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Locate and Identify Your Sewer Inspection Opening

Inspection Openings (IO) and Inspection Openings to Surface (IOS) are critical access points within your sewerage system. These installations are essential for providing entry to the underground sewer pipes, facilitating quick and efficient resolution of any blockages.

Sewer Inspection Opening Enquiries

For same-day service, call (07) 5580 4311. For non-urgent repairs, feel free to send us your details.

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Locate and Identify Your Sewer Inspection Opening

Inspection Openings (IO) and Inspection Openings to Surface (IOS) are critical access points within your sewerage system. These installations are essential for providing entry to the underground sewer pipes, facilitating quick and efficient resolution of any blockages.

What Is a Sewer Inspection Opening To Surface?

The sewer inspection opening to surface (IOS) is an integral part of your home’s plumbing sewer house drain infrastructure. An IOS is connected to a 100mm pipe shaft from the underground sewer pipe. This allows you to see if the sewerage drainage system is holding sewage at that particular point.

Typically positioned at the front or back of your property, the IOS signifies where your home’s drainage system links with the City of Gold Coast’s sewer network. It’s important to know the location of your IOS since property owners are responsible for its maintenance, ensuring it remains clear and accessible. An IOS is approximately two metres from the front or back of your property boundary.

The City of Gold Coast is in charge of the sewer lines up to the point where they connect with your property, known as the inspection opening (IO). The maintenance of any pipes or fixtures beyond this point, heading towards your property, is the homeowner’s responsibility. The diagram below helps illustrate these responsibilities.

Identifying Your Sewer Inspection Opening to Surface

A sewer inspection opening, or IOS, is often marked by a flat, round PVC cover about 200mm across. Your property might have multiple IOS covers, but the one at the boundary is the primary sewer inspection opening. Having multiple IOS on your property is beneficial as they provide access points to your sewer house drain.

For homes built before 1985, it’s common to lack a sewer inspection opening at the property boundary.

Having an accessible sewer inspection opening on your property surface can be a significant advantage, especially if you encounter blocked drains. It helps in:

  • determining whether the blockage is located in your property or the council’s sewerage infrastructure
  • reducing sewage overflows
  • preventing expensive excavation from finding the underground inspection opening

The installation of a sewer inspection opening is typically done during your home’s construction. Contrary to some beliefs, the City of Gold Coast does not bear responsibility for your IOS in terms of:

  • locating your IO or IOS
  • installation of a new IO or IOS
  • excavation to find your existing IO
  • work to raise your IO to ground level for an IOS

Even with blockages in your property’s drains or the council’s sewer system, the responsibility for the sewer inspection opening maintenance lies with the property owner.

sewer inspection opening installed by whywait plumbing

Accessing Your Sewer Inspection Opening

As a property owner, it’s your duty to ensure that the inspection shaft and sewer inspection opening to the surface (IOS) are always clear and accessible, free from plants or debris. In the event of a blockage, Whywait’s Plumbing Technicians will first seek out and access the IOS to reach your home’s sewer infrastructure.

For health and safety reasons, opening the IOS cover yourself is not advisable, as it connects directly to the live sewer system.

The IOS cover should only be opened when dealing with blocked household sewer drains. This access is essential for diagnosing whether the issue lies within your property’s sewer lines or the City of Gold Coast’s sewerage system.

The sewer inspection opening to the surface is there for your protection and is a legal requirement in Queensland under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 which calls into law AS/NZS 3500.2:2021, which specifically requires:

Clause 4.7.4 Access to inspection openings

The following applies to inspection openings access:

(a) At least one inspection opening shall be raised to finished surface level on each main drain.

(b) Where raised to finished surface level, inspection openings shall be provided with airtight removable caps and protected by a cover and surrounded in such a manner that no traffic or structural loads can be transmitted to the drain.

What Do You Do If You Have No Sewer Inspection Opening?

If you’re unable to find a sewer inspection opening to the surface (IOS) on your property, or if it’s damaged, here’s what we suggest:

  • Call us at (07) 5580 4311 for a professional site inspection or to repair the damaged IOS.
  • Should the IOS be elusive, we will request sewerage infrastructure plans to pinpoint your property’s sewer connection.
  • With these plans, we’ll identify the sewer connection point on your property and discuss the installation options for a new sewer inspection opening to the surface.
CCTV drain camera

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Really positive experience. Reasonably priced and on time. Nathan was professional, friendly and well presented. He went through all the potential costs and outlined exactly he planned to do so no expensive surprises. Will definitely use them again.

Kelly Murray