Design and construct application process

Any significant modification to, or development and construction of local water utility water or sewage treatment works requires approval under Section 60 of the Local Government Act 1993. To apply for approval where the design and construction of the works will be carried out by a contractor, follow the steps below.

Step 1 – Initial consultation

Utilities are advised to consult with us in the problem identification phase of the project as the department can provide independent advice to help direct projects towards better and more cost-effective outcomes. The department is committed to providing value to the process by sharing the extensive insights and experience it has gained through its ongoing oversight of the over 580 local water utility water and sewage treatment works in non-metropolitan NSW.

To begin initial consultation, contact us.

Step 2 – Options study

The utility is required to commission suitably qualified and experienced practitioners to prepare an options study report to identify the most effective way to rectify the problem. The utility should:

  • involve the department in the early stages of the options study
  • provide the draft options study report to the department for comment
  • discuss comments with the department if required
  • arrange amendment of the report if required
  • provide the final draft report to the department for endorsement.

The options study should include preliminary consideration of environmental and all other regulatory requirements relevant to the options. It should also identify all other supporting investigations and reports needed.

Utilities are encouraged to opt for cost-effective solutions that provide appropriate levels of service and value for money for the community.

Step 3 – Concept design

After a preferred option has been selected, the utility should commission suitably qualified and experienced practitioners to prepare a concept design report. The concept design should be carried to such a stage where detailed design can be confidently based on the concept, and where only minimal further investigation is required. The utility should:

  • involve the department in the early stages of the concept design
  • provide the draft concept design report to the Office of Water for comment
  • discuss comments with the department if required
  • arrange amendment of the report if required
  • provide the final draft report to the department for endorsement.

The concept design should include detailed consideration of environmental and all other relevant regulatory requirements. Supporting investigations and reports identified in the options study should also be prepared.

Step 4 – Specification

The utility should commission suitably qualified and experienced practitioners to prepare a specification for the agreed works. The specification should be based on the concept design report and must document the performance requirements of the treatment works. The utility should:

  • involve the department in the key aspects of process specification and design criteria beyond those included in the concept design report
  • provide the draft specification to the department for comment
  • discuss comments with the department if required
  • arrange amendment of the specification if required
  • provide the final specification to the department for endorsement to call tenders.

The specification should then be used to call for tender submissions from interested contractors. The department endorsement of the specification is essential to ensure the performance requirements in the tender documents are rigorous and that all conforming tenders are soundly based.

Step 5 – Tender

The department can assist in the tender review process at the utility's request. When a preferred tender is selected, the utility must submit the concept design and tender documents to the department for review and endorsement of its technical merits prior to awarding the contract.

Step 6 – Detailed design

The technical information provided at the tender stage is generally limited. After the contract is awarded, the successful contractor should develop full technical details for the project as part of the detailed design. The utility should:

  • involve the department in the early stages of the detailed design to ensure the design meets the performance requirements and achieves an optimal outcome
  • provide the draft detailed design report to the department for comment
  • discuss comments with the department if required
  • arrange amendment of the report if required
  • provide the final report to the department for endorsement.

The detailed design should include information about:

  • design criteria
  • process units
  • process and hydraulic flow (using diagrams)
  • process controls and instrumentation
  • wastewater management strategies.

Step 7 – Approval

Section 60 approval will be issued after the Office of Water has endorsed the amended detailed design. Project-specific conditions may apply.

Approval process

The above steps are summarised in the Section 60 approval process quick reference guide 'design and construct' ((PDF 109.0 KB))