News & Events

Be sewer-safe: entry without accreditation risks prosecution

South East Water Media Release - 28 April 2016

South East Water is reminding plumbers and industry contractors of the dangers associated with lifting maintenance hole covers or accessing sewer systems, and that entry without accreditation may result in prosecution.

Entry into the sewer environment can lead to injuries and fatalities, and South East Water has strict requirements and notification protocols associated with this work. Only accredited persons can access sewers or lift maintenance hole covers, and entry without accreditation could result in prosecution under the 1989 Water Act and the 2007 Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

In October of last year, a company was prosecuted for illegal access to one of South East Water’s maintenance holes. The organisation was fined and also instructed to meet South East Water’s costs in bringing the case to court.

South East Water is committed to reducing incidents of interference or illegal access to its assets, and ensuring the safety of anyone accessing its sewer network.

“Any work carried out in connection with South East Water assets has the potential to result in significant harm to those involved, and that’s why we have such strict controls around this activity,” said Mark McCormack, Network Services General Manager at South East Water.

“Anyone lifting a maintenance hole cover must already be registered on South East Water’s list of live sewer operators, and be in possession of both a current confined space qualification, and South East Water asset entry number.”

For further information on sewer entry requirements, click here.

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