If you are planning landscaping work we must approve proposed plantings over or near pipe reserves, easements and floodways.

​Management of streamside vegetation and the landscape of adjacent land is part of keeping waterways healthy. We work to protect existing native vegetation, control weeds and erosion and choose indigenous plants for revegetation.

Any works undertaken without Melbourne Water approval will be considered illegal under the Water Act.

Application process

Approvals from other authorities

We may need evidence of approvals from other authorities or private owners who may be affected by your works before we provide approval.

Check that you comply with other laws that may affect your development, such as Special Building Overlay and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay.

Choose the right plants - planting guidelines

Choose the right types of plants and reduce vegetation management issues in the future. The roots of trees and shrubs can block or damage drains, waterways, sewers and water mains. You may be charged for repairs or removal of your plantings.

Documents required

To apply to plant in or near our assets you need to include:

  • cover letter outlining the proposed planting project

  • detailed plan(s)

  • list of proposed plants

Approval process

If we approve your plan, we will send you a letter outlining any specific conditions you must meet as part of our approval.

You must respond in writing to accept our conditions and pay the relevant fees.

Prior to the commencement of works on Melbourne Water’s asset, the contractor must contact Melbourne Water’s Asset Services Team on (03) 9679 6614 for approval/permits on a live asset(s). Penalties apply for unauthorised works.

All contractors who carry out works on live assets are required to have a Permit to work.

Inspections may be required at different stages of the works (letter of approval will confirm this requirement).

Please refer to inspection of work.


We are currently receiving a high volume of applications due to growth in demand for our services, which has unfortunately created significant delays. We acknowledge your patience and will make every effort to process your applications as soon as we can. View our current processing times.


Fees differ depending on the proposed work. We will advise you of the amount once we assess your application.

Please note this application fee is non-refundable.

Fees and security for construction, works and connections

Guidelines or standards

Planting guidelines

Important information

Your application may experience a delay if there are any issues. Delays in the application process may happen if:

  • The information and documentation are incomplete or missing.
  • We need to further investigate the complexity of the development.

We assess applications on a case-by-case basis and will notify you of the following outcomes once we have completed the review.

  1. The application approved. Project can move forward. 
  2. The application approved. Conditions need to be met before the project can move forward. 
  3. The application declined. We will notify you of the reasons the project cannot move forward. (reasons given). 
  4. Application needs to be assessed further, and we need more information.

Contact us

If you need any help to complete this application, contact us on 131 722.

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