boiling water damage

TasWater Sewerage Drain Blockage

TasWater's Responsibility Regarding Sewer Blockages:

Homeowners in Tasmania are covered by the Water & Sewerage Industry Act 2008, meaning TasWater is responsible for maintaining sewer mains and branch lines to the customer's property connection point. Inside the property, the Homeowner is responsible for all sewer drains, from the first boundary inspection opening (IO) or boundary trap (BT) back to the building.

When a drain blockage is present in a drainage system, the following information should be a guideline for plumbers and property owners involved in removing a drain blockage in a TasWater or the Homeowner's drainage system.

Homeowners responsibility:

If a Homeowner has a blocked drain relating to their homes sewer pipes, then it is their responsibility to:

Make sure the boundary IO is accessible.If the IO at the boundary is clear, this indicates the blockage is in the drains on the private property and not a problem in the Taswater's drainage system.If sewage flows out of the IO, this indicates the blockage is outside the property boundary; TasWater has a blockage and should be called.

Plumber's responsibility:

Plumbers that property owners have hired to perform work on their drainage systems:

  1. Can inspect TasWater infrastructure using the boundary IO to ascertain whether the drain blockage has occurred downstream of the IO (outside of the boundary)
  2. Are not allowed to open or access TasWater infrastructure, such as maintenance holes, without TasWater permission. 
  3. Are prohibited from carrying out any construction or maintenance work, including blockage removal on TasWater infrastructure, without TasWater permission; and should contact TasWater on 13 6992 upon diagnosing a blockage within TasWater's drainage system. 
  4. Clearing drain blockages on the Homeowner's property must always try to prevent the material from causing the blockage from entering the TasWater system.

A Boundary Trap

IO to Installed to Surface

If the boundary IO can not be found and opened:

The Homeowner is responsible for finding the IO or hiring a registered plumber to install one. Contacting local councils for constructed drainage plans may help find the IO; property drainage plans are not kept or maintained by TasWater.

The first IO inside the property boundary must be raised to surface level as an inspection shaft to comply with current as3500 plumbing standards. When plumbers perform work on private systems, the Homeowner is responsible for the cost of installing and raising the first IO to the surface level.

When an IO at surface level is accessible and the source of the drain blockage has been identified;

TasWater may reimburse a plumber for costs incurred up to 2 hours of work to determine that TasWater is responsible for the blockage. 

If the blockage is in the TasWater Infrastructure:

If it has been determined the blockage is in the TasWater system and TasWater has given permission for the plumber to perform the work, a fully itemised invoice for the work should be sent to TasWater and include:

  1. The name of the TasWater contact person.
  2. Labour Costs
  3. Machinery and material Costs
  4. Any associated fees.

TasWater's responsibility:

When a homeowner or a plumber contacts TasWater they will advise a course of action. 

TasWater May Decide to: send a truck to the blockage to clear it themselves or Authorise a plumber to clear the blockage. Either way, if the drain blockage is past the property inspection opening at the boundary and identified as in TasWater's drainage Infrastructure, there is no cost to the Homeowner.

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