Maintenance access passage review

We are always looking for ways to improve the way we work and deliver value to the community. We are currently reviewing our side access requirements for blocks that contain Icon Water sewerage infrastructure in their backyards. These requirements are outlined in Appendix O of our water and sewerage service and installation rules

In the interest of ensuring we have clear and safe access to maintain and repair sewerage assets in backyards, construction is restricted within these access passages. 

Previously we have required an access passage of between 2.2 – 3 metres to ensure that we can safely access this infrastructure. Improvements in technology and work practices since the rules were set mean that we can now safely access assets with a reduced set of access widths. For most developments the new requirement ranges between 1.8-2.5m, with complex cases (2-3% of all developments) assessed on an individual basis. 

We are seeking to formalise this reduced requirement with a change to the service and installation rules. This will allow for increased construction on individual blocks and allow more space for the community to use and enjoy.  

For more information on why we are proposing these changes and at what we have considered see our summary document. More detail is available in our technical paper.

Consultation performed 

On 3 May 2019 we directly emailed approximately 400 stakeholders including developers, planners, consultants, builders, and government representatives about our proposed changes. The email linked to a summary as well as a dedicated page on our website. We have also specifically mentioned our proposal during meetings held with the development industry.

Consultation was officially performed between 3 May and 31 May 2019. Feedback received included: 

• Support for Icon Water’s proposed changes.

• Requested flexibility for future design and development of access routes, particularly in greenfield areas.

• A general desire for Icon Water to continually re-assess the rules to see if further land could be freed going forward.

Next steps

Feedback received will be reflected in our updated service and installation rules. We are hoping that these changes can take effect in the coming months - we will keep interested parties up to date. 

It is expected that this review of the maintenance access passage will be followed by reviews of other technical standards and requirements. We are committed to working with the community and look forward to providing further opportunity for our professional customers and stakeholders to inform future changes.