Building near utility assets
Before you plan to build anything, from an extension, to a pergola, swimming pool, garden, retaining wall or shed, check what ActewAGL and ACTEW Water infrastructure is on and around your block. Check what's underground by calling Dial Before You Dig on 1100 (free call) or lodging an online request on their website. It could help you avoid a potentially dangerous and expensive mistake!
Dial Before You Dig will pass the referral to the relevant utility services, who send the information to you, generally within two working days.
Underground infrastructure includes things like gas, water and sewer pipes, and cables.
Fines and removal
If you build a structure that is too close or interferes with utility infrastructure, you may have to pay for it to be removed and you could be fined up to $5,500.
The law prohibits landowners and occupiers from interfering with utility infrastructure, for example by blocking access or building too close or on top of infrastructure. This infrastructure includes pipes, poles, cables, wires, gas mains and connection points. The minimum clearance distance required is generally 1.5 metres. However, this can vary so check the required distances from powerlines, sewers, pipes and gas and water mains by calling us on 6248 3555 or lodging an ActewAGL online request.
Some plants are unsuitable to grow near underground infrastructure because of their extensive root systems and thirsty nature.
Learn more about plant suitability and appropriate planting distances from water assets below ground.
ACTEW Water assets
Water assets in the ACT are owned by ACTEW Water. This includes manholes, sewers, pipes and water meters. Visit actew.com.au for more information about ACTEW Water assets.
It is your responsibility
It is the responsibility of all landowners and occupiers to ensure there are no interferences to gas, water and electricity infrastructure. If you engage a draftsperson, builder, architect or landscaper, the landowner is still held responsible if they fail to comply with minimum clearance or damage infrastructure. Make sure they include these checks in your project.
Think outside your block
When building swimming pools or other structures, always consider services and substations outside your block. Minimum distances and other factors still apply.
View our Building near utility assets brochure for more information.