Plumbing and drainage applications | Brisbane City Council

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 Brisbane City 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 sanitary drain?

A combined sanitary drain is a private sanitary drain which connects two or more properties to one common Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) sewer connection point. The first property on the combined sanitary drain will usually have the QUU sewer connection with a private drain running through this and neighbouring connected properties. To find out if you have a combined sanitary drain on your property, contact Council's Plumbing Services Group on 07 3403 8888. Copies of the sanitary drainage plan for the property and/or adjoining properties may be available for purchase from Council. 

Combined sanitary drains and plumbing assessment

The options for new plumbing installations and renovations will depend on whether the building is a dwelling or a commercial/multi-unit building.

Commercial applications

Unless QUU have given approval to remain on the combined sanitary drain, a new sewer connection will be required for the development and potentially for any affected upstream properties that also share the combined sanitary drain.

Domestic applications

The maximum fixture unit load for the combined sanitary drain will be apportioned equally across each individual lot served by the drain. Plumbing applications lodged for a lot served by the drain will be assessed against that lot's portion of the maximum fixture unit load. Applicants will be advised of their options during assessment by Council.

Apportioning the fixture unit load equally ensures future development is accessible for all lots on the combined sanitary drain.

Find out more about combined sanitary drains.

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.

Fees and charges

A list of Brisbane City Council's fees and charges for plumbing and drainage applications and approval processes is available.

Download the:

The full list of development assessment and compliance fees is also available.

08 January 2019