For water and sewerage connection approvals

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Application process

Connecting a large development to our network involves two types of applications.

  1. Connection approval. In this initial step we assess your entire development, including the proposed timing for each stage. After considering our current and future network demand, we decide whether to approve your application and reserve network capacity for your project.
  2. Network works approvals. Because your development will typically require alterations, extensions or upgrades to our infrastructure, we need to approve your proposed plans for network construction. Plans for one or more stages can be submitted at the same time as the connection application, or at a late date.

You are not permitted to start construction until you have approval for network works.

Before applying to connect:

Because subdivision projects can be complex, we recommend you request a Services Advice Notice (SAN) before starting your connection application.

This free service saves you time and cost by providing upfront advice that helps you understand what’s involved in applying to connect, and what supporting information is required to lodge a successful application.

Before lodging a SAN, talk to your certifier as they may be able to provide similar advice in a quicker timeframe.

Services Advice Notice (online form) 

Single land subdivision subdividing and developing

Single land subdivision subdividing and developing 2

What you need to get started: 

Your initial application is for connection approval.

This requires the following documentation:

  • the land owner’s consent
  • consent from owners of any nearby property affected by the proposed work, e.g. if access is required
  • a street plan that adequately locates the property for this connection
  • subdivision plan
  • development plan
  • network demand assessment.

You also require network works approval for each stage of your development. This application details the proposed alterations, modifications or extensions to the water and sewer mains network you plan to undertake, and requires:

  • network works design calculations
  • network works design drawings.

Supporting documentation

If you are considering a large scale, complex development that could place high demands on Unitywater networks, we may also require additional reports and plans. These include:

  • a supporting report on the proposed development
  • servicing strategies for the development
  • networks analysis reports
  • a subdivision development staging plan
  • a network staging plan.

Before applying, you’ll need to consider if approval is required to build or carry out work near Unitywater’s infrastructure.

5 phases of connecting to our network:

Connecting a multi-stage residential subdivision to our network involves 5 distinct approval phases. Depending on your land release timeline, different stages of your project may be going through different phases of approval. For example, your planned initial land release may be in the Construction phase, while subsequent stages are still going through Planning or Application.

A Registered Certifier helps you navigate each of these phases and get your project to market quicker.

For connection applications they assist with:

  • Preparing and submitting your connection application
  • Identifying allowable yield for the site
  • Finding any existing approvals on the site or on adjacent sites
  • Determining whether the existing water and sewer network can accommodate your development, or if additional infrastructure is required
  • Providing design advice on Unitywater-approved allowable servicing solutions
  • Calculating demand
  • Calculating Infrastructure Charges payable with development
  • Preparing your Certificate of Completion, for Unitywater’s approval.

 If network works are required, they also help with:

  • Preparing and submitting your network works application
  • Conducting an on-site pre-start meeting on our behalf
  • Ensuring your contractor understands Unitywater’s requirements
  • Flagging and fixing any issues that could delay your approval
  • Completing final inspections
  • Conducting final testing of construction works
  • Arranging live connections
  • Managing handover of network infrastructure to Unitywater.

Once you choose an Accredited Entity from our Accreditation Register, they will allocate the best type of certifier to assist with your project.

In this phase you will be planning your development, preparing plans and submitting documents to council and Unitywater for approval.

We recommend that you start by requesting a Service Advice Notice (SAN). This free service guides you on how to submit a complete application and ensures your application is assessed in the shortest time possible.

What you need

  • Pre-lodgement advice from council, if received
  • Approvals from council, if received
  • Development plans/designs.

Services Advice Notice (online form)

In this phase your Registered Certifier submits your connection application, which includes documentation and plans for your overall development, as well as network works applications for each stage of your development.

If you are ready to start one or more stages, network works applications can be submitted at the same time as the connection application. Otherwise, these can be submitted closer to the proposed start date for each stage.

What you need:

  • A Unitywater SAN
  • Approvals from council, if received
  • Development plans/designs.

The construction phase of each stage starts with a pre-start meeting. A Major Connection Certifier can conduct this meeting on behalf of Unitywater and works with your contractor to ensure they understand our standards for constructing infrastructure.

In this phase you also require a Construction Certifier to monitor your construction and prevent or rectify any issues that could delay your network works approvals.

What you need:

  • Approvals from council and Unitywater
  • A contractor to complete the network works.

You request a pre-start meeting
You start construction on the network works
You submit any variations for approval (if needed)

Minor variations will be approved by an inspector. Larger amendments will require approval by a Unitywater engineer. 

You may request a provisional certificate of completion (if desired)

This will only be possible once you reach a certain stage of completion and pay of an uncompleted works bond. Detailed requirements can be found in the Connection Administration Manual.

You finalise construction
Your development is ready to move to the live connection phase

During construction, you may need to request a variation to the approved plans. Your Major Connection Certifier can manage this for you and may be able to approve some variations without having to get an approval from Unitywater.

If you intend an early release of your sub-division so you can sell blocks 'off the plan', you can request a provisional Certificate of Completion. This requires a certain minimum level of completion and a higher bond payment, which is repaid once your development is finished. Full details can be found in the Connections Administration Manual.

What you need:

  • Final survey plan
  • Payment of Infrastructure Charges
  • Payment of live connection fee.

Each stage of your development will pass through a live connection phase, referred to as the On-maintenance phase. In this phase you pay your Infrastructure Charges and receive your Certificate of Completion for the stage. 

A Major Connection Certifier and a Construction Certifier work together to assist with arranging live connections, final inspections, network testing and managing handover of infrastructure to Unitywater.

Live connections to our water network are carried out exclusively by our Private Works team. Your contractor is able to make a connection to our sewer network, under the supervision of a Major Connection Certifier and Construction Certifier. This gives you greater control over the time it takes to get connected.

Your Construction Certifier inspects the works
If defects are found these need to be rectified, and the works re-inspected.
You pay your ICN
Unitywater establishes the live network connection for this stage
This is undertaken by our Private Works team.
Your certifier prepares your Certificate of Completion for that stage

And submits to Unitywater for approval.

Your development enters the On-maintenance period for that stage
This is usually 12 months long.

What you need:

  • Final survey plan
  • Payment of Infrastructure Charges
  • Payment of live connection fee
  • Development plans/designs
  • Your certifier submits an On-Maintenance Request.

After receiving your Certificate of Completion and the network is live, you remain financially liable for any defects identified.

This phase involves the Final Acceptance of the network assets and their maintenance to Unitywater. You initiate this on a stage-by-stage basis by submitting an Off-maintenance Request to Unitywater when the On-maintenance period has ended.

Once the works have been inspected to the satisfaction of a Construction Certifier, we return your bond and this stage of your development is complete. 

If defects are detected, they need to be rectified and re-inspected before Final Acceptance is complete. 

What you need:

  • Inspection by a Construction Certifier
  • Your certifier submits an Off-Maintenance Request.

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