Notifiable work for plumbing and drainage

Permit work, minor work and unregulated work

Plumbing and drainage work consists of the following categories of work:

To carry out permit, notifiable or minor work, you must have an appropriate QBCC occupational licence including any endorsements or additional licences for certain specialist work.

Permit work

Permit 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. Before starting a job you need to get a permit from local government. 

The local government will then:

  • assess the application, the hydraulic plans, specifications 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 2018.

Examples of permit work include:

  • construction of a new building or structure of any National Construction Code(NCC), Building Code of Australia (BCA) or Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) for common 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 NCC PCA, Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code (QPWC) or the Queensland Development Code (QDC) as may be applicable.

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
  • maintaining, repairing, replacing or removing a fitting or fixture
  • maintaining or repairing a greywater use facility or an on-site sewage facility, other than repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from the facility
  • 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).

Work that is typically done by a plumber/drainer but is not regulated plumbing/drainage work

Some examples include:

  • unregulated work
  • collection of water rain, surface or subterranean sources
  • stormwater drainage to approved council outlets
  • gutters and downpipes
  • seepage trenches
  • irrigation services not connected to a designated potable water supply
  • work for trunk water and sewer services the responsibility of an authority or local government in road and other designated services corridors

Public sector entities

If you are a public sector entity, you should ensure the permit work (design and its inspections) is independently assessed by a qualified and experienced person or apply to local government under a Form 1 development application