A manhole (also known as a sewerage maintenance hole) is usually located at the back of a property. If you have a manhole in your yard, it indicates there is a sewer running through your property.

It is important that we can get access to these manholes to undertake maintenance activities such as clearing blockages, routine cleaning, camera inspection or repair/replacement.

It is rare for us to access the manhole on your property, however when the need does arise we usually need to gain access quickly. For this reason, property owners should not bury or cover manholes.

Fact sheet: Sewerage maintenance holes

Tips to keep manholes/maintenance holes accessible

  • Cut back shrubs and grass around a sewerage manhole.
  • Don’t bury a sewerage manhole.
  • Don’t park vehicles over a sewerage manhole.
  • Don’t build any structures or establish a garden over a sewerage manhole.

How do I know where the sewer runs?

Sewers tend to run in straight lines between manholes. If you can see where the next manhole is, you can get a good indication of where the sewer runs.

Request an engineering search to find out:
  • if there is a sewer running through your property
  • the size of a sewer in a particular location
  • the depth of a sewer in a particular location.

I am doing work on my property that affects a manhole or sewerage pipeline. What do I need to do?

Before you do any work on your property that involves excavation, you should use the Dial Before You Dig service (DBYD). The DBYD service will tell you if we have pipes running through your property, and where they are located.
Increasing the ground level over a sewer or near a manhole

If you are raising the ground level around a manhole, you need to have the manhole raised first. Do not bury a manhole.

If you are increasing the ground level or placing a structure over or near a sewerage pipeline it can increase the load on the pipeline and may reduce the life of the sewer. Engineering advice should be obtained where any structure (e.g. retaining wall, shed etc) is to be placed over a sewer.

Depending on the scope of work you may need our permission for a build over infrastructure approval. In some circumstances your building certifier can assess and approve the scope of work as part of your building application.
Reducing the level of the ground near a manhole

If you are excavating around a manhole and the manhole will be raised up above the existing ground level, you may need to lower the manhole. Excavations can reduce the amount of protection around the sewer which can damage the infrastructure.

How do I organise for a manhole to be raised or lowered?

To raise or lower a manhole you need to apply for an alteration to Queensland Urban Utilities infrastructure under the Water Approval Process.

When completing your online application select 'Wastewater Alteration' under Connection details and provide details in the Additional Information section.

We will assess your application and identify the classification of the manhole. If it is classified as a G type manhole and you are raising up to one metre, we will give you the option of proceeding under our standard connection process. All other classifications of manholes, raising above one metre, and all lowering manhole applications will be processed under our endorsed consultant certification scheme for minor works.