Navigating Water Responsibilities: Sydney Property Owners vs Sydney Water

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Dealing with a collapsed pipe or an unexpected sewer blockage can leave any homeowner in a whirl of uncertainty. This guide offers a detailed breakdown of your responsibilities, possible expenses, and when to hand over the plumbing tasks to Sydney Water – all while maintaining your composure.

Understand Your Pipes: Your Home, Your Obligation

As a homeowner in Sydney, recognising your duties related to your home’s plumbing is essential. Your responsibilities include:

Indoor Plumbing

This covers all connections from your toilets and other domestic wastewater sources.

Outdoor Plumbing

This pertains to the sewer pipes extending to the edge of your property.

Sewer Lines

Your responsibility for sewer lines extends up to the junction where they meet Sydney Water’s main sewer lines.

Sydney Water: The Custodians Outside Your Property

Sydney Water takes charge of the following: 

  • Mains Sewers: These larger sewer pipes handle wastewater from numerous properties.
  • Water Mains: These are the substantial pipes that supply water to your residence.


Note: The provision of drinking water is solely managed by Sydney Water, whereas stormwater systems are under the jurisdiction of local councils.

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Addressing the Expenses: Who Foots the Bill?

Knowing who is financially responsible for what can prevent unexpected drains on your finances when plumbing issues emerge:

  • Within Your Property: Any sewer complications within your premises are your financial responsibility.
  • In Public Spaces: Sydney Water is responsible for repairs in communal areas, like beneath roads and walkways.

Expenses and Compensation Claims

When facing charges for water or sewage repairs, understanding the nuances can be beneficial:

  • Insurance Claims: Certain home insurance policies cover water damage and plumbing repairs. It’s advisable to review your policy for specifics.
  • Claims Against Sydney Water: If the issue