A well functioning plumbing system is an integral part of any residential or commercial building. One of the key aspects of this system is the connection to the main water supply and sewer lines which in many areas of Western Australia are managed by the Water Corporation.
This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the process and requirements for connecting to Water Corporation mains. Understanding these processes is crucial for homeowners, builders and plumbers alike as it ensures the safety and efficiency of the plumbing system and compliance with legal requirements.
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Water Supply Connections
Connections to Water Corporation mains are facilitated through a meter and builders standpipe, which must be installed by Water Corporation. This is a critical step in ensuring that the water supply to a property is accurately measured and billed. It is crucial to note that it is an offense to interfere with alter or connect to a Water Corporation water or sewer main without prior approval from the Water Corporation.
This rule is in place to protect the integrity of the water supply system and to prevent potential damage or contamination. Any missing or damaged meters or damage to water services or pipework must be reported to the Water Corporation immediately. This helps to ensure that any issues are promptly addressed preventing potential water loss or damage to property.
Fire services are provided solely for the purpose of firefighting and testing of firefighting equipment. This is a critical service that ensures the safety of properties and lives in the event of a fire. Under no circumstances is a fire service to be used for any unauthorised purpose such as washing down trucks and driveways or connecting a domestic supply (including reticulation) via the fire service.
This rule is in place to ensure that the fire service is always ready and available for its intended purpose. If a plumber has identified a cross connection they must advise the customer that water use from a fire service for purposes other than firefighting is illegal.
Fire services are subject to backflow protection requirements and are provided under an agreement. This is to prevent the potential contamination of the water supply.
Flow Control Devices
Flow control devices (FCDs) have been installed in water services for all commercial and multi residential developments. The device limits the water supply flow rate to the flow applied for and what has been paid for through infrastructure contributions.
This helps to manage the demand on the water supply system and ensures that each property receives the water supply it requires. It is important to note that FCDs control the rate at which the water is supplied to a property and will not reduce water pressure. A pressure reducing valve (PRV) is required for this.
FCDs are located on the downstream face of a meter and it is the plumber’s responsibility to ensure that it remains in place when the internal pipework is fixed to the meter. It is an offence to tamper with a meter, including the removal of the FCD. This rule is in place to protect the integrity of the water supply system and to ensure fair and accurate billing.
Connections to Water Corporation sewer mains are provided via a connection point, which must be installed or supervised by a Water Corporation representative. This ensures that the connection is made correctly and safely, protecting both the sewer system and the property.
It is an offence to connect private plumbing work to this connection point without approval. There is a risk to lives and health if the correct precautions are not taken. In addition to obtaining Water Corporation approval to connect to sewer mains, licensed plumbers are required to adhere to Plumbers Licensing Board (PLB) requirements.
This ensures that the work is carried out to a high standard and in compliance with all relevant regulations. It is essential that the licensed plumbing contractor/builder confirms there is adequate fall to the sewer main prior to starting building construction.
This is to ensure that wastewater can flow effectively from the property to the sewer main.
New Sewer Connections
Construction of the property sewers within a property is the responsibility of the landowner. In situations where a new sewer connection point (sewer junction) is cut into a sewer main, it must be installed or supervised by a Water Corporation representative.
This ensures that the connection is made correctly and safely.
It is the responsibility of the licensed plumber to ensure an application has been lodged and payment made to Water Corporation for the connection, excavate to the sewer and make the site safe for one of the representatives to cut in the sewer connection, construct the property connection into the property boundary, provide as-constructed information showing ‘ins and ups’.
This information is crucial for future reference and maintenance.
Property Connections to Vacuum Wastewater Systems
The Australian Standard AS/NZS 3500:2003 Part 2 Clause 3.18 specifies installation requirements for property connections to vacuum wastewater systems. Licensed plumbers are expected to be aware of these requirements.
Vacuum sewer schemes are an efficient and environmentally friendly way of managing wastewater, but they may have a restricted capacity. If you intend to connect anything other than a single residence, such as commercial or industrial properties, to a vacuum wastewater system you should obtain advice on 13 13 95.
This ensures that the system can handle the additional load and that the connection is made correctly.
Connecting to Water Corporation mains is a crucial part of establishing a functional plumbing system for any property. It is essential that licensed plumbers and builders adhere to the guidelines and regulations set by the Water Corporation to ensure the safety and efficiency of the plumbing system.
Always remember the licensed plumber is responsible for the safety of site excavations at all times and prior to backfilling the excavation it is recommended that photographs are taken to support any potential Lost Junction Report. Understanding and following these guidelines helps to ensure a smooth and trouble free connection process and a reliable and efficient plumbing system for the property.
Efficient planning and execution can avoid unnecessary penalties, backcharges and delays that could inflate the overall cost of the project. However if you want to ensure the best outcome and avoid all the hassles Dollar Wise Plumbing and Gas is here to help.
With our experience and expertise in dealing with Water Corporation mains connections we can handle all your plumbing requirements providing a smooth, efficient and cost effective service. So feel free to call us at Dollar Wise Plumbing and Gas and let us sort out all your plumbing connections. This is indeed a ‘Dollar Wise’ strategy ensuring efficiency, safety and cost effectiveness in your plumbing project.