If you are rebuilding a house or garage it’s worth checking your plans don’t involve building over a Council drain.

Repair to a wastewater main on private property

Repair to a wastewater main on private property

Many councils, including Christchurch City Council, have a policy against building over drains – including water, wastewater and stormwater pipes.

In the case of Christchurch this is so the Council's maintenance and renewal contractors can check, repair and replace drains quickly and efficiently without the possibility of causing damage to private property.

Building over drains factsheet [PDF, 119 KB]


What you need to know

Clause 26 of the Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw 2014 states that unless authorised by the Council no person may:

  1. Cause or allow the entry into any drain or fitting any material or thing except such matter that is normally discharged through a residential drain.
  2. Enter any drain, pumping station building or related accessory, or any wastewater treatment area.
  3. Operate, remove, cover or interfere with any cover of any manhole, inlet or other equipment associated with any drain. 
  4. Erect any structure, other than a boundary fence, over, or within a distance of one metre from the side of any public drain. 
  5. Lay any public or private utility service or private drain:
    1. Along the line of an existing public drain; or 
    2. Within a parallel distance of one metre from the nearest part of any public drain.