Plans contents

Land development reference 5.3.6

All plans for drainage works must be available in CAD, PDF and hard-copy formats at a scale drawn relevant to an A1 size plot of the drawing. The drawing must contain borders and title blocks that comply with our requirements.

The appropriate letter size and scale must be used for all plans. Examples can be found on the example notes for design plans page.

Example notes for design plans

Other details which must be displayed on plans are:

  • dimensions should be placed to clearly indicate the point of reference.

  • dimensions must be expressed in metres (m) or millimetres (mm). The symbols (m and mm) may be discarded if there's no chance of confusion or if the entire drawing uses one unit. Generally, whole numbers indicate millimetres and decimalised numbers indicate metres.

  • grades of sloping features should be expressed as ‘1 in 200’ (drains), and ‘1:5’ or ‘1 in 5’ (slopes). The grade of slopes should also be represented graphically at least once on the plan.

  • generally, north should point either vertically up the sheet, or to the left or right upper quadrants.

  • half darkened 12mm diameter balloons should be used on the design locality plan, longitudinal section and detail plan to indicate the start and end of works.

Site plan

A small scale plan showing the site of the project relative to nearby streets and waterways must be drawn within a circle of approximately 150mm diameter on the first sheet of the drawings. The plan should be as simple as possible. A suitably marked up photo copy of a page from a street directory may be adequate. A scale of 1:10,000 is appropriate for most jobs.

Locality plan

For projects comprising long lengths (say 1km or more) of works, a Locality Plan showing the drainage works relative to nearby streets and easements should also be included. It should be as simple as possible, showing the extent of work, north point, easements, street names, indicative lot numbers, start-finish indicators, pits and manholes, pipe diameter and direction of flow. This plan may be drawn on the same sheet and preferably to the same scale (say 1:2,500) as the longitudinal section.

Longitudinal section

The longitudinal section displays the vertical alignment of the drain. The following information must be included on the drawing in the appropriate letter sizes:

  • chainages, commencing at zero at the downstream end of the works

  • surface levels along the drain centre-line

  • invert levels

  • depth to invert

  • final surface levels showing cut or fill

  • datum to the Australian Height Datum (AHD)

  • grade of the drain

  • class of pipe

  • bedding and backfill

  • description of the drain

  • location of the drain

  • vertical location of services with proven levels

  • curve radii

  • manholes and manhole numbers

  • structures

  • special backfill requirements

  • separate provision for annotation with ‘As Constructed’ information as appropriate

Detail plan

The detail plan displays the horizontal alignment of the drain.

The following information must be included on the drawing in the appropriate letter sizes:

  • streets and roads

  • tops of banks of the existing watercourse

  • obstructions, such as buildings and large trees

  • services, such as sewers, gas mains, cables, electricity poles and overhead lines

  • easements

  • Map Grid of Australia (MGA) coordinates

  • information describing the permanent bench marks used for the survey information, including the value of each bench mark

  • alignment of existing and proposed drains

  • existing and (where applicable) final surface levels to AHD along and adjacent to the drain

  • description of the drain

  • structures

  • location of drainage inlets

  • manholes and manhole numbers

  • chainages, commencing at zero at the downstream end of the works

  • angles and curves (including the tangent points and curve numbers)

  • curve details

  • the extent of any cutting and filling of the land

  • north point, generally pointing either vertically up the sheet or to the left or right upper quadrants

  • notes (sample design notes can be found on the example notes for design plans page)

  • MGA coordinates at the start and end of the drain and for all intersection points

  • manhole and pit schedule (this may be located on other sheets if necessary)

  • special backfill requirements

  • general notes

  • separate provision for annotation with ‘As Constructed’ information as appropriate


Cross-sections display the drainage works ‘looking upstream’. The first section is drawn in the top left-hand corner of the sheet. The remaining sections are drawn in chainage order down the sheet, noting the centre line of the drain is to be kept in line, vertically through each section.

The cross-section must contain the following information:

  • existing surface profile

  • datum (this should remain constant across sections where possible)

  • drain

  • all cut and fill earthworks

  • chainage

  • invert level

  • floodways

  • extent of reserve or easement

Structural drawings

Structural drawings should be included for all structures not detailed in the standard drawings.

These drawings must contain enough information to allow construction and should include:

  • dimensions

  • reinforcement details

  • special materials

  • special construction techniques

  • curve layout details

It may be necessary to draw a section of the structure to adequately display the details. Each section must be numbered, starting at 1. The section numbers should be shown using a 12mm diameter balloon bisected by a horizontal line. The balloon will contain the section number in the upper half and the drawing number in the lower half.

Orientation of drawings

Locality plans and the detail plan should be drawn with the north point generally pointing towards the top of the sheet. If this is impractical, drawings may be oriented with north points towards the upper left quadrant, or if still impractical, the upper right quadrant.

If the longitudinal section is drawn on the same sheet as a locality or detail plan, it should be drawn with the direction of flow on the section being the same direction as that on the adjacent plan.

Drafting standards

Letter sizing and line types

All design plans depicting our assets are to be drawn using appropriate sized fonts and line types. Although plans are generally drawn to be plotted at A1 size, consideration must be given to letter sizing and other detail that's legible when the plans are reproduced at A3 size, as is common practice.

Scales for engineering drawings

Table 1 lists the scales that should be used for the design plans.

Drawing type​ ​Scale
Longitudinal section ​ 1:2500 (horiz) 1:250 (vert)
1:1000 (horiz) 1:100 (vert)
1:500 (horiz) 1:50 (vert preferred scale) ​
Detail plan ​ 1:500 (preferred scale)
1:250 (for enlargement) ​
Cross-section ​ 1:100 (preferred scale)
1:50 ​
Structural drawings ​ 1:50


Example plans

These documents are best printed in A1 format.

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