Water supply

What is Water supply work?

Get to know the regulation

Under Part 4 of the Plumbing Regulations 2018, Water supply work is:

  1. the construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration, relining, maintenance, testing or commissioning of:
    1. any part of a heated or cold water service that is connected to a drinking water supply from the point of connection to the water supply to the points of discharge of the service
    2. any part of a non‐drinking heated or cold water service or rainwater service, from the point of connection to the water supply to the points of discharge of the service; and
    3. any heated water service in, or on, a caravan or vessel
  2. any design work that is incidental to, or associated with, any work described in paragraph (a).

Water supply work does not include:

  1. work described in subregulation (1) that is carried out in connection with the supply of piped non‐drinking water for agricultural purposes unless the water is supplied by a network utility operator or other water provider
  2. the treatment of water used in a heated or cold water service
  3. backflow prevention work; or
  4. on and from 18 November 2019, thermostatic mixing valve work.

Typical Water supply work

All residential buildings, and nearly all commercial and industrial buildings, require a hot and cold water supply. Experienced Water supply plumbers typically do the following work (and more):

  • installing and testing both drinking and non‐drinking heated or cold water services
  • installing and testing solar hot water services
  • installing and testing water connections for bathrooms and toilets, including connections to sinks or basins, hot and cold taps, baths and showers
  • installing and testing laundry fixtures, including connections to laundry troughs recycled water
  • installing and testing drinking water fountains
  • installing and connecting rainwater tanks to gardens and the water supply for cisterns and washing machines
  • installing and testing kitchen fixtures, including water filters for drinking water
  • fabricating and installing hydrant and hose reel systems
  • installing water reticulation pump sets used, for example, in hydronic heating, solar water systems and rainwater tanks
  • conducting water pressure tests
  • installing and connecting backflow devices (but not the ongoing maintenance testing/ commissioning)
  • repairing and maintaining hot and cold water services, including those mentioned above.

What do Water supply plumbers need to know and do?

A plumber’s work affects the supply of water to and from a building. So, plumbers need critical knowledge and skills to protect the integrity of the water supply, and the health and safety of the building occupants. What does this mean for you?

As a registered practitioner, you must be able to understand and apply the compliance requirements of Water supply plumbing work. These requirements include:

  • AS/NZS 3500 National Plumbing and Drainage Code
  • AS2419 Fire hydrant installations – system design, installation and commissioning
  • AS 2441 Installation of fire hose reels
  • AS/NZS 2845.2 Water supply backflow prevention devices – registered air gaps and registered break tanks
  • the Watermark certification trademark, to ensure the use of only approved materials and products that are fit for purpose.

To undertake Water supply work to a safe and competent standard, you must also be able to:

  • read a site or building plan and identify water supply connections
  • install trench support when pipework is installed at a depth of 1.5 m or deeper, move the support along the trench, and remove the support safely
  • carry out oxy‐acetylene and manual arc 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 Water supply class, you must be able to show:

  • you have the relevant competencies plus recent and relevant experience in work related to the Water Supply class of plumbing, or
  • you have knowledge equal to the competencies for Water supply work of Certificate III, plus at least four years of experience while working under the supervision of a plumber who is licensed in Water supply work.

You must also prove you successfully completed an accredited training course in Install Trench Support.

Before applying for registration, please read the current approved units of competency for Water supply.

Units of competency for Water supply

Registration

Common units

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)
Class specific
  • Work safely on roofs (CPCPCM2055A)
  • Carry out simple concreting and rendering (CPCPCM2054A)
  • Flash penetrations through roofs and walls (CPCPCM3021A)
  • Mark out materials (CPCPCM2050A)
  • Weld using oxy‐acetylene equipment (CPCPCM2052A)
  • Weld polyethylene and polypropylene pipes using fusion method (CPCPCM3022A)
  • Fabricate and install fire hydrant and hose reel systems (CPCPFS3031A)
  • Fabricate and install non‐ferrous pressure piping (CPCPCM3023A)
  • Install domestic and residential life safety sprinkler systems (CPCPFS3037A)
  • Design domestic urban irrigation systems (CPCPIG2021A)
  • Set out, install and commission irrigation systems (CPCPIG3021A)
  • Install and commission domestic irrigation pumps (CPCPIG3022A)
  • Connect and install storage tanks to a domestic water supply (CPCPWT3020A)
  • Set out and install water services (CPCPWT3021A)
  • Install and adjust water service controls and devices (CPCPWT3022A)
  • Install and commission water heating systems (CPCPWT3023A)
  • Install and maintain domestic water treatment equipment (CPCPWT3024A)
  • Install water pumpsets (CPCPWT3025A)
  • Fit off and commission heated and cold water services (CPCPWT3026A)
  • Connect irrigation systems from drinking water supply (CPCPWT3027A)
  • Install water pipe systems (CPCPWT3029A)
  • Install water service (CPCPWT3028A)
  • Install trench support (RIICCM210A)
  • Cut with Oxy‐LPG / Acetylene equipment (CPCPCM2049A)

Licensing

Common units
  • Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business (BSBSMB401A)
  • Carry out work based risk control processes (CPCPCM4011A)
  • Estimate and cost work (CPCPCM4012A)
Class specific
  • Design and size heated and cold water services and systems (CPCPWTS4011B)