Advice for plumbers, builders and contractors

There’s always a risk of damage to water and sewer assets when undertaking construction work. If these assets are damaged, concrete and other materials can enter the pipes, or pipes can burst, leading to costly repairs and disruptions to work.

The flow-on effect impacts not only the site but also neighbours, local businesses, roads and public spaces.

It’s important for all construction contractors to make sure ALL water and sewer assets (including private sewer drains) are identified and protected BEFORE starting works.

That’s why it’s important to follow the five Ps to locate and protect these assets while on site.

Follow the five P's

  1. Plan - Contact Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) and use SEWMap – our free download app that provides instant asset information. These two tools are indicative only and internal property drains are not be available on DBYD.
  2. Prepare - Review utility plans and contact the relevant water authority for any questions. Always use an accredited asset locator to locate assets onsite
  3. Pothole - Confirm the asset locations safely by non-destructive excavation or hand digging.
  4. Protect - Taking measures such as marking locations, cut and seal services, bringing any unsealed sewer branches to the surface and letting others on site know about the asset locations are all ways you can protect the assets.
  5. Proceed - Only after you’ve followed steps one to four.
Why follow the five Ps?
  • Minimise damage to public and private property
  • Reduce delays and disruptions on site
  • Reduce time consuming and costly repairs
  • Avoid reputation damage
  • Reduce insurance claims, excesses and premiums

Want to know more about the flow on effect?

Take a look at our video below to learn more about how to follow the five P’s:


SEWmap is our free downloadable app that provides access to South East Water's current GIS information including map base, property, water, sewer and recycling assets.


ASSETWEBMAP allows access to live asset information online, enabling consultants, surveyors and engineers to easily view water and sewer assets, when you're planning works or new developments.

You’ll need to register to use ASSETWEBMAP, which includes agreeing to some terms and conditions.

Dial Before You Dig

Dial Before You Dig is a referral service for information on locating underground utilities anywhere in Australia.

Visit their website or phone 1100 during office hours.

Codesafe App

Codesafe’s QIN app is a great resource to access important information about locating and protecting assets from your phone – allowing you to access the information even when you’re offline.

Advice for homeowners or plumbers working on residential properties

Work near easements and assets

No matter how big or small your project may be, it’s important to locate and protect any water or sewer assets before you start work.

If you’re planning on doing any work near assets and easements, check out our page on working near assets and easements.


If you're planning to renovate, extend your house, landscape or put in a pool, make sure you locate the sewer and water assets first.