Learn about what dewatering is and the process involved.
To undertake construction dewatering, the following approvals must be obtained from WaterNSW.
If the construction project will involve dewatering, the integrated development assessment process can be initiated by the local council at the time of the development application (DA).
Dewatering is the process of removing groundwater which ensures construction work can occur safely, keeps water from seeping into the site which could affect engineering, and protects the ongoing integrity of the structure and surrounding area.
Groundwater is a complex and often very fragile resource which plays an important role in natural ecosystems and sub-surface hydrogeology. Also known as aquifers, groundwater sources can be accessed or interfered by different works such as basements, tanks, tunnels, trenches, and excavations.
If there is groundwater on a construction site, it needs to be removed before work can begin. The method required to dewater is determined by the geological conditions and characteristics of the soil, and the level, size and depth of excavation.
An exemption is now available under the Water Management General Regulation 2018 for use in emergencies. It applies to the removal of groundwater and overland flow water while undertaking urgent works in response to an emergency event. Visit the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) website for more information on emergency works exemption.
Step 1: Submit the development application and supporting documents to council
Step 2: Apply for necessary approvals
Step 3: Commence dewatering
Step 4: Complete dewatering or apply for an extension
Step 5: Submit completion report and surrender approvals
WaterNSW acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and pay our respects to all elders past, present and emerging. Learn more