Notifiable work for plumbing and drainage

Compliance assessable work, minor work and unregulated work

The Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 divides plumbing and drainage work into the following categories:

  • notifiable work;
  • compliance assessable work;
  • minor work; and
  • unregulated work.

Compliance assessable work

Compliance assessable work is more complex in nature than other types of plumbing and drainage work and has a higher risk of failure. This work must always be checked and before starting a job you need to get a compliance permit from local government. You can apply by completing a Form 1 – Application for compliance assessment (PDF).  

The local government will then:

  • assess the application, the hydraulic plans, specfications and any other supporting documentation; and
  • inspect the work once it's complete to ensure that it complies with the approval and the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.

You must have an appropriate QBCC contracting licence for plumbing and drainage, to carry out this type of work. 

Examples include:

  • construction of a new building or structure of any National Construction Code, Building Code of Australia classification/s;
  • 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 including via an on-site waste disposal system;
  • any drainage work for a building or structure served by a combined drain
  • work that involves a dual reticulated water supply provided by a water service provider
  • 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.

Public sector entities (PSE)

If you are a PSE, you have the choice of getting the work assessed by a qualified and experienced person or applying to local government. If you are unsure, check the legislation for compliance requirements.

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.

Some examples include:

  • maintaining or changing a tap fixture
  • replacing a toilet, be it the pan, cistern, a flexible water hose connection or the whole toilet suite
  • a repair only to the immediate damaged part or section of a water pipe or waste pipe
  • unblocking a sewer drain
  • maintaining an on-site sewerage facility.

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.

Common examples of unregulated work include:

  • cleaning or maintaining ground level grates to traps on sanitary drains;
  • installing or maintaining an irrigation or lawn watering system downstream from an isolating valve, tap or backflow prevention device on the supply pipe;
  • replacing a washer in a tap;
  • changing a shower head;
  • replacing, in a water closet (WC) cistern, a drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cup rubber;
  • replacing a domestic water filter cartridge.