Wastewater Management

What is Wastewater Management?

Mossman Wastewater Treatment Plant

Service capacity of 6000 people or 1.65ML/day.

Port Douglas Wastewater Treatment Plant

Service capacity of about 21,000 people or 5.7 ML/day

Connecting sewerage at your property.

Don’t get stuck in a tricky situation. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Wastewater?

Wastewater is defined as the water-borne wastes of a community. It contains approximately 99.9% pure water and 0.1% pollutants by weight.

Wastewater comes from residences, local commercial and light industrial sites, such as clubs, caravan parks, restaurants, commercial laundries, oil company retail outlets and hospitals.

It does not include roof water or surface runoff.

Council employs a range of wastewater treatment processes to remove waste from the water so it can be safely reused or returned to the environment. For more information, watch the ‘Our Wastewater Treatment’ video below that takes you on a journey on how your waste is handled once it goes down your pipes.

Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP)

Port Douglas WWTP

Location: Port Road, Port Douglas
Service Area: Port Douglas, Craiglie
Capacity: 21,000 people or 5.7 ML/day

Treatment Process: The Liquid Stream treatment is via a Sequencing Batch Reactor. Effluent is treated with UV and discharged to Dickson’s inlet or reused. Sludge is dewatered from an Aerobic digestion system using a Belt filter press.

Recycled water initiatives: Grand Sheraton Mirage and The Links Golf courses

Mossman WWTP

Location: Junction Road, Mossman
Service Area: Mossman, Mossman Gorge community, parts of Cooya.
Capacity: 6,000 people or 1.65 ML/day

Treatment Process: The liquid stream treatment is an oxidation ditch with clarifier . Effluent is chlorinated and discharged to the Mossman River. Sludge is de-watered via sludge lagoon and belt filter press.

Connecting Sewerage at your property

All plumbing and drainage work must comply with current legislative requirements and regulations.  For detailed plumbing and drainage information, go to the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

Plumbing Legislation

Plumbing and drainage is regulated under state government legislation and is available for viewing on the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

  • Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018
  • Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019
  • Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code

Do I Need A Plumbing Approval?

In Queensland, there are four categories of plumbing and drainage work.

Permit Work

Permit work requires Council assessment and approval prior to plumbing and drainage work commencing and requires at least one inspection.

Examples of permit work include:

  • installation of fixtures for of a new building or structure of any National Construction Code, Building Code of Australia classification/s;
  • installation of on-site sewerage system or replacing an on-site sewerage irrigation system or septic trench;
  • work that is commonly known as ‘trade waste’ that will involve or is likely to involve discharge of a prohibited substances into a regulated sewer;
  • any drainage work for a building or structure served by a combined drain;
  • water supply connections and disconnections;
  • work that involves an alternative solution under any of these codes, the National Construction Code Plumbing Code of Australia, Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code or the Queensland Development Code as may be applicable.

Notifiable Work

Notifiable work can be performed without Council approval or mandatory inspections but must be performed by an appropriately licensed person. The licensed person must notify the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to advise that the work has been completed by filling out Form 4 on their website. Notifiable work includes the majority of work undertaken in existing buildings, such as installation of new fixtures in bathrooms or kitchen renovations.  For more information and notifiable work categories, go to the QBCC website.

Minor Work

Minor work must be performed by a QBCC licensee but doesn’t need to be approved by the local government or reported to QBCC.

Minor work includes:

  • unblocking sanitary plumbing or sanitary drainage;
  • repairing a broken or damaged pipe;
  • maintaining or repairing an apparatus;
  • installing, replacing or removing an apparatus, other than:
    • a dual check valve with atmospheric port;
    • a temperature control device;
    • a testable backflow prevention device; or
    • a water heater;
    • (The above works are Notifiable Works and a Form 4 must be lodged with QBCC)
  • maintaining, repairing, replacing or removing a fitting or fixture;
  • maintaining or repairing a greywater use facility or an on-site sewage facility (repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from the facility is unregulated work).    Please note: To replace an on-site sewerage irrigation system or septic trench is Permit Work and requires a Form 1 to be lodged with Council;
  • installing a greywater diversion device;
  • maintaining, repairing or replacing a fire hydrant or fire hose reel, unless schedule 3, section 2 applies to the work;
  • sealing a supply pipe downstream from the water meter for a class 1 or 10 building or structure;
  • installing, removing or replacing an automatic switching device for a rainwater tank.

Unregulated Work

Anyone can do unregulated work. You don’t need to be licensed nor do you need approval by QBCC or local government or report it.

If you aren’t a QBCC licensee and want to carry out unregulated plumbing work, you must still meet the minimum standards of work under the legislation and codes.

Unregulated work includes:

  • replacing a shower head or domestic water filter cartridge;
  • replacing a jumper valve or washer in a tap;
  • repairing or replacing a drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cup rubber in a toilet cistern;
  • replacing caps to ground level inspection openings on a sanitary drain;
  • cleaning or maintaining a ground level grate for a trap on a sanitary drain;
  • installing or maintaining an irrigation or lawn watering system downstream from a tap, isolating valve or backflow prevention device on the supply pipe for the watering system;
  • repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from a greywater use facility or on-site sewage facility;
  • fire protection work for testing plumbing carried out by a holder of a fire protection occupational licence or another QBCC licence;
  • incidental unskilled tasks (e.g. excavating or backfilling a trench).


If you would like more details or assistance, please contact Council’s Plumbing and Drainage Inspector on (07) 4099 9444 or email plumbing@douglas.qld.gov.au.

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