Building near water or sewer pipes (easements)

Information to help you if you're planning to build near easements

Building over or near easements

Whether building a shed, pergola, fence, swimming pool or extending your house, location of an assets of a service provider (water and sewer mains, property connection branches, water meters, etc.) within your property need to be considered.

Water Corporations, Municipal Councils and other utilities have assets traversing many properties and the majority of the time these assets have an easement registered on title. However on some occasions an easement does not exist. There are still legislative obligations of land holders before development occurs.

You can obtain a copy of your title through your solicitor or conveyancer, or by contacting the Land Titles Office on 136 186 or at

If an easement is registered on title there will likely be assets located within them. Even if there isn’t an asset in the easement now, there may be one in the future.

Land owners obligations

Section 148 of the Water Act 1989 deals with “Structures over works” and states that a person must not allow a structure to be built or any filling (eg: soil) to be placed over an easement of the Water Corporation without consent. Further, it states that regardless of the existence of an easement, no structure should be built or filling placed within one (1) metre laterally of any of our assets.

We request that you seek consent in writing by submitting a Build Over Easement/Asset form. This form can be found below.

We request that any application for building over or near easements/assets be accompanied by appropriate plans and drawings that show the possible impacts of the structures and/or filling.

It is the landowner’s responsibility to ensure that any proposed works adhere to the above legislative obligations prior to any work proceeding. Determining the location of any assets prior to the project design phase commencing is critical in order to establish the minimum clearances that will be required by the water authority. Landowners can apply to us for asset locations within their property via the property information request form

The aim of the process is to ensure that the sewer and water assets are protected from damage, while assisting customers avoid the cost and inconvenience of removing structures which may impede access to an asset for maintenance.

Build over easement instructions

Please review all of the steps below PRIOR to making an application

A habitable building will be refused. This includes a portable home, a pool house, a bungalow or the like.

Trees and plants must not be placed over any asset.

This application is for the purpose of a class 10a building type (shed, garage, carport), or landscaping, driveway, concreting etc. You cannot build a commercial building over a sewer asset.

Before making application please obtain asset location plans.

​​​Once plans are obtained please determine the location of all sewer connection branches (including those to neighbouring property) and any sewer maintenance shafts. These assets CANNOT be built over. We also do not allow construction over a rising (pressure) sewer, a main size greater than 225 nor over a water main.

  • Sewer points are indicated by short offtake lines from the main line. 
  • Maintenance shafts are indicated by a circle or square at a junction or end of the main line.

Please contact us on (03) 5177 4648 or by email if one of these assets are in the vicinity of the area you wish to build, we will provide you further information/advice.

Refer to the plans to determine the sewer main material type. Please contact us if you note material type marked as RC or AC.

We can advise if you are required to obtain a CCTV inspection report (these are undertaken at owner’s cost by an approved contractor; approximate private costs are $700 each and two inspections reports are required – prior to construction and after construction). 

Please contact us on (03) 5177 4648 or by email if the sewer line is marked RC or AC, we will provide you further information/advice.

Please review the guidelines to pre-empt the conditions that may be applied to your application.  The guideline provides more information on structures that can and cannot be built over differing asset types.

Please submit an application to us that includes;

  • Site plans with all measurements (all boundary offsets indicated and size of structure(s) indicated);
  • Footing plans with all measurements (size of footings indicated and depth of footings indicated);
  • A title plan showing the registered easement location;
  • A completed application form (see form below)
  • We will charge you an Application fee of $262.20

Build over easements/assets form

Build type

This application cannot be processed unless the information listed below is included with the completed form, failure to do so will result in this application being returned.

  • This application must be accompanied by plans indicating thorough details of the structure/s to be built and the its relationship to title boundaries, ensuring that connection points are shown on the plan and by providing comprehensive details of all footings (including angle of repose) and;
  • Supplying a copy of the Title including the plan diagram and/or the plan of subdivision.

PLEASE NOTE: Our acceptance of this application and fees for processing is not to be construed as consent to begin any construction. Should the application be approved, we will notify you in writing. Failure to obtain our approval prior to the commencement of works constitutes an offence under Section 148 Water Act 1989.

Maximum 4 files.
4 MB limit.
Allowed types: jpg, jpeg, png, pdf, doc, docx, zip.
Application fee is $262.20

We will aim to have this application processed within 28 business days. 
A member of our Property Connections team will contact you to complete payment over the phone.