Water and wastewater for property owners

ripple water

Council is responsible for delivering safe and reliable water and wastewater services to the residents and businesses of the Tweed. In providing these services, we aim to:

  • meet health and environmental requirements
  • manage sustainability of the Tweed’s precious water resources
  • plan, design, construct, operate and maintain water and wastewater supply systems
  • build on water and wastewater capacity to meet future demand
  • meet community expectations.

Responsibilities

Both Council and property owners have responsibilities for the continuous operation and maintenance of water and wastewater supply systems.

Dial Before You Dig

Dial Before You Dig is a free referral service for the public, which should be used by anyone undertaking works that may impact on underground assets. Call DBYD call centre on 1100 or visit the DBYD website.

 my water responsibilities web graphic

The following is provided as a guide.

Property owners are responsible for:

All internal pipes and fittings that fall within their property boundary, including rainwater tanks and internal sewer drainage.

Residents must provide clear access to water meters, inspection shafts and manholes on their property. Never bury a manhole or put a large object over it, they must always be visible and accessible.

Maintaining your property's stormwater connections to ensure stormwater does not enter the sewerage network(PDF, 1MB) .

Council is not responsible for unblocking your sewer drains. However, because of the potential risk to health posed by a sewer blockage or other wastewater issues, you should call Council first as they will be able to advise you if you need to contact your local plumber.

Ensuring any easement on their property or near their property is accessible to Council at all times.  If a manhole on your property is not accessible, Council may direct you to make it accessible (or do work on your behalf). For example, if a garden bed has been built over a manhole, the property owner will need to remove it to restore access. In some instances, excavation may be required. 

Understanding the relevant Offences and Penalties relating to water and wastewater, including what can and cannot be discharged into the wastewater system. See Sewer Blockages, Overflows and Odours and Liquid Trade Waste.

If you have a sewer ejection pump station on your property, refer to our fact sheet(PDF, 196KB) on these to understand responsibilities.

Council is responsible for:

All water supply infrastructure up to and including your water meter (eg water treatment plants, water mains etc)

All wastewater infrastructure downstream from the sewer inspection shaft on private properties (eg treatment plants, manholes, sewage mains etc)

Managing all connections and disconnections to water and wastewater services.

Easements on your property

What is an Easement?

An easement refers to a right granted to a landowner, or a public or local authority, over another person’s land for a specific purpose.

Council has the power to enter private property for construction, maintenance and inspection of water and sewer infrastructure irrespective of protective easements being placed on titles. Council holds water and sewer easements in private property to ensure we maintain access to important water and sewer infrastructure.An easement refers to a right granted to a landowner, or a public or local authority, over another person’s land for a specific purpose.

Council has the power to enter private property for construction, maintenance and inspection of water and sewer infrastructure irrespective of protective easements being placed on titles. Council holds water and sewer easements in private property to ensure we maintain access to important water and sewer infrastructure.

Water Easements

Water easements are relatively uncommon in private property as water mains are typically located in road reserves (nature strips).

Council frequently undertakes work within nature strips to either, repair, replace extend or install fittings water mains. After conducting work in nature strips, they will be reinstated to an appropriate standard determined at Council’s discretion. Council will consider the pre-existing condition of the area, seasonal weather conditions, slope of land and area affected. Damage to the portion of driveways/accesses within road reserve will be reinstated as per Council Driveway Access to Property - Design Specification Policy(PDF, 62KB)

Sewer Easements

Sewer easements are common in private property and are mostly located along the rear or front boundary of a property. They exist over a portion of land that contains sewers or sewerage facilities. Council requires reasonable access to these areas and clear access to manholes. There is a possibility that Council will need to complete ground excavation to enable maintenance, repair and/or possible replacement in perpetuity. 

Planting trees near sewers

Trees near sewers Planting a tree in your backyard may seem harmless. However some species of trees can create ongoing or disastrous problems by tree roots intruding into sewer mains and internal sewer pipes. Problem trees will normally cause damage to internal pipes before Council sewer so it is in the property owner's best interest to understand the implications.

Before planting any trees, residents should consult the list of problem species below. Generally these trees should not be planted within five meters of any sewer main or manhole.

Council actively investigates potential problems before they become too large. If, during an inspection, Council identifies a tree that looks like it will cause future problems, the owner of the property will be consulted about the problem. In high hazard instances (see below) Council may choose to give the owner the option for Council to remove the tree.

Generally all the following groups of trees have been identified as problems to sewer mains because of root infiltration and have been ranked in severity:

High risk trees

  • Camphor Laurel
  • Fig and Rubber Plants (Ficus species)
  • Large Gum Trees (Eucalyptus species)
  • Poplars
  • Willows

Medium risk trees

  • Black Locust
  • Bunya Tree
  • Coral Trees
  • Hoop Pine
  • Norfolk Island Pine

Lower risk trees

  • Bamboos
  • Bouganvilleas
  • Camellia
  • Date Palms
  • Elms
  • Hibiscus
  • Hollies
  • Jacaranda
  • Lilly Pilly
  • Magnolias
  • Pine Trees
  • Pepper Trees
  • River She Oak
  • Silky Oak
  • Swamp Oak
  • Wisteria
  • White Cedar


Report a problem

For non urgent issues regarding your water supply you can complete the online form below.