Steps for first-time builders

If you're building or excavating

Are you planning to build or getting ready to excavate? Before you start, you’ll need to check where our pipes are located, get your plans approved by us and make sure you can get connected.


1. Be prepared

If you’re building a new home, retaining wall, garage or some other structure you’ll need to get our approval first. This is to make sure what you’re building doesn’t impact our assets: our pipes, structures and easements. Our assets can be affected if your works will be over or next to themYou’ll also need to know what water, wastewater and stormwater services your building will need. You may need to construct something to meet our servicing requirements.

How to locate our assets

Check if you need council approval
Contact your local council to find out if your building or excavation needs development consent. If it does, council may not allow you to start construction until your building plans are approved.


2. Get your plans approved

Sydney Water needs to approve your building plansYour building or excavation may also need consent or approval from your council or local authority. Check with the council. They may have conditions you have to meet before they give consent. They may ask you to apply for a Section 73 Compliance Certificate, which certifies you have adequate access to water and wastewater services. 

You can submit your plans online at Sydney Water Tap in.


3. Budget for additional costs

Remember, you may have to pay for various costs, such as:

  • checking building plans
  • connecting to our pipes, for example, water main drilling costs
  • assessing water mains for firefighting capabilities
  • discharging trade waste
  • inspecting plumbing and drainage.

To find out more, visit Prices for other services and Applications and approvals.


4. Apply for a Section 73 Compliance Certificate

You may not need a Section 73 Compliance Certificate if you’re knocking down and replacing a residential dwelling, but there are certain types of development that need a Section 73 Certificate. This certificate is to make sure your building or excavation has, at a minimum:

  • frontage to a drinking water main to connect a metered property service
  • a wastewater connection point for each lot at least one metre inside each lot boundary.

It’s proof for your council that your project has access to Sydney Water’s water, wastewater and stormwater system. It also confirms that you’ve paid any necessary contributions towards existing infrastructure.

Track your application
If you applied through Sydney Water Developer Direct, sign in to Sydney Water Tap in. If you applied through a water servicing coordinator, go to developer application progress.


5. Connect or disconnect 

Ask your plumber to apply for approval for connections and disconnections from the water or wastewater systems at Sydney Water Tap in. If you’re connecting a business that produces commercial trade wastewater or industrial trade wastewater, you must get our permission before you connect and discharge to our wastewater system.


6. Install a meter

A meter must be installed within 2 days after connection. It must be close to the front and side boundaries of your property and accessible at all times. How you get a meter depends on the service the property has. We provide free meters for most properties. We’ll also install meters up to 50mm light duty for free, except for multi-level buildings. For larger meters, you’ll have to engage a plumber.