Your Guide To The Amended NSW Plumbing & Drainage Laws


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As a strata committee member, one of your tasks is to stay on top of new legislation and regulations to make sure that your strata scheme complies with them. Sometimes, however, new legislation might slip under your radar – that’s why we’re here to talk about the amendments made to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2011 and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2017  last year. Today, we will look at the key aspects of these amendments and discuss the steps taken before work commences and after work has been completed.

Key changes

The majority of the changes concern a specification of time periods and more precise language. This is important for the relevant authorities and the plumbing professionals, as it clarifies existing requirements and allows the plumbing regulator to work more effectively. In NSW, the responsibilities of the plumbing regulator are usually delegated to local councils by Fair Trading NSW.

Steps before plumbing and drainage work commences

  • The plumbing professional needs to submit a notice of work before starting, which has to contain a description of the work and those responsible for it, to the plumbing regulator. The new amendments specify that for works involving a proposed performance solution, this notice of work has to be submitted at least 20 business days prior to work starting. For all other work, the notice period has to be prior to the first inspection or starting the work, whichever comes first.
  • The person responsible for the work is required to provide a Sewer Service Diagram (SSD) to the regulator. This is so that the inspector can assess the compliance, accuracy and safety of the work conducted. Note that an SSD has to follow certain guidelines to be valid and not cause any delays. You can find them here so that you can ensure that the contractor arranged for the plumbing work is fulfilling all the requirements.

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Steps after the work is completed

  • Once the work has been completed, the SSD and the certificate of compliance have to be issued to the owners corporation or the strata manager and the plumbing regulator. The new regulation specifies that the time period for issuing these is two business days for sites that have been inspected and seven business days for sites that have not.
  • The amended NSW strata legislation has changed the steps that can be taken in the case of defective plumbing work by expanding the powers of the regulator to give written direction to the plumber to correct the defects. This will make managing non-compliance with plans easier and more effective. Note that a written direction is only valid within the first two years of the work being completed.


Are you looking for more detailed information on NSW legislation and guidelines? Simply consult our all-encompassing document bank.

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