Tips & Tricks

Why are there rules for Building over sewers

Build over a Sewer

The rules for building over and near existing council-owned buried infrastructure (including sewer mains, stormwater pipes and underground electrical cables) vary from region to region.

Sewer access manholes are used to access sewers for maintenance

There are two main reasons for these rules.

  1. The owners of the infrastructure want to be able to access their pipes and cables safely;
  2. The owners of the public infrastructure don’t want your structure to collapse into their trenches.

Keep this in mind when constructing over or near sewer mains, stormwater pipes, and electrical cables. You’re more than likely going to need a structural engineer to assist with the design of the foundations for any structures built close to or above the sewer or stormwater pipes.

Large excavation for a house


The rules for building over or near sewers changed in November 2014. Under the new approval process, building work over or near a sewer must be assessed against the Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 1.4 (MP 1.4).

The Department of Housing and Public Works has information on MP1.4.  This is the manual we refer to when preparing a build-over sewer application in Queensland.

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