Nov 152011

SANS 10400-Part P, Drainage, Plumbing,

Sanitation and Water Disposal

Waste pipework on the exterior of a house.

Drainage and plumbing is not only what you see above ground. All water, waste disposal, soils and stormwater have to be drained away and treated to maintain safety and health. In many instances these pipes cannot be seen as they are buried underground and have to be installed by a qualified plumber using the correct pipework.

We get a number of requests asking us for the number of toilets, urinals, wash-hand basins and baths that have to be installed in buildings. This depends on how many people will live or work in a particular building. Part A20 states that:

“The occupancy of any building shall be classified and designated according to the appropriate occupancy class given in column 1 of table 1 and such classification shall reflect the primary function of such building: Provided that, in any building divided into two or more areas not having the same primary function, the occupancy of each such area shall be separately classified.”

There are two tables below Table 5 for residential accommodation and Table 6 for personnel in the workplace these are extracted fron the SANS 10400 Part P – Drainage.

Provision of Sanitary Fixtures


Non-Water-Borne Sanitary Disposal

  129 Responses to “Drainage”

Comments (129)
  1. HELLO

    • I honestly don’t know Neel, though I think they are using them more and more. You should consult with a registered plumber or the local authority.

  2. Hi, I have a neighbour of whom has placed a large jojo tank, of which is higher than the boundary wall, of which is a six foot wall, right against the wall, with out any consent. What should the distance of a jojo tank be from a neighbours boundary wall?

    • Yolande the NBR do not have specifications that relate to these tanks. You need to contact the local authority and find out what their requirements are in terms of the location of this.

  3. I want to know how many ventvalves and where it is needed on a sewerline?
    Please assist me.

    • From your email Charlie it looks as if you are in the plumbing business. If so you should be a qualified and registered plumber – which I am not. You should then also know which SANS to look at. Perhaps you could call IOPSA and ask them.

  4. Subject:
    Moving a storm drain

    Good day,
    I have recently built my new home, only to have my drive in line with a storm drain.
    Please can you provide me with some advice on how I can have this storm drain moved such that it no longer obstructs my drive way

  5. I am currently renting a property with a flat attached to the back of the house. The on-suite bathroom and the main bathroom windows have been blocked off as this looks into the flat. The drains from both bathrooms (toilet and baths) run into the flat. They are not covered or sealed at all. Is this legal?

    • Jeannene it all sounds totally illegal. Call your local authority and ask them to send a building and/or health inspector to investigate.

  6. Subject:

    Can you please advice me as to how many employees are to use one toilet in any working environment

    • Skhumbuzo, there are several issues to take into account including the type and size of work place. Generally it will be up to 30 people as you can see from Table 6 on this page.

  7. Is it possible and lawfull to have water outlet pipes (normal WHB water pipes) run into an existing storm water drain?


    • Danique it is only allowed if there is a specific reason and the council gives permission. Generally waste water systems must be designed according to the relevant SANS with water discharging into a gully that in turn discharges into an underground drain. Detailed plans are required by council when the building plans are submitted.

  8. Just a note to say thank you for your website. Just browsing through the discussions helped me.


  9. Hi, could you tell me about the requirement for water drainage from one neighbor to another. I live in a cul de sac in the South Suburbs of Cape Town. I have a number of neighbors on either side of me as well as on the other side of me. Their properties would be slightly above me. The neighbor on my right constantly has problem with rain water running through his garage and has asked me to open a whole in his wall that will allow the water from his property to run through my property. What does the law say about this? Am I obliged to do this?

    • Hi Sebastian, I can’t locate the Cape Town bye-law at the moment but the Gauteng bye-law should be a good indication of most bye-laws in SA.


      2. Where, in the opinion of the Council, it is impracticable for stormwater to
      be drained from higher lying erven direct to a road, the owner of the
      lower lying erf shall be obliged to accept and/or permit the passage over
      the erf of such stormwater: Provided that the owners of any higher lying
      erven, the stormwater from which is discharged over any lower lying erf,
      shall be liable to pay a proportionate share of the cost of any pipe line or
      drain which the owner of such lower lying erf may find necessary to lay or
      construct for the purpose of conducting the water so discharged over
      the erf.
      d. The owner of the erf must make the necessary arrangements to the
      satisfaction of the Council to ensure that drain pipes convey water
      away from the foundations of buildings;
      e. Water shall not be permitted to collect on the erf and the erf shall
      be drained to the satisfaction of the Council.”

      If you are still unsure contact the local council planning department.

  10. Subject:


    I need somebody to contact me.
    We are suppliers of Bathroom Products and is looking at new products
    for Next Year.

    I was informed by a Retailer that the Building Inspectors accept
    JASWIC Approved Products as well.

    Can someone please confirm this for me.

    Le Roux

  11. Hi,
    I bought a stand from a Developer in a Walled Estate in 2010. The Developer then built me a hous on the stand which was completed in March 2011 and i moved in in December 2011. We had very little rain in the Overberg until July this year when I found that a large part of the stand bounded by my Boundry Walls was flooded. When i spoke to the Developer hs said it was due to the heavy rain that had saturated the ground and he could not help. Over this past weekend we had very heavy rains in the Western Cape and once again the same area of my property was flooded to the extent of +/- 180mm of water was traped on my stands side of the wall. Obviously the Developer has made No Provision for Stormwater Drainage/Disposal. In Terms of the National Building Regulations I would have thought that a Developer needs to make “Adequate” Provision for Disposal of Storm Water. Would you think that the Developer is “Responsible” to Rectify my situation. Thanks Ron Klass

    • Ron, regarding the unusually heavy rains in the Cape last weekend, even properties that have 100% compliant stormwater disposal systems experienced flooding. So I doubt very much that you’ll have any success trying to get the developer to “rectify” your situation. My advice to you is to wait until the ground water has dissipated, and then call in an independent plumbing professional and ask for an assessment of the situation. All stormwater disposal systems must comply with Part R of SANS 10400, including the way they connect to stormwater sewers or street surface drainage systems. However, this section of the new regulations were only published on 31/8/2012, which could give your developer an “out”.

  12. Hi,

    I am planning to buy a house, but on the building plans I got, a part of the building is build over the sewage line (About 5 meters is covered). On the plans it says that the pipe is encased in concrete. I dont see any stamp from the city council that the plan has been approved.
    Can I get trouble if I want to build on the property and need to approve the new plans?


    • Yes Riaan you can get into “trouble”. Perhaps you should take the plans you have to your municipal offices and check with them before you start building.

  13. I have open drains in my house. the owner extended the house but did not move the drains, Toilet, washbasin, shower and bath. It is not even covered. Is this a: a health hazard and b: not in building regulations

    • Andre this does sound very dodgy. I suggest you get in a qualified plumber who is registered with your local authority to have a look. Alternatively ask the local authority to send out a health inspector to check. The National Building Regulations relating to drains are VERY strict.

  14. Please could you tell me how many toilets and showers are required for 75 employee’s.

    • Debbie, According to Part P of SANS 10400, “The number of sanitary fixtures to be provided in a building shall be based on the population for which such building is designed, and such population shall be calculated in terms of Regulation A21” – So to be able to answer your question I need to know what type of building this is. It also depends on the ratio of men to women – “if the number of persons of each sex cannot be determined, it shall be assumed that they are in equal proportions”.
      If the building is designed as an office [G1 – Occupancy comprising offices, banks, consulting rooms and other similar usage.] you will require only toilets and basins (not showers) … If all male you will need 3 toilets, 5 urinals and 4 basins; if all female you will need 7 toilets and 4 basins. Some occupancies do required showers.

      • Thank you for your response Penny. We are a foundry based in Phoenix Industrial Park. We have 75 employee’s working in the foundry itself, 1 of which is a female (this number excludes our 15 office/admin staff who have seperate facilites). We are looking to refurbish our current change rooms and just want to clarify that we are above board when it comes to the requirements. I have read that 1 toilet and shower per 20 staff, not sure if this is correct…?

        • Debbie, Your “per 20” is NOT correct.
          I assume then that the building would be categorized either D1 High risk industrial: Occupancy where an industrial process is carried out and where either the material handled or the process carried out is liable, in the event of fire, to cause combustion with extreme rapidity or give rise to poisonous fumes, or cause explosions. OR
          D2 Moderate risk industrial: Occupancy where an industrial process is carried out and where either the material handled or the process carried out is liable, in the event of fire, to cause combustion with moderate rapidity but is not likely to give rise to poisonous fumes, or cause explosions.
          …but they both have the same requirements (as does Low risk industrial D3).
          Showers are not specified. For more than 60 but less than 90 males, you need 3 toilets, 5 urinals and 4 basins. For less than 15 women, you need 2 toilets and one basin – but I guess if there’s only one woman, you could get away with one loo.
          I can only see showers specified for sporting participants. For 60-80, 5 showers are required.
          But the regulations do say “In any occupancy where personnel are exposed to high-risk substances, dirt, filth, dust, soot, oil, grease or any similar substance, exposure to which is such that showers are necessary, at least 1 shower per 15 persons shall be provided separately for each sex and such showers shall be located in, or have direct access to, a change room.” I assume you would need a shower for the woman.

  15. Hi I need to move the current drainage pipe (40mm for sink) and reroute it. it will have to have 3 90deg bends in it and can only fall a total of 500mm over approximately 19m is this OK

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards

    Dale Hellmann

    • Dale you need to talk to a qualified, registered plumber. We are not qualified to advise on plumbing installations. In any case you should be using a plumber to do the work for you.

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