Time frames for plumbing and drainage permit applications

New permit applications are divided into 2 processing time frames: fast-track and standard. The timeframe for your application will depend on the building classification, as well as other factors.

Standard applications

Standard applications are usually approved within 10 business days.

Standard time frames apply to:

  • multi-unit residential and commercial buildings (class 2–9)
  • any applications excluded from the fast-track process.

Fast-track applications

Fast-track applications are usually approved within 2 business days.

We will fast-track application for most work on new residential dwellings, sheds or domestic out-buildings (class 1a and 10a buildings).

This type of work is fast-tracked because we consider it lower risk domestic plumbing and drainage work, as the buildings connect directly to the water and sewerage supply and don't need additional approvals.

However, a local government may opt out of the fast-track process and only deal with permit applications under the standard process.

Exclusions from the fast-track process

Local government needs to assess the plans and accompanying documentation before they issue a permit. Some applications are excluded from the fast-track process because they pose a higher risk to public health, safety and the environment.

Any application excluded from the fast-track process will be assessed under the standard application process.

Combined sanitary drainage and community title sanitary drainage

Work for combined and community sanitary drains is excluded from the fast-track approval process because:

  • it can affect multiple properties
  • changes to an individual property may affect drainage performance for other properties.

Trade waste connection

Water service providers (local governments) or distributor-retailers (e.g. Queensland Urban Utilities) need to assess trade waste applications to make sure trade waste is disposed of safely and effectively. This assessment can take time, so trade waste applications are excluded from the fast-track approval process.

It is an offence to discharge trade waste to a sewer without approval, as it may contain toxic or harmful substances like oil, heavy metals, solids, organic solvents or chlorinated organics.

On-site sewage and greywater treatment facilities

Applications for on-site sewerage and greywater treatment facilities can't be fast-tracked.

These facilities are used to treat, store and dispose of domestic waste generated on premises in unsewered areas. Poorly sited or maintained facilities can affect public health and the environment, so we must make a thorough assessment of the application.


Small business hotline: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)