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Plumbing approval


Food businesses may need plumbing and drainage approvals for the following activities:

  • release of trade waste to sewer
  • installation and maintenance of backflow prevention devices
  • use of non-reticulated water supply (tank water)
  • installation of sinks.


The Plumbing Code of Australia forms part of the National Construction Code and contains the technical provisions for plumbing and drainage.

Most plumbing and drainage work should be conducted by a licensed plumber.


Trade waste consent

Trade waste is liquid waste produced by a business, including mobile vehicles and temporary stalls.  All businesses require consent from the local water authority to release trade waste to the sewer.

Cooking fats and oils from fryers are not trade waste. Do not release cooking fats or oils from fryers down any drain. Fats and oils need to be stored in separate waste oil drums and collected by a licensed waste transporter.

Some food businesses may also need pre-treatment and monitoring equipment (e.g. separators, interceptors, grease traps, or in-sink or in-drain baskets) before discharge to sewer. The property owner or tenant (depending on the lease agreement) is responsible for organising trade waste consent including the installation of any pre-treatment equipment.


Backflow prevention devices

Backflow prevention devices stop sewage flowing back through to the town’s water supply.  There are two different types of backflow prevention devices, testable and non-testable.

All food businesses connected to town water require a non-testable backflow prevention device. A licensed plumber can install a non-testable backflow prevention device for you.

Food businesses with a pre-treatment device will need to have a testable backflow prevention device. A testable backflow device must be:

  • installed by an endorsed backflow plumber
  • registered with Council by the endorsed backflow plumber
  • inspected or tested annually by a licensed plumber.


Non-reticulated water supply

Reticulated water is drinkable water supplied by the local water authority. Non-reticulated water is any other water you have access to (e.g. rainwater, groundwater from wells or bores, or greywater from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances).

A food business with access to town water (reticulated water) must use town water for food handling activities.

If your food business does not have access to town water, you will need to demonstrate the water you use is safe. This normally means you need to chemically treat or heat treat the water.

A food business can also use rainwater or greywater (or other non-reticulated water) for a range of non-drinking and non-cooking purposes, including flushing toilets, gardening, or as cold water for washing machines.

The installation of a non-reticulated water supply must meet the requirements of the Queensland Development Code MP 4.3 – Supplementary Water Sources. A plumbing approval is not required to use rainwater or greywater in your building, but your plumber will need to notify the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.  Your plumber will provide you with a copy of the notification.