New businesses

What you need to plan for

Whether you're starting a new business, moving to new premises or developing your site, you'll need access to our services. Plan ahead. Consider what you'll need and how to apply for it, the agreements with us you must have in place, and the charges you can expect. You can easily apply for many of our services online when you register with Sydney Water Tap in®.

Trade wastewater

You must have our written permission before discharging trade wastewater into our systems. If it's discharged without our approval, your trade waste service may be disconnected. We may also disconnect or restrict your water service.

You can apply to discharge trade wastewater online at Sydney Water Tap in.

Many businesses, large and small, produce trade wastewater.

  • Commercial businesses include cafés, motor mechanics, car washes and dry cleaners.
  • Industrial type businesses include food manufacturers, breweries and paper or cardboard manufacturers.
  • Higher-risk industries include heavy machinery washing and chemical blending.

View the video to learn more. And find out about our different requirements for commercial trade wastewater and industrial trade wastewater.

Also make sure you understand our requirements before you build or refit commercial premises. Your building or renovation plans must include enough space to install the right grease traps and treatment equipment and wastewater plumbing.

New and altered connections

You'll need to apply at Sydney Water Tap in if you want to:

  • request a new water, recycled water or wastewater connection
  • change the size or location of your meter
  • put a pump onto an existing connection
  • change the amount or quality of wastewater you discharge
  • change the location of your water or wastewater connection.

If you use our water supply during construction and redevelopment, you must have an approved connection with a meter and backflow protection. A hydraulic consultant or plumber can help you design your water and wastewater services and apply on your behalf.

Find out more about connections and disconnections as well as steps for first-time developers.


You need a water meter for all connections to our water system. We provide free meters for all properties. We'll also install meters up to 50 mm light duty for free. You must engage a plumber to install larger meters.

You can apply for a meter at Sydney Water Tap in.

If you ask us to install the meter for you, we'll install it free of charge within 10 business days. If you'd like your plumber to install the meter, you'll get a letter authorising your plumber to collect one. You'll have to pay for the plumbing costs.

All 20 mm and 25 mm meters have a backflow prevention device. This is suitable for properties that have a low backflow hazard.

Worried about damaging your meter during construction?
If you have a development site, you can protect your meter with a cage. We can read the meter through the cage.

Backflow prevention

You must have a backflow prevention device on your water connection to reduce the hazard your activities may pose to our water supplies. You'll need to engage an accredited backflow plumber to assess your site and install the right kind of backflow device.


You'll be charged a wastewater service charge and wastewater usage charges based on our measure or estimate of the volume of wastewater discharged from your site. We calculate these charges using a wastewater usage discharge factor (WUDF). We've identified standard (typical) WUDFs for a range of industries, and we'll use a standard WUDF unless your property has a discharge meter.

If you believe the standard WUDF doesn't apply to your property and you don't have a discharge meter, you can ask us to review it. Complete a WUDF variation request form (49 KB, XLSX). You'll need to provide evidence to support your request in line with the requirements detailed in Appendix 1 of our Wastewater usage charges for non-residential customers policy. You can request a review once a year for free.

We'll be reviewing and updating discharge factors
We're conducting a review of some of our business customers' WUDFs. We'll advise you of any proposed changes to your WUDF before applying them to your account. You don't need to take any action at this time.


We'll have an agreement with you if you have special equipment or conditions. It's important that you understand it. If you need help to understand your agreement, call:

  • the person listed in the agreement
  • your business customer representative
  • our contact centre on 13 20 92 8am–5:30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

If you sell your property, you must tell potential buyers about any agreements that apply.


We charge you to cover the cost of providing our services and maintaining our assets, including:

  • a service charge for being connected to our water and wastewater systems
  • a usage charge for the amount of water you use
  • for the amount of wastewater you discharge
  • for discharging trade wastewater
  • if your property is in one of our stormwater catchment areas.

Find out about our trade wastewater fees. Take a look at prices for your business and prices for other services.