Confined Space Entry (CSE) work is extremely hazardous and considered a high risk activity in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007.
Conducting work in sewers presents unique hazards due to the broad range of industrial waste involved, and requires specific procedures.
All sewer entry work must comply with our Confined Space Entry procedures, even if the work is not strictly defined as ‘confined space’ in the regulations.
Email us for a copy of the procedures:
This is defined as 'any work' that exposes you to or puts you in contact with sewer gas or sewage, including:
surface work over an open manhole, like jet cleaning, CCTV inspections or taking samples
work where a live sewer is broken into, e.g. when there's a clear pathway for air from the sewer to enter the workspace
equipment work that might involve contact with sewage, including cleaning or maintaining a pump
confined space entry into a sewer
Requirements for sewer work
Eligibility for entry
Only approved contractors working for us, City West Water, South East Water or Yarra Valley Water can apply for entry into our sewers.
To enter our sewers you must:
follow our CSE procedures
To conduct sewer work you must have completed:
Sewer access alerts
When you submit your sewer entry application you'll be advised of any conditions or access restrictions that may impact your works. This includes information about sewer access points that:
can't be accessed (no-go sewer)
require special gas testing prior to access
require particular hazards to be noted as part of a work party’s risk assessment
Note: Sewer access alerts are constantly being updated due to hazards, and may change from the time of permit application to the time of performing works. In this case additional controls may be required for your works to continue.
Apply for sewer access approval
Your application should include:
a summary of the work to be completed (include any drawings, details about what equipment will be used, and how assets will be accessed)
a risk assessment (e.g. a safe work method statement, job safety analysis or task risk assessment)
medical assessments or evidence of a completed medical assessments no older than two years of all personnel entering a confined space (where applicable)
completed Sewerage Transfer Access Request (STAR) form (contact us for a copy)
STAR applications should be sent to:
Approved sewer work
When your sewer work has been approved and work commences you must follow the CSE procedures.
You also need to complete the following activities when on site:
complete/check and update your risk assessment
call the Sewerage Transfer control room immediately prior to conducting your entry and again after the space has been exited (call in/call out)
hold a CSE Permit (if required)
use a 6-gas detector for atmospheric monitoring for all entries, including surface works. This atmospheric monitoring must be continuous for the entire duration of any sewer work.
Contact us with any comment or queries: