Water Services Development

MidCoast Council is responsible for town water and sewerage issues relating to new development.

This includes new subdivisions, commercial, residential development and additions/alterations to existing structures.

If you are planning a large scale development, such as a major subdivision or high rise, it's best to check on water servicing arrangements with us before proceeding to a detailed design. 

Large scale projects, such as heavy industry, shopping centres, hospitals etc will require detailed assessment.

You may be asked to submit hydraulic designs and address fire servicing issues.Details of any subdivision or consolidation proposed should also be supplied.

Trade waste issues will be assessed on a case by case basis and we will require estimates of the volume and type of liquid waste your development will generate.

Commercial development proposals vary widely, from facilities such as motels and caravan parks, to hospitals, retail centres, light manufacturing and heavy industry.

Because of this diversity, we assesses commercial development water services on a case-by-case basis.

With regards to water services development, MidCoast Council is responsible for:

  • Determining if the site can be adequately serviced with water and sewer.
  • Ensuring the new development doesn't affect existing water and sewer lines.
  • Controlling the impact of trade waste from the new development on our sewerage system.


The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a web-based planning tool that measures the potential performance of new residential dwellings against sustainability indices.

BASIX requires all new homes in NSW to use up to 40% less potable water and produce up to 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the average home.

BASIX also applies to major alterations and additions to existing homes (over the value of $50,000) and swimming pools larger than 40,000 litres.

The BASIX energy target varies according to building type and location and the BASIX water target incorporates regional variations such as soil type, climate, rainfall and evaporation rates.

Each development application for a residential dwelling (a single dwelling or a multi-unit) must be submitted with a BASIX certificate.

A certificate is issued once a BASIX assessment has been satisfactorily completed, using the online tool:

The building applicant (eg architect, builder, owner builder) is responsible for completing the assessment, ensuring the BASIX commitments are clearly marked on the plans, and submitting the BASIX Certificate with the development application.

MidCoast Council does not administer BASIX, but we do have some responsibilities under the scheme.

We need to:

  • Keep a copy of your BASIX certificate
  • Record the water efficient measures installed at the house
  • Check that the rainwater tank (if you have one) is not sited too close to a water or sewer main
  • Inspect all the plumbing work to make sure it meets the national plumbing standards

We will look at your BASIX Certificate when you bring your Local Development Application to MidCoast Council for its stamp.

For more information or to use the BASIX Tool, visit www.basix.nsw.gov.au or phone the BASIX Help Line on 1300 650 908

Developer charges

We levy developer charges in accordance with section 64 of the Local Government Act 1993 and sections 305, 306 and 307 of the Water Management Act 2000.

Developer charges are designed to recover part of the infrastructure costs incurred in servicing new development or additions and changes to existing development.

Developer charges are applied to any development which creates new or increased demands upon water supply and sewerage services, including subdivisions, new dwelling or housing projects, commercial, industrial or tourism facilities.

Our current developer charges have regard to the 2016 Developer Charge Guidelines for Water Supply, Sewerage and Stormwater published by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Water and are detailed in our Development Servicing Plan.

Developer charges are calculated based upon information provided by a developer in their Development Application, and satisfactory arrangements are required to be made for payment prior to the provision of a Certificate of Compliance for a development.

We are continuing on a ‘full cost recovery’ path for the provision of services to developers, and work closely with businesses to assist them to reduce operating costs by implementing best practice water saving techniques such as rainwater harvesting and water recycling and has supported businesses in this regard by subsidising the implementation costs.

We have introduced a development charges deferral scheme as a measure to help stimulate the local economy in response to COVID-19. Refer to the Development Contributions Plan page on our website for further information and to apply.

Development servicing plans

We are required to prepare a development servicing plan for water supply and sewerage. A development servicing plan documents all the relevant information used to calculate its developer charges per equivalent tenement.

The Guidelines define the elements of best practice developer charges and provide guidance on the development, analysis and implementation of appropriate developer charges to ensure that new development meets a fair share of the cost of service provision.

MidCoast Water Services has prepared detailed servicing strategies for our existing water supplies and sewerage schemes.

These strategies have been prepared to ensure we met key objectives of:

  • consistently supplying high quality drinking water
  • providing sufficient infrastructure for future growth
  • providing no harm return to the water cycle

while best managing our assets and delivering consistent service.

The strategies also identify the infrastructure required to service the forecast growth, as well as predictions of timeframes for future works and are reviewed regularly and incorporate expected populations and land use planning information. 

Subdivisions and water services

The term “subdivision” covers a variety of development activity, from major new housing estates to basic two-lot projects.
This information is mainly concerned with larger subdivision projects, smaller projects are dealt with in the residential development section.


We advise early consultation on all subdivision plans, particularly where water and sewerage services are currently not available. Servicing may not be possible, or water and sewer requirements may affect the proposed lot layout. It is best to address these issues in the preliminary stages.

Developer charges

Developers will be required to cover the full cost of water and sewerage reticulation lines for their subdivision, and to make a contribution towards the cost of community assets, such as reservoirs, treatment plants and pumping stations. The developer charge levied will depend on the number of equivalent tenements (households) proposed. Our development assessment staff can provide estimates of contribution requirements for your project, upon request.

Approved contractors

We will only accept subdivision proposals that are designed, managed and constructed by approved contractors. The designer, project manager and construction firm you choose for your project must have current MidCoast Council accreditation. We can supply a list of accredited companies, upon request. Call us on 1300 133 455 for information.


You should allow up to 14 days for the initial assessment of the project, and up to four weeks for detailed assessment of the water and sewer design, depending on the scale of the project.
MidCoast Council must accept both the subdivision layout (including the proposed title for the land) and the construction plan before you can proceed with the work.

You will also be required to lodge a maintenance bond, to cover any remedial works required in the first 12 months.


All water and sewerage assets constructed by developers will be inspected by MidCoast Council. You must choose a construction crew that holds current Industry Accreditation and have the work team approved by us before you begin. The Project Manager is responsible for ensuring that all work is pre-tested and presented for inspection at the required times.

Our inspectors will oversee the following tests at each subdivision. All tests will be based on the specifications set down in the relevant National Code:

  • Water mains - pressure test
  • Sewer mains - pressure test
  • Manholes -  vacuum test

Water and sewer cut-ins will generally be carried out by MidCoast Council staff. Where cut-ins are carried out by contractors, you must follow our procedures, including safety requirements for work on asbestos cement (AC) pipelines. No water and sewerage cut-in is to occur without a MidCoast Council officer present.

All new water mains will be chlorinated for disinfection before they are commissioned.


Subdivisions cannot be released for sale until MidCoast Council signs off on the project and you obtain a Certificate of Compliance from us.
To obtain a certificate, you must:

  • Complete all construction work to the required standard
  • Provide an acceptable Work as Executed plan for the works
  • Ensure all fees have been paid