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 inside 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   What happens?
There is no inspection shaft installed on the sewer connection drain.
  • If the property owner’s plumber is on site, Wannon Water will request the plumber to install an inspection shaft and bill the property owner as it is the property owner that is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the inspection shaft.
  • Wannon Water may choose to install an inspection shaft at no cost to the customer where it will assist Wannon Water with future maintenance of the sewer connection drain.
  • Once an inspection shaft has been installed, the following sections apply.
  • If an inspection shaft is not able to be installed, Wannon Water will work with the property owner or their plumber to identify the location of the blockage.
Blockage located on the customer’s side (upstream) of the inspection shaft.
  • The property owner is responsible for clearing the blockage.
  • Plumber will clear the blockage and bill the customer. 
Blockage is located on Wannon Water’s side (downstream) of the inspection shaft.
  • Wannon Water is responsible for clearing the blockage.
  • Plumber advises Wannon Water and bills Wannon Water for a spotter’s fee (see below).  Wannon Water reimburses property owner 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 property owner.  Wannon Water may choose to engage the plumber on site to clear the blockage at Wannon Water’s cost.

“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 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 property owner makes payment directly to you.
  • Wannon Water has a standard claim form available for property owners 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 property owner.
  • Wannon Water will not reimburse for costs associated with works on any part of the sewer connection drain that the property owner is responsible for maintaining.

Requirements for an inspection shaft where the property owner chooses to install an inspection shaft

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

Summary of sewer maintenance responsibilities

Sewermaintenanceobligationsdiagram 2017 Web