact Council's Plumbing Services Group on 07 3403 8888.

Application structure

Brisbane City Council categorises all compliance assessable work into the following application structure:

  • Domestic
  • PlumbSMART
  • Commercial
  • Work not requiring a permit
  • Concurrence (referral) agency advice


Read the following definitions carefully to ensure the correct application type is submitted.


Applications for the assessment of plumbing and drainage work involving a class 1a detached building that meets the definition of a dwelling house or secondary dwelling in the Brisbane City Council City Plan 2014 (Schedule 1 Definitions, Table SC1.1.1.B).

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.

Read about domestic application and assessment information.


Applications for the assessment of the plumbing and drainage work for the construction of a new dwelling house that:

  • Is detached, i.e. no common walls with adjoining dwellings.
  • Will have its own direct connection to QUU’s water and sewer network, i.e. not be connected to a combined sanitary drain, common drainage or an on-site sewerage facility.
  • Won’t require trade waste assessment.

Read about PlumbSMART application and assessment information.


Applications for the assessment of plans of plumbing and drainage work involving all other structures not meeting the definition for Domestic, e.g. units, offices, industrial building.

Read about commercial application and assessment information.

Work not requiring a permit

Compliance assessable work deemed to be of a relatively minor nature where a permit will not be issued by Council. Includes:

  • Inspection of minor commercial plumbing and drainage works (up to 4 fixtures, no in-ground drainage or trade waste)
  • Inspection of pre-fabricated units (pods) prior to installation
  • Inspection of a plumbed-in rainwater tank
  • Sealing of drain

Read about work not requiring a permit application and assessment information.

Concurrence (referral) agency advice

Required under the Planning Regulation 2017 Schedule 9 table 11 whenever 1 or more additional bedrooms are being added to a class 1 building that is connected to an on-site sewerage facility.

Read about concurrence agency advice application and assessment information.

01 June 2018