Sewer Blocks

What happens if a customer experiences a sewer blockage?

Please note that reference to an inspection shaft below refers to an inspection shaft installed:

  • within one metre of the property boundary (where the sewer main is located outside of the property boundary); or
  • within one metre of the sewer main (where the sewer main is located within the property boundary).

Full details and a summary diagram of sewer maintenance responsibilities are available in Wannon Water’s Customer Charter.

Situation  Who is responsible?  What happens?
Blockage located on the customer’s side (upstream) of the inspection shaft  Customer
  • Plumber will clear the blockage and bill the customer. 
Blockage is located on Wannon Water’s side (downstream) of the inspection shaft  Wannon Water
  • Plumber advises Wannon Water and bills Wannon Water for a spotter’s fee (see below).  Wannon Water reimburses customer for reasonable costs (see below) charged by the plumber to locate the blockage.
  • Wannon Water attends on site to clear the blockage at no cost to the customer.  Wannon Water may choose to engage the plumber on site to clear the blockage at Wannon Water’s cost.
There is no inspection shaft installed on the property sewer drain (usually installed within one metre of the property boundary or within one metre of the sewer crossing the property).  Customer
  • Plumber is to be requested and it is recommended to install an inspection shaft (see below) in accordance with plumbing requirements and bill the customer for these works.
  • During installation of the inspection shaft, the plumber will identify whether the blockage is located upstream or downstream of the inspection shaft identifying who is responsible for the cost of clearing the blockage.
  • To complete the inspection shaft construction the blockage will have to be cleared.
  • If the plumber or customer does not wish to install an inspection shaft, Wannon Water will attend on site to clear the block, provided that the plumber is able to confirm that the block is Wannon Water's responsibility i.e. the plumber has put X No. metres of sewer rods/chains down an IO at the house.

“Spotter’s fee”

Where a plumber attends site and determines that the blockage is Wannon Water’s responsibility, a spotter’s fee of $70, including GST, will be paid to you for immediately the plumber for immediately reporting the blockage to Wannon Water.  The following information must be included on the invoice before it will be paid by Wannon Water:

  • Date, time and address of blockage; and
  • Wannon Water job number provided to you when you reported the blockage to us.

Reasonable costs

Wannon Water considers that attending site and confirming the location of a blockage would normally take up to one hour (where an inspection shaft is accessible).

  • If you bill the customer for reasonable costs associated with locating a blockage that is Wannon Water’s responsibility, please ensure the bill includes the Wannon Water job number provided to you when you reported the blockage to us.
  • It is Wannon Water’s preference that the customer makes payment directly to you.
  • Wannon Water has a standard claim form available for customers to seek reimbursement from us.
  • Wannon Water will not reimburse for costs associated with the installation of an inspection shaft, as this is the responsibility of the customer.
  • Wannon Water will not reimburse for costs associated with works on any part of the sewer connection drain that the customer is responsible for maintaining.

Requirements for an Inspection Shaft (IS) where the plumber/customer chooses to install an IS

  • The IS is to be installed within one metre of the property boundary or within one metre of the sewer located within (traversing) the property, if safe to do so.
  • An inspection shaft (IS) shall be constructed in accordance with AS3500 with a riser brought to surface and finished with a standard concrete IS cover.

Summary of sewer maintenance responsibilities

 Sewerresponsibilitydiagram