What is Irrigation (non-agricultural) work?
Get to know the regulation
Under Part 4 of the Plumbing Regulations 2018, Irrigation (non-agricultural) work is:
- the construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration, maintenance, relining, testing or commissioning of any part of an irrigation system on a property from the connection point to the last valve controlling any pressurised zone in the system
- any design work that is incidental to, or associated with, any work described in the paragraph above.
Irrigation (non-agricultural) work does not include the construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration, maintenance, relining, testing or commissioning of an irrigation system used for the purposes of agriculture.
Typical Irrigation (non-agricultural) work
Non-agricultural irrigation plumbing involves installing irrigation systems that provide an artificial supply of water to parks, private and public gardens, and sporting grounds such as ovals and bowling greens. Experienced irrigation plumbers typically do the following work (and more):
- designing domestic irrigation systems
- installing and commissioning irrigation systems
- installing and commissioning domestic irrigation pumps.
What do Irrigation (non-agricultural) plumbers need to know and do?
Irrigation plumbers need critical knowledge and skills to ensure the reliable supply of water to land, without disrupting or contaminating other water sources. What does this mean for you?
As a registered practitioner, you must be able to understand and apply the compliance requirements of Irrigation (non‐agricultural) plumbing work.
These requirements include:
- AS/NZS 3500.1 Plumbing and drainage Part 1: Water services
- AS/NZS 2845 Water supply backflow prevention devices – registered air gaps and registered break tanks.
To undertake Irrigation (non‐agricultural) work to a safe and competent standard, you must also be able to:
- install trench support
- understand backflow prevention to ensure no cross‐contamination or connection with water supply pipes
- understand key elements of design when designing domestic irrigation systems, including the range of sprinkler heads and systems
- test water pressure and flow rates, and the impact of different readings on irrigation system design
- read a site or building plan
- demonstrate you understand different classes of water that can be used for irrigation
- understand and identify the appropriate use of alternative water supplies for irrigation
- carry out oxy‐acetylene welding, and know how to weld safely.
What competencies and experience do you need?
The VBA publishes a set of units of competency for each class of plumbing work. Each unit of competency describes a work outcome, all the knowledge and skills needed to do the work to the expected standard, and how they should be assessed.
The VBA uses the units of competency to assess your skills and experience if you apply to register in a class of plumbing work.
To be eligible to register in the Irrigation (non‐agricultural) class, you must be able to show:
- you have the relevant competencies plus recent and relevant experience in work related to the Irrigation (non‐agricultural) class of plumbing, or
- you have knowledge equal to the competencies for Irrigation (non‐agricultural) work of Certificate II or higher, plus at least two years of experience while working under the supervision of a plumber who is licensed in Irrigation (non‐agricultural) work.
Before applying for registration or licensing, please read the current approved units of competency for Irrigation (non‐agricultural).
Units of competency for Irrigation (non-agricultural) work
A common set of eight units are required for all main classes, except Refrigerated Air-conditioning and Type B Gasfitting.
- Carry out interactive workplace communication (CPCPCM2039A)
- Read plans and calculate plumbing quantities (CPCPCM2040A)
- Work effectively in the plumbing and services sector (CPCPCM2041A)
- Carry out WHS requirements (CPCPCM2043A)
- Handle and store plumbing materials (CPCPCM2045A)
- Use plumbing hand and power tools (CPCPCM2046A)
- Carry out levelling (CPCPCM2047A)
- Provide basic emergency life support (HLTFA211AP)
- Carry out simple concreting and rendering (CPCPCM2054A)
- Mark out materials (CPCPCM2050A)
- Weld using oxy‐acetylene equipment (CPCPCM2052A)
- Install trench support (RIICCM210A)
- Design domestic urban irrigation systems (CPCPIG2021A)
- Set out, install and commission irrigation systems (CPCPIG3021A)
- Install and commission domestic irrigation pumps (CPCPIG3022A)
- Connect irrigation systems from drinking water supply (CPCPWT3027A)
- Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business (BSBSMB401A)
- Carry out work based risk control processes (CPCPCM4011A)
- Estimate and cost work (CPCPCM4012A)