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Frequently asked questions - plumbing 

Plumbing and drainage reforms 

What's happening?

From 1 July 2012, NSW Fair Trading became the state’s plumbing and drainage regulator.

Since March 2010 Fair Trading has carried out onsite plumbing inspections in Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains area under contract from Sydney Water. A new Act has now transferred these responsibilities to Fair Trading who will also carry out onsite inspections in the Newcastle (Hunter Water) region from 1 July 2012.

Note: If you are a plumber or drainer in regional NSW you should continue to contact your local council.

From 1 January 2013, regional local governments regulate plumbing and drainage in their local areas under delegation from Fair Trading. The NSW Code of Practice for Plumbing and Drainage has been abolished and was replaced by the Plumbing Code of Australia which also calls up the Australian Standard 3500.

Go to the Plumbing code, standards and notes page on the Fair Trading website for more information on the new standards.

Working in the Sydney, Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Newcastle areas

Working in the Sydney, Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Newcastle areas 

Plumbing and drainage inspections 

What is happening with plumbing inspections in the Newcastle area?

Hunter Water’s plumbing and drainage inspectors transferred to NSW Fair Trading on 1 July 2012. This means if you are a plumber or drainer working in the Hunter Water area you need to submit your Notice of Work (NoW), Sewer Service Diagram (SSD) and Certificate of Compliance (CoC) to NSW Fair Trading.

Payment of audit inspection fees for the Newcastle region must be paid via Fair Trading's MyInspections website. Your NoW, CoC and SSD can also be submitted through MyInspections.

Do I need to book an inspection for internal drainage?

Yes. Plumbers in the Sydney, Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Newcastle area need to book an inspection for all internal drainage. Go to the Work requiring inspections page on the Fair Trading website for more information.

Who do I call to book an inspection?

If you work in the Sydney, Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Newcastle (Hunter Water) regions you should contact Fair Trading’s Plumbing Inspection and Assurance Service (PIAS) on 1300 889 099 between 8am and 2pm, Monday to Friday to arrange your inspection.

Where do I get my Notice of Work?

The Notice of Work (NoW) replaces the previous Permit to Work and is available on the Fair Trading MyInspections website. These forms will also remain available on the Fair Trading website in PDF format for cases where there is no inspection required so that a CoC can be given to the owner.

Go to the Applying for a Notice of Work page on the Fair Trading website to download a copy of the NoW application.

Where can I buy Sewer Service Diagrams and Service Location Plot?

The greater Sydney area can obtain a SSD and Service Location Plot (SLP) from Sydney Water Quick Check agents. The Newcastle area will need to contact Hunter Water in order to obtain the (SLP).

You can download the SSD templates and a quick reference guide from the Plumbing inspection documents page on the Fair Trading website.

Do I need to submit a Certificate of Compliance (CoC)?

Yes. A CoC is a legal requirement. It confirms the work was undertaken by a licensed plumber or drainer and complies with the Plumbing Code of Australia and relevant industry standards. Go to the Plumbing inspection documents page on the Fair Trading website to download the CoC.

Do I need to submit an SSD for completed work?

Yes. The SSD must be submitted to NSW Fair Trading at the inspection for completed drainage work. If the work was not selected for an inspection, you must submit the documents to Fair Trading and the property owner within 7 days of completing the work.

What if the inspector finds that the work is non-compliant?

If the Fair Trading inspector finds the work does not comply you will be issued with a non-compliance notice.

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Point of Connection 

What is a point of connection?

The term 'point of connection' is used to refer to a common identified point of a plumbing installation and/or sanitary drainage system.

This reference as described here is the point where the Network Utility Operator (NUO) services end and the private service (owner) begins at or within the property boundary.

The importance of the 'point of connection' for Fair Trading is that it defines the scope of onsite plumbing and drainage works that the 'responsible person' may be held accountable for.

A property may have multiple points of connection defining the scope of works that Fair Trading may hold the 'responsible person' accountable for.

Go to the Work requiring inspections page on the Fair Trading website to download the Point of Connection explanatory notes as a PDF document.

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Working on Network Utility Operator (NUO) assets or infrastructure 

Is Fair Trading involved in any work on NUO assets or infrastructure?

No. Sydney Water and Hunter Water control the work on their mains.

For more information contact Sydney Water at or Hunter Water at

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