Culverts, sewers, water mains and manholes

It is the operator’s responsibility to contact the relevant third party to determine if support is required. The following information is intended to provide initial guidance and should be confirmed when contacting the third party.

Third party: The relevant water authority

Support required for: Travel where the road manager advises of the need for third-party support from a water authority

Melbourne Water

Melbourne Water (MW) is the primary water authority for the Melbourne metropolitan region.

MW controls a network of waterways and related assets including culverts, sewers, water mains and manholes which can be damaged by over-mass loads.

Operators of vehicles without as-of-right or pre-approved access are required to seek support from MW prior to travel over vulnerable water assets. In practice, however, there is limited information available on such assets and the relevant road manager will advise of the need to apply for access.

To apply to MW for access support, a submission should be made using the planning proposal section on the Melbourne Water website.

Applicants should:

  • Select Apply to build or develop
  • Select Apply to build near an asset or easement
  • Follow the steps in the online application tool.
  • Set applicant type to ‘Other’
  • Set application purpose to ‘Bridge/culvert crossings (waterways)’.

Support may include an engineering assessment.

Applicants should allow up to 28 days for their application to be processed. More complex applications may require additional time. Applicants will be advised within 10 days whether their application has been determined as complex.


MW may charge fees for it support. Fees depend on the complexity of the application and are available on the Melbourne Water website.

Other water authorities

To determine the third party responsible for the culverts, sewers, water mains or manholes, view the map.

Your road manager will advise of the need to obtain third-party support from a water authority.

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