Building over service lines - the Watercare approval process

Watercare Services Ltd (WSL) is Auckland Council’s water utility provider and New Zealand’s largest company in the water and wastewater industry, supplying water to communities throughout Auckland. Watercare is often involved in urban development where connections to public reticulated water, especially stormwater and wastewater services is the norm. As well as providing connections, Watercare approval is required for network extensions and when building over service lines under their jurisdiction.

So, before you apply for resource consent it’s also important to investigate for potential service lines within your property or nearby. If your works involve building over water, wastewater and/or stormwater pipes, you will need to obtain prior approval from Watercare.

Works on private land

Works on private land is classed as ether critical or non-critical. If the pipe is a local network gravity wastewater pipe less than 300 mm in diameter it is considered non-critical. If the Watercare asset affected by the proposed work is a gravity transmission network pipe of any size, or a gravity local network pipe of 300mm or greater in diameter, or a transmission network or local network wastewater rising main of any size, then it is classed as critical.

Information required

When applying for approval for a “build over” will need to provide the following to Watercare:

  • a pdf copy of the Watercare GIS map showing the area of the work,

  • a foundation plan showing your proposed development in relation to water and wastewater pipes, showing all Watercare assets present on the site,

  • cross section details (drawn to scale and dimensions) showing the bridging details and actual proposed vertical and horizontal clearances (not just the minimum requirement) from Watercare assets, along with the 45° line of influence taken from a point 500mm below the bottom of the affected pipe. The pipe size and invert level also need to be shown together with key reduced levels,

  • The correct legal address of the site (which complies with Auckland Council’s numbering standards).

You may also need to provide a pre-construction CCTV inspection video and log sheets, showing the condition of the affected public local network wastewater pipes.

How to apply for works over approval

You can complete and submit your application online or download a form here.

If you are not familiar with the application process, we recommend you use a designer, engineer or other qualified person to complete the application for you. We have a network of proven professionals and can assist you in finding the right person for your project.

Need help?

We can investigate your site for Watercare assets and advise if approval may be required. If you should need help obtaining Watercare Approval for your development, we can then recommend specialists to assist you.

If you need some advice about preparing a comprehensive resource consent application, get in contact with our helpful team. You can see that getting an application right can be complicated, and this is where a Planner can help you. At Planning Plus, we deal with this process every day and know it inside out. We can manage the application process for you, taking away the stress from what can become a difficult process.

Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.

Tracy is a Planner with an M.Sc. in Resource Management.

Tracy has worked assisting Senior Planners with the preparation and lodgement of resource consent applications, as well as planning. She also provided support in client liaison, contractor engagement and general communications.

email Tracy


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