Important note about Unitywater easements 

We will consider written requests for approval for building works to encroach on an easement protecting Unitywater infrastructure, but these are rarely granted. It is recommended that building works be designed to remain outside of the easement. Read more about building near easements.

Before you start your project

Before starting your renovation or extension project, you must check whether there are any registered easements or infrastructure you need to take into account.

In addition to Unitywater easements and water and sewer infrastructure, there may also be electricity, road easements, fire trails, stock routes and other infrastructure to consider. 

The process you should follow: 

Check if there are any water or sewerage easements on your property

Do this by purchasing a title search and survey plan via Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Design your building work to avoid encroaching on any Unitywater easement if identified within your property

If this is not possible then you can ask Unitywater for approval for an encroachment.

Unitywater will assess your encroachment application (if needed)

Check if there are any Unitywater assets on your property or your neighbour's property

Do this by requesting a Detailed Infrastructure Plan from Unitywater online. 

If there are any assets, you need to engage a building certifier

The building certifier assess your proposed building work against the Queensland Development Code MP 1.4 – Building over or near relevant infrastructure. 

If the code conditions cannot be met, then your certifier will help you apply to build over or near infrastructure

You must use the documents and checklist on our building and renovating page if you need to build over or near infrastructure.

Applying to build over pipes or easements:

Easement encroachment application

To apply for an easement encroachment you will need:

  • current title search for the property
  • easement conditions document for the easement
  • a survey plan of the easement.

These documents can be obtained from the Department of Natural Resources & Mines.

Apply for an easement encroachment (PDF 65KB)

Build over or near infrastructure application

To apply to build over or near Unitywater infrastructure you will need:

  • where an easement exists you’ll also need to provide a copy of your consent for encroachment and conditions.
  • a site plan showing all existing and proposed buildings/structures, water and sewerage infrastructure, and the property connections to that infrastructure.
  • a statement of reasons showing which of the acceptable solution(s) from the Queensland Development Code 1.4 can’t be met and a statement of how the related performance requirement(s) within the code are achieved.
  • elevation views of the proposed building work showing water and sewerage infrastructure.
  • structural engineering design drawings of the footings/foundations for the proposed building work showing water and sewerage infrastructure. Please include the Form 15 Design Certificate that your structural engineer will provide.

Apply to build over or near infrastructure (online form)

Renovating or extending FAQs

Owners can:

Any other uses will require Unitywater approval.

If you proceed with building works (including excavation and/or filling) over or near water and sewerage infrastructure without the required consent, you may be issued with a penalty infringement notice and be liable to pay fines.

We may also direct you to remove any structures at your cost. Additional charges may be imposed, including the costs to repair any damage to Unitywater’s infrastructure that may have been caused by the building work.

If a structure encroaches on to easement land without our approval, we may, in accordance with the easement terms, direct you to remove the structure at your cost.

If you do not remove the structure, we may remove it and you will be liable for the cost.


 Residential building renovation plans

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