Water Supply and Sewerage Design and Construction Code

7th of November 2014

Implementation of the SEQ Water Supply and Sewerage Design and Construction Code


On Monday 1 July, the State Government gazetted the SEQ (Water Supply and Sewerage) Design and Construction Code to take effect immediately. The SEQ Code is a comprehensive set of technical standards relating to the design and construction of water infrastructure in the SEQ region. This code covers the activities of the SEQ water service providers (Gold Coast City Council, Logan City Council, Queensland Urban Utilities, Redland Water and Unitywater). The Ipswich City Council Local Government Area is administered by Queensland Urban Utilities.

The SEQ Code includes an Accepted Products and Materials listing; Design Criteria; requirements for planning, design and construction of Water Supply assets, Sewerage assets, Sewage Pumping Stations, Vacuum Sewerage Systems and Pressure Sewerage Systems; and a Specification for preparing Asset Information.

The SEQ Code was developed cooperatively between the water service providers in South East Queensland – Gold Coast City Council, Logan City Council, Queensland Urban Utilities, Redland Water and Unitywater. Development of the SEQ Code commenced in 2011 and included consultation with the development industry, with the final SEQ Code adopted by each service provider and gazetted by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply.

The SEQ Code prevails over existing provisions within Council's Planning Scheme which currently determines water supply and sewerage infrastructure outcomes and supersedes all previous standards.

Items of Significance

There are changes to standards and design outcomes as a result of the implementation of the SEQ (Water Supply and Sewerage) Design and Construction Code compared to previous standards contained within Council's Planning Scheme and Standard Drawings. These amendments vary in their significance and impact to Council business process and to Council customers. The significant changes worthy of note are as follows:-

  • Easements are now required over all sewers located within private land. The widths of these easements vary from 3.0m wide to 10.0m wide, depending on diameter and depth of sewer.
  • Easements are required to provide access to all access chambers where they are located within private land. Easements are 1.0m wide and are generally located from the road reserve along the side boundaries of lots.
  • Rubber ring jointed uPVC pipe construction for sewer is no longer acceptable. All sewers must be constructed in polyethylene (PE) pipe that can contain both horizontal and vertical bends, as well as intermediate access chambers not constructed from concrete. Previously this type of construction was restricted to the Springfield area and was not used in the balance of the Ipswich local government area.
  • All concrete access chambers must be "cast insitu" construction. Precast concrete access chambers are no longer acceptable.
  • Sewers must now be located within either road reserve or at the rear of lot. Alignments in front of lot now do not comply with the code.
  • Water main scour valves are to discharge to kerb and channel as well as to existing stormwater drainage structures.
  • Vacuum Sewerage Systems and Pressure Sewerage Systems are now an acceptable solution for areas that are difficult to service with conventional gravity systems.

Implementation Process

The SEQ Code came into effect on 1 July 2013. Any new assets delivered after this time must comply with the SEQ Code. It is recognised by the SEQ water service providers that it would be unreasonable from an economic and time delay perspective for assets that are already significantly progressed along the delivery process to be altered to make them comply. Therefore, there are transitional arrangements in place.

Designs that were substantially commenced prior to 1 July 2013 will not need to be amended to meet the new standards. They will be assessed and approved against the standards in place when the design was commenced. However, any design work commenced on or after 1 July 2013, and any design submitted for approval after 1 October must comply with the new standards.