Unitywater has revised its residential swimming pool policy. Dive right in to understand the important changes.
Building a new pool? If so, Unitywater has changed the rules in relation to how residential swimming pools need to be plumbed.
Up until now, wastewater from residential swimming pools has been disposed of via the sewerage system. This has now changed.
If you are installing a new swimming pool, it’s important to know the wastewater flow from your pool can no longer be connected to the sewerage system.
Why the change?
We need to reduce the risk of sewage overflow at manholes and on private properties during periods of prolonged rainfall.
One of the ways we can do this is to minimise the impact of residential swimming pools on the sewerage network.
When will the changes commence?
Changes take effect from 1 July 2017.
Who will be affected by the change?
Unitywater’s revised Domestic Swimming Pool Wastewater Disposal Policy applies to residential swimming pools (commercial swimming pool discharges are dealt with via Trade Waste agreements with Unitywater) and will affect:
- residents looking to install a new pool or upgrade an existing one
- pool builders
- developers looking to incorporate swimming pools into a new developments
- licensed plumbers and
- Unitywater and council officers.
It also only relates to new development applications. In other words, the policy will not be applied retrospectively.
Can existing pool owners disconnect?
Existing pool owners will be encouraged to disconnect their pools from the sewerage system by reimbursing the owner the cost of the disconnection.
The amount of the reimbursement will be capped to a maximum of $1000 per property and will be subject to a set of criteria.
Download an Application for Reimbursement for the Disconnection of Domestic Swimming Pool from Unitywater’s Sewerage System Form
As a pool builder, what do I need to know?
You will need to investigate alternative methods of disposal of pool wastewater. This may require connecting the pool wastewater discharge to council’s stormwater system or installing an alternative filtration and disposal system. You will need to get the relevant council approval before connecting to their system.
Question: What are the benefits of the change?
Answer: Benefits of the revised swimming pool policy include:
- minimising discharges from residential swimming pools into the sewerage network during and after heavy rainfall events
- reducing strain on the region’s sewage treatment plants and other sewerage infrastructure
- contributing to the protection of the environment in the Unitywater sewerage service area by encouraging responsible pool water disposal
- supporting, encouraging and educating pool owners, operators and the swimming pool industry to facilitate the installation and use of filters and chemical regimes that protect human health, decrease dependability on discharging to sewer and increase protection of the environment.
Question: What if I don’t have a choice but to connect my swimming pool to the sewerage system?
Answer: Unitywater will not permit pool overflow, backwash and or maintenance drainage water to its sewerage system where there is reasonable access to an existing stormwater overland flow path or other stormwater infrastructure for discharge of such water.
Where there is no overland flow path or other stormwater infrastructure, Unitywater may allow connection of the pool to its sewerage system to protect the interests of other Unitywater customers that may be affected by sewage overflows.
Pool owners will need to make a request in writing to Unitywater to allow the pool to be connected to the sewerage system.
Question: How do I apply for my incentive rebate?
Answer: The property owner will engage a licensed plumber to carry out the disconnection of the swimming pool from the sewerage system and connect it to an alternative system. It will be the property owner’s responsibility to acquire statutory and or other approvals from the appropriate authority/ies.
Following the disconnection of the swimming pool from the sewerage system, the property owner will make the application for reimbursement by completing and submitting the Application for Reimbursement for the Disconnection of Domestic Swimming Pool from Unitywater’s Sewerage System form.
The Application for Reimbursement for the Disconnection of Domestic Swimming Pool from Unitywater’s Sewerage System form must be accompanied by:
- A copy of the completed Form 4 – Notifiable Works that the plumber has submitted to Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC);
- A copy of the tax invoice for the works issued by the licensed plumber;
- Certification by the licensed plumber to state that the licensed plumber has disconnected the residential swimming pool from Unitywater’s sewerage system and connected it to an alternative disposal system; and
- Proof of payment for the disconnection (copy of receipt issued by the licensed plumber for payment of the works).