VBA reminds plumbers of drainage inspections, fines associated
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has released data showing that plumbers were either not ready for or failed to show up to one third of all below-ground sanitary drain inspections in the past two financial years.
Victorian plumbers need to be prepared for drainage inspections or face a penalty of almost $500.
VBA director of inspections and complaints David Brockman says a fine of $496 is issued when a plumber is late for an inspection, does not have the drain ready or doesn’t turn up at all: “We expect plumbers to be vigilant with their booking times and to be more proactive with cancelling drains if they expect not to be ready for an inspection,” he says.
“It’s better to cancel if you don’t think you will be ready for the inspection, otherwise it will hit your hip-pocket.”
David adds that it’s important that drainage is looked at during the building process, as a failure to run tests could result in leaks and sewerage flowing into homes, creeks and water ways.
“Consumers could suffer the consequences of below ground drainage not being inspected and this may mean a drain has to be dug back up after construction, resulting in added stress and substantial cost,” he says.
“We have issued more than 200 penalties since drainage infringements were introduced in 2019 and we hope this will prompt plumbers to take action to avoid getting fined and look after their customers.”
Tarneit, Werribee and Wyndham Vale were common locations where drains were not ready for inspection.
In the 2019-20 financial year, the VBA conducted 1351 below ground drainage inspections, of which 440 were issued with a Not Ready result, a total of 32.6%.
Of those inspected, 97 drains failed inspection, a failure rate of 7.2%.
Despite the impacts of COVID-19, the VBA has continued to conduct plumbing audits and inspections. The VBA has conducted 217 drainage inspections so far this financial year, of which 35 were not ready, a total of 16.13%.
Of those inspected, 12 drains were non-compliant, a failure rate of 5.53%.
The VBA conducts below-ground sanitary drainage inspections of plumbing work to ensure the work complies with the relevant standards, regulations and local laws.