Section 60 approval for water or sewage treatment works

Under Section 60 of the Local Government Act 1993, local water utilities are required to obtain ministerial approval for the construction or modification of water or sewage treatment works. The Section 60 approval provides an independent assessment of the proposed works to ensure they are fit for purpose and provide robust, safe, cost-effective and soundly based solutions that meet public health and environmental requirements.

Each proposed water or sewage treatment works project requires an options study, concept design report and detailed design. These need to be prepared by suitably qualified and experienced practitioners and submitted to the NSW Department of Industry - Lands and Water for review. The information provided must clearly define the proposed activity and detail how the environment will be protected.

The department provides an independent and objective review of the proposed works to identify whether they are fit for purpose and meet the above requirements. Through this process, the Department provides value to applicants by sharing the insights and expertise it has developed by overseeing the 535 local water utility water and sewage treatment works in regional NSW.

Innovation is encouraged and Section 60 approvals will be granted for soundly based pilot projects involving novel solutions. However, applications need to demonstrate that the facilities can be effectively operated by the utility over the broad range of operating conditions likely to be encountered over the asset's lifespan.

Types of works

For Section 60 approvals, water and sewage treatment works are classified either as 'construction of a detailed design' or 'design and construct' projects.

Construction of a detailed design

'Construction of a detailed design' projects are those which the construction is based on a detailed design which has been prepared for the utility by a suitable practitioner.

Design and construct

'Design and construct' projects are those which the successful contractor will undertake both the design and construction work. This category can include the following contract types:

  • Build, Own, Operate (BOO)
  • Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT)
  • Design, Build, Operate (DBO)
  • Alliance contracts.

How to apply

To apply for Section 60 approval, refer to either the 'construction of a detailed design' application process or the 'design and construct' application process.