From 1 January 2013 Fair Trading became the state's single plumbing and drainage regulator for all on-site plumbing and drainage work. NSW Fair Trading has delegated inspection and enforcement powers to Upper Hunter Shire Council who is responsible for conducting plumbing and drainage inspections.
The 2012 plumbing reforms were part of a state-wide initiative by the NSW Government to provide a more consistent and effective approach to standard setting, on-site regulation and licensing in NSW.
As part of the plumbing regulatory framework, Fair Trading licenses plumbers and drainers under the Home Building Act 1989, and all plumbing and drainage work must be completed by a person who holds a license, qualified supervisor certificate or tradesperson certificate. In addition, a system of on-site regulation ensures that NSW plumbing and drainage work is monitored, so it complies with technical standards and regulations.
What does this mean for plumbers and drainers in regional NSW?
For plumbers and drainers working in the Upper Hunter Shire Council (that is work outside of the areas where Sydney Water and Hunter Water are the water and sewer provider) you continue to contact Upper Hunter Shire Council to book inspections, pay inspection fees, submit documentation and for enquiries.
Documents and forms
As part of the reforms, plumbers and drainers are required to submit the following documents at certain stages of the work:-
You can download these documents below or contact NSW Fair Trading.
When must I book an inspection
Inspections are required when:
Codes and Standards
The Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) is the new technical standard for all plumbing and drainage work in NSW. All plumbing and drainage work in NSW must comply with the PCA.
The new Code replaces the more prescriptive NSW Code of Practice for Plumbing and Drainage and other local requirements. This system means plumbers no longer need to remember a myriad of local variations to plumbing standards. Plumbers will be able to work more easily across different regions, without needing to know local variations.
The PCA sets out performance requirements for the design, construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration and maintenance of plumbing and drainage installations.
The Code calls up AS/NZS 3500, and it has two provisions that plumbers and drainers can work to and achieve code compliance. One option is for the work to be done under the 'Deemed to Satisfy' provision which means that it has been done in accordance with AS/NZS 3500. The other is the performance based provision where work (usually designed by a hydraulic engineer or consultant) meets or exceeds the requirements of AS/NZS 3500.
Plumbers and drainers can get copies of the PCA from the Australian Building Codes Board atwww.abcb.gov.au
For More information in relation to performance based provision, plumbers and drainers can download a copy of the Guideline for plumbing and drainage: Installing code compliant work and alternative solutions (PDF size: 204 kb) from the Fair Trading website.
Environmental & Customer Services Department
Phone: 02 6540 1136
Fax: 02 6545 2671
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.