Huon Valley Council, Tasmania
Huon Valley Council, Tasmania

Plumbing and Drainage FAQ

Important information concerning the interpretations of legislation and other policies is contained in this page. It is recommended that the Disclaimer be read in conjunction with the information provided.

One of the Huon Valley Council's core activities is to ensure that all properties are provided with safe and effective sewerage systems.

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

1. What legislation regulates plumbing and drainage?

2. What do the terms sullage (grey water), effluent (blackwater), stormwater and wastewater mean?

3. What is a reticulated sewerage system?

4. What can and can't be put down the sewer?

5. What can I do with trade waste?

6. If I live in an unsewered area what sort of sewerage treatment do I need?

7. How do I maintain my on-site disposal system?


 1. What legislation regulates plumbing and drainage?

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A number of pieces of legislation are relevant to the regulation of plumbing.
These are the:
Building Act 2000
Plumbing Regulations 2004
Tasmanian Plumbing Code 1994.
{Govt Acts}

 

The Workplace Standards website has further information on and links to these statutory documents.

 

Generally, protection of aquatic ecosystems and the control of discharge to natural water bodies is determined by the:

 

State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997

Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994   .

 

At the more specific level, the Sewers and Drains Act 1954 and the Plumbing Regulations 2004 detail the requirements relating to plumbing and sewerage infrastructure.

In addition, many councils have by-laws relating to water, sewers and drains and/or the disposal of trade waste.

 

The Huon Valley Council has a Water, Sewer and Stormwater By-Law (14 of 2002). Please contact Council on (03) 6264 0300 to discuss the implications of the by-law in relation to the supply of water, the sewer system and stormwater system in the municipality. In addition, Council has a by-law relating to waste management (By-Law 15 of 2002).

 2. What do the terms sullage (grey water), effluent (blackwater), and wastewater mean?

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Sullage (greywater) is commonly understood to refer to domestic wastewater from showers, laundry use and cooking but does not include sewage.

Effluent (blackwater) is generally understood to mean sewage undergoing a process of treatment.

Wastewater is the term used to include all domestic, commercial and industrial sewage and other liquid wastes, discharged from fixtures such as showers, toilets, basins and kitchen sinks, whether treated or untreated.

 3. What is a reticulated sewerage system?

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A reticulated sewerage system refers to the system of pipes, sewers and drains that are used to convey sewage from a property to a sewage treatment plant. Maintenance of these pipes and of the treatment plant is the responsibility of Southern Water.

 

The term 'sewerage installation' generally refers to the pipes and fittings on private property and owned by the property owner, which take the sewage from the private property to the sewer main. The owner is responsible for maintenance of these systems.

 

The term 'property connection' may also be used to describe the section of the sewerage system connecting private property to the reticulated sewerage system.

 

Souothern Water is responsible for the running and maintenance of five separate treatment plants. These are Southport lagoons, Dover aerated treatment systems and lagoons, Geeveston aerated treatment tanks and Ranelagh aerated tanks and lagoons.

If you are unsure as to whether an area has a reticulated sewerage system or not contact Southern Water on telephone number 136 992.
 

SPECIAL PLUMBING PERMIT

A Special Plumbing Permit is approval to use a system or device (eg. a septic tank) and a Plumbing Permit is also required before installation can proceed.

A Special Plumbing Permit is needed in a number of circumstances such as:

  • a fixture located on a floor which is wholly or partly below ground level
  • a waste disposal unit
  • trade waste
  • drainage from a swimming pool
  • an inlet to a sewerage installation at a level which is lower than 150mm above a declared drainage flood level for the land on which the sewerage installation is located
  • the retention of any plumbing product which does not comply with the Tasmanian Plumbing Code
  • the use of a product that does not comply with the Tasmanian Plumbing Code in a building of architectural or historical interest
  • the installation of an on-site disposal system
  • testable and registrable backflow prevention devices.

To obtain a Special Plumbing Permit you must make application to council with the required documentation as set out in the Director of Building Control - Specified Lists for the Building Act 2000.

SPECIAL PLUMBING PERMIT FOR TRADE WASTE

Trade waste refers to liquid waste from industry, business, trade and manufacturing.

To obtain a Special Plumbing Permit for trade waste you must make application to council with the required documentation as set out in the Director of Building Control - Specified Lists for the Building Act 2000, and/or according to the council's Trade Waste Policy.

 

 4. What can and can't be put down the sewer?

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In the normal sewer designed for domestic purposes you may put liquid waste from toilets, basins, showers and kitchen sinks. This does not include disposable nappies, tampons and/or sanitary pads or condoms, all of which can block drains. These should be disposed of in the household rubbish.

 

Food wastes such as milk, yoghurt, fruit and vegetable juices and cooking oils should not be put down the sink as they can block the drains. They can either be disposed of by composting or in the household rubbish.

 

Leftover household paint, household cleaners and chemicals, pills and medicines, motor oils and pesticides should not be put down the drain either. They can be disposed of properly at the council tip, or in the case of leftover medicines and pills, handed in to a chemist.

 

If you have a Special Plumbing Permit for Trade Waste (see question 5 for more info) you must ensure that your discharge to the sewer meets the requirements of the permit.

 5. What can I do with trade waste?

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Trade waste is the term used to describe liquid waste, other than sewage from commercial and industrial businesses.

 

If you operate a business that produces trade waste and it is discharged directly into the sewer it can:

  • block the sewer
  • cause corrosion of pipes
  • damage the sewerage treatment processes
  • cause health risks to the treatment plant workers
  • cause damage to the environment.

 

Council requires such waste to be managed by properly designed systems and products for the collection and treatment of trade waste. A Special Plumbing Permit for Trade Waste is required under the Plumbing Regulations 2004 (see question 5 for more information). In some instances councils may also require an industry operator to enter into a Trade Waste Agreement that details what the business is allowed to discharge to the sewer and under what terms and conditions.

 

Trade waste charges that councils may impose on businesses depend on the volume and type of waste being generated.

 

Please contact Council on telephone number (03) 6264 0300 to discuss Trade waste and any application for Trade Waste services you may require. In addition, Councils Waste Management By-Law regulates the disposal and collection of refuse and waste management facilities.

 6. If I live in an unsewered area what sort of sewerage treatment do I need?

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The original council subdivision approval for your block and subsequent Special Plumbing Permit will detail the type of system approved for your block This may vary depending on the site and soil conditions of your block. Contact your council's Environmental Health Department for further information.

 

Please contact the Environmental Health section on (03) 6264 0300 for more information about the type of system for your land development.

 7. How do I maintain my on-site disposal system?

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On-site disposal systems must be maintained according to the Special Plumbing Permit. For further information contact your council's Environmental Health Department.

 

Please contact the Environmental Health section on (03) 6264 0300 for more information about maintaining your on-site disposal system and the conditions relating to the special plumbing permit.

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