The plumbing section has a strong commitment to maintaining accurate records and providing a high standard of customer service to residential, commercial and industrial groups of our community.
Primary functions are:
- Processing and approving plumbing applications within 20 business days (sewer only).
- Building over Councils’ sewer infrastructure.
- Inspections of approved plumbing works.
- Provision of Sewer Main / As Constructed Plans – Sewer Plan Requests.
- Services Search – Sewer and Water Infrastructure As Constructed Plan search.
- Backflow Prevention, maintain a register of devices in Douglas Shire Council area.
- Solar/Heat pump hot water installations.
- Rainwater tank installation.
- Processing and approving applications for new residential, rural and commercial.
- Water meter services and subdivisional connections.
- Processing applications for subsidiary water meters .
- Relocation/renewal of residential, rural and commercial water services.
- Undertaking inspections and testing of approved subdivisional water and sewer works.
Plumbing Certifications and Approvals
All plumbing work in Queensland is regulated by the state government legislative requirements. Recent changes to legislation have affected the way council assesses plumbing work.
Contact a plumbing officer for information about plumbing approvals on (07) 4099 9444.
Plumbing is regulated by council under the current state government legislation, available for viewing on the Department of Local Government and Planning website.
- Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002
- Amendments to Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002
- Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003
- Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003
- Amendments to Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003 and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003
- Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code
If you would like more details or assistance, please contact Council on (07) 4099 9444.
On-site Treatment and Greywater
A large number of properties in the Douglas Shire are not connected to a reticulated sewerage system.
The treatment and disposal of all wastewater generated on these properties must be undertaken by an on-site sewerage facility.
On-site sewerage facilities
An on-site sewerage facility is any system that stores, treats and disposes of household wastewater on the property. Poorly sited or maintained on-site sewerage facilities can impact public health and the environment. The owner of the facility is responsible for ensuring the system is maintained and functioning properly.
The disposal of effluent (treated sewage) may occur:
- on the property on a designated area (called a land application area)
- off the premises by a common effluent drainage system
- off the premises by collection from a holding tank by a council-approved liquid waste carrier.
- A common effluent drainage system is where two or more premises have their wastewater combined (usually after primary treatment) and transported to a common land application area independent of premises where the wastewater was generated.
- Such systems over 20 EP would also require approval and further monitoring from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Types of on-site sewerage systems
Treatment systems for household wastewater include:
- conventional domestic sewage treatment plants (secondary treatment or better)
- activated sludge system
- biological trickling filter system
- extended aeration system
- aerated/aerobic sand filter system
- septic tanks (primary treatment)
- all-waste septic tank (all household wastewater)
- black water septic tank (toilet, urinal and bidet wastewater only)
- greywater septic tank (sullage wastewater only)
- composting systems
- dry vault system (toilet waste only – waterless)
- wet system ( all household wastewater – may be considered a domestic sewage treatment plant
- holding tank
- off the premises by collection from a holding tank by a council-approved liquid waste carrier
- grey water treatment/diversion facility.
Although council approves the installation of an on-site sewerage facility, the treatment system will require product approval from a state government department or demonstrated compliance with a manufacturing code or Australian Standard before it is approved.
Types of land application areas
The designated area on a property for application of the treated effluent is as a land application area and includes:
- irrigation system
- surface irrigation (spray above ground)
- sub-surface irrigation (drippers in shallow trench – large surface area)
- covered surface irrigation (drippers on natural ground covered by mulch, woodchip, etc – large surface area).
- evapotranspiration-absorption trench/bed/mound
- trench or bed (embodies the principles of evaporation, transpiration and absorption)
- elevated sand mound (specially constructed on natural ground level).
- The type of land application area will depend on the level of treatment the wastewater has received prior to disposal.
Greywater is waste water from the bath, shower, hand basin and laundry which can be diverted for reuse on lawns and gardens. Kitchen greywater is not suitable for reuse, as grease and oil can clog irrigation systems and build up on soil surfaces.
Under the state government’s Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002, residents in sewered areas may use greywater by means of:
- manual bucketing
- connecting a flexible hose to a washing machine outlet
- installing greywater diversion devices (with council approval) and treatment plants by licenced plumbers, connected to an irrigation hose
- surface or sub-surface system (with council approval).
Care should be taken if reusing greywater because of its:
- potential health risks to humans
- potential for environmental damage to soils, ground water, and waterways caused by increased nutrient and chemical levels.
Council approval for greywater diversion and treatment systems
You will need a council permit before installing either:
- a greywater diversion device, which diverts greywater from the bath, shower, hand basin and/or laundry to an irrigation hose. Untreated greywater cannot be stored
- a greywater treatment system, which collects the greywater and treats it to a high standard for reuse as garden irrigation.
You don’t need a permit for manual bucketing or connection of a flexible hose to a washing machine outlet.
Information for plumbers
The greywater guidelines for plumbers on the Department of Housing and Public Works website can help plumbers assess whether the home owner has suitable and sufficient land to distribute greywater.
Plumbers should use the guidelines to give advice on the purchase and installation costs of greywater systems, prior to the home owner making an application to Council.
Council offers two ways to lodge your plumbing application:
- in person at Council’s Administration Office
- by post to Council
- Domestic applications lodged in hard copy need to include one hard copy of all documents.
- Commercial applications lodged in hard copy need to include four copies of all documents.
Plumbing application forms
Applications to council for most standard plumbing work use the following state government forms, available from the Approved Plumbers and Drainers Forms :
- Form 1: Application for Compliance Assessment
- Form 3: Verification of Covered Work
- Form 4: Notifiable Minor Work
- Form 5: Application for Compliance Assessment – Remote Area
- Form 6: Notice of Compliance – Remote Area
- Form 7: Notification of Responsible Person
- Form 8: Notice of Compliance On-Site Sewerage Work
- Form 9: Report on Inspection and Testing of Backflow Prevention Devices, Registered Air Gaps and Registered Break Tanks
Forms 1 and 4 above attract fees.
For Domestic class 1 and 10 buildings and classes 2-9 Commercial Buildings, a licensed plumber must be engaged and a Notifiable Works (Form 4) with a fee must be submitted to the Plumbing Industry Council.