Plumbing and Drainage
Please note: Council is now operating under the Planning Act 2016, which supersedes the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. For more information on the Act and how this may affect you, view council's Planning Reform page.
What plumbing or drainage work requires council approval?
All plumbing work in Queensland is regulated by state government legislative requirements and is categorized as:
- Regulated work
- Notifiable work
- Minor work
- Unregulated work
Only regulated work is approved by council. Information on regulated work, as well as some helpful information is listed below. Further information on plumbing and drainage can also be found in our Plumbing and Drainage FAQs.
Regulated work is a type of plumbing and drainage work that requires a licensed person to perform. You can only perform the regulated work covered by your license (for example, a licensed drainer can perform regulated drainage work). All regulated work must be assessed by council, and before commencing regulated work, you must obtain a compliance approval for your proposed work. Once the regulated work has been satisfactorily completed, council will issue a compliance permit.
Notifiable work extends the amount of work a plumber or drainer can perform without a local government permit or mandatory inspections. Notifiable work is defined in schedule 2 of the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003. It includes most plumbing and drainage work performed in existing homes including:
- Kitchen and bathroom additions and renovations
- Installing or replacing hot water heaters and including electric, solar or heat pump hot water heaters
- Installing fixtures such as toilets, showers and sinks in an existing home
- Extending or altering pipe work
For more information on Notifiable work visit the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website.
Lodging an application
Applications to council for most regulated plumbing and drainage work use the Queensland State government Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 forms, found on the Department of Housing and Public Works website:
Form 1 - Application for compliance assessment
- Use this form to apply for council to come and assess your plumbing and drainage work
Form 7 - Notification of responsible person
- Use this form to notify us if you have a new licensed person performing your plumbing and drainage work to when you began the work
Online: Townsville Online Lodgement System (TOLS)
Post: Hydraulic and Building Services Unit, PO Box 1268, Townsville QLD 4810
Visit: 103 Walker Street, Townsville City, QLD, 4810
When can I expect my application to be assessed?
The Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 requires council to approve applications within 20 business days for all types of Plumbing and Drainage applications. However council strives to:
- Have Residential applications approved within 10 business days
- Have Commercial applications approved within 15 business days
Services council provide
As well as assessment and inspection of regulated plumbing and drainage work, the Hydraulic and Building Services Unit at council also:
- Conduct physical inspections (report provided) of the condition of plumbing and drainage located at premises (pre-sale inspections)
- Searches of council's electronic records of plumbing and drainage installations within a property
- Supply a consultancy service for plumbing and drainage related issues.
These services are provided at a competitive price. For more information on fees refer to the Planning and Development schedule of fees and charges.
As constructed drainage plans
Council can also supply existing "as constructed drainage plans" and "all services plans" of council assets. For more information, read our As Constructed Drainage Plans information sheet, or contact council.
Plumbing and drainage information and resources
On Tap is a newsletter released every four months from the Hydraulic and Building Services Unit to our customers in the trade community, for general updates as well as the latest in processes and legislation.
For more information, subscribe to On Tap.
Dial before you Dig
Dial before you dig is a free referral service for information on underground pipes and cables anywhere in Australia. Using Dial before you Dig can prevent damage, disruption, injury, and even death.