Christchurch City Council has introduced the Permit to Work (PtW) system for works on the water supply and wastewater networks.
The permit system ensures that Council:
has visibility of what is happening in the networks that we have to maintain
can notify its principal maintenance contractor of work carried out by others, in case an after-hours response is required
can notify the applicant of any special conditions and precautions they should take in doing the work and any contingencies and remedial actions required.
Permits to work are held by the Council and are distributed to their principal maintenance contractor so they have access to them after hours if they are called to respond to a work site controlled by others. The maintenance contractor can use them as an aid to knowing what is happening, and who to contact.
Permits to work also notify the applicant of any special conditions and precautions they should take in doing the work and when returning assets to service, to ensure that the 3 waters networks continue to function correctly and safely. Two examples of this are ensuring that all checks are completed before returning water supply stations to safe operation; or where a wastewater main is to be renewed and there is valuable overflow monitoring equipment in one of the manholes which requires the notification and agreement from the Regional Council to remove, and a plan of how to deal with not having the overflow available.
A person who needs a permit to work may also need a permit to enter if the work involves entry into a pump station.
Who needs a permit to work?
- Contractors wishing to carry out works on water supply and wastewater reticulation pipe assets which:
- for water supply, result in a shut down of water supply and interruption for longer than four hours on pipes of 200mm and larger (i.e. overnight shut down)
- for wastewater, require overpumping or bunging when workmen are not on site, i.e. if a section of wastewater main is left in that state overnight with a pump going to keep the flow going with no one on site.
- Contractors wishing to carry out works on water supply and wastewater headworks assets (pump stations, reservoirs) which:
- are likely to have or cause a noticeable impact on a pump station (water or wastewater) or reservoir
- require work inside any of the pump stations or reservoirs (i.e. locking and tagging out valves, altering the position of any valve or equipment, shutting down pumps etc)
- will require the shut down of a pump station or the shut down of a major trunk main that will affect station operations.
- involves removal of plant within a pump station.
- Contractors wishing to carry out works on water supply and wastewater assets which will impact on the normal operation of the network such as:
- isolating a pump station from the network
- plugging the gravity going into a pump station as it will result in abnormal operation and alarms
- diverting flow away from one pump station to another
- isolating parts of the network for the purpose of flow monitoring.
If in doubt, contact Council to enquire whether a permit is required.
Apply for a permit to work
Apply for a Permit to Work (PtW) on the water supply and wastewater networks.
Council will assess your request within 5 working days to confirm one of the following options:
- Permit Approved. The Head Contractor will receive the approved permit documentation. Ensure you commence work only after approval has been given.
- Permit Rejected. The Head Contractor will be advised of this if the risk of the activity is too high for our operations and/or conditions to perform activity are not optimal.
- Permit Deferred. The permit may be deferred to allow for various site constraints. The Head Contractor will be contacted to reschedule.
Please be aware that approved permits may change in status to one of the following options:
- Permit On Hold. The permit may be placed on hold for reasons that are outside of Council and Contractor control (such as Covid-19 Alert Level 4).
- Permit Suspended. The permit may be suspended where the special condition and precautions are not adhered to, or where the work is impacting on the safe delivery of water.
Please be aware that the Permit to Work only assesses whether the work impacts on the correct and safe operation of the 3 waters networks. It is important to note that the permit to work:-
- Does not assess the safety of the work itself. Contractors need to work with their Client and Council to ensure that a Safe Work Method has been appropriately reviewed and approved, prior to applying for this Permit.
- Does not assess the design or standards of workmanship. Contractors need to with their Client and Council to ensure all relevant design and construction reviews are completed prior to applying for this Permit.