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Clearing Blockages

When a licensed plumber is engaged to clear a stoppage in a property drain and believes that the blockage is located in a section of the pipe which North East Water is responsible, the plumber must contact the Corporation.

Our staff will attend the site and assume responsibility or authorise the plumber to attempt to clear the drain.

The Corporation is prepared to reimburse the plumber for reasonable costs incurred provided the Corporation has been notified as above. However, compensation agreed by both parties will be determined on site while the works are still open or in progress.

If the blockage is found to be in the private drains on private property and the plumber has not made a reasonable effort to clear the blockage before contacting the North East Water, the plumber will be charged for the Corporation's attendance at the site.

If an account is to be issued to North East Water it must contain full details of the work undertaken including the name of the Corporation's contact officer, rates and charges for labour, plant and material used and the location and cause of the stoppage if determined.

In a situation where the owner contacts North East Water direct, our staff will attend the site at no cost to determine responsibility. North East Water's staff will not attempt to clear a private drain.

Plumbers are reminded that it is an offence under the Water Act and the Plumbing Regulations to re-new, demolish or interfere with any pipes and fittings in a property branch or reticulation sewer vested in the Corporation without previously obtaining permission. The contractor must not remove the Corporation's sewer manhole lids nor enter the manhole chamber without prior approval of the Corporation. Only experienced personnel trained in confined space entry procedures will be permitted to enter manholes. All entries into manholes will be in accordance with the Corporation's Occupational Health and Safety procedures.

All work carried out on a property drain is to be in accordance with the Victorian Water Supply and Sewerage Plumbing Regulations.

The areas of responsibility for maintenance of the sanitary drain are shown in this Fact Sheet - Responsibility for maintenance of the sanitary drain.

Here is list of plants unsuitable for placement near water or sewer mains.