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. Hi, I’m renting on a farm. I would like to know how far away from your residence is your sewage drain suppose to be. The sewage drain at our flat is directly next to my bathroom and bedroom walls. It is basically just a hole in the ground filled with stones en covered with a steel plate. Is this legal?

    • That sounds like a cess pit to me Yvonne – and no it is not legal. We had the same when we rented a house near Malmesbury. You can read about our plumbing sagas here. The cess pit (outside the kitchen) was for sewage from a guest loo. It was covered with a piece of ply – which had rotted – and collapsed when I stood on it. Fortunately I didn’t fall inside. The owner of the farm also did an alteration to an outbuilding and didn’t have a septic tank or any other form of tank for the sewage. I suggest you alert the local authority … ask for a health inspection to do an investigation.

  2. Hi Guys
    My Landlord owns a bar above my store and we have had lots of leaks in the last year from his plumbing drip and leak through our ceiling sometimes ruining product in our store. I have withheld rent on a few occasions until it has been fixed but every couple of weeks there is a new leak and a new hole that he has to cut in my ceiling to try find the problem.

    In terms of the National Building Regulations Act is there a authority I can get to come and check if he has Plumbing compliance?

    • All plumbing must be done by a qualified plumber who is also registered. But it is not only the NBR that is important. There are many other SANS that relate to plumbing. Perhaps you should call the Plumbing Institute of SA and ask their advice.

  3. Hi, is there any regulation stating that ALL sewerage piping should be encased in concrete, not referring to pipework underneath concrete flooring?

    • Willy, the National Building Regulations on their own don’t tell us very much about how to build or how to install plumbing. SANS 10252-1 of 2004 deals with water supply installations for buildings, and SANS 10252-2 which deals with drainage installations for buildings.
      The regs are particularly strict about protecting all types of drainpipes laid under buildings. Pipes that are made of a rigid material must be encased in concrete that is at least as wide as the pipe. Flexible pipe must be protected by a concrete slab that is laid over the pipe. I think the specs are in SANS 10252-2. This would be below the level of the floor slab.

  4. Good day

    My neighbor has build a stand on top of underground pipes, then the nuisance is coming out of my house drain and he is not willing to fix it. where can I report this I am in Cape Town

  5. Good day
    I am on a project which is a SANS compliant.
    We have done an ablution block Male/Females three toilets 2 basins and 1 urinal.
    All drains joining into 110mm pvc pipe. i have installed two breather pipes one for each Room.
    I have installed the new two way breather cap on them with a 500m long and 50mm diametre pipe on both
    Is this in regulations?
    Can you guide me to the proper referances in the SANS compliancy so i can send it to my client for clarity

    • If you are doing this kind of job I assume you are a registered plumber – in which case you should have copies of all the relevant SANS. I am not a plumber and would have to read realms of paperwork to try and find and interpret this information.

  6. Is it legal to connect a kitchen sink drain pipe to the sewerage drain pipe?

    • Yes that is how the effluent is taken away from the house, all grey water and sewage pipes are linked then go to the council mains.

  7. Is there a specification that requires a step between the floor height and external paving ? The height difference between the interior floor (kitchen) and the external paving is approx ,<20mm and the developer says that this is in order. Please advise urgently

  8. What are the laws regarding building over a sewerage pipe? I would like to extend a room but the pipes are very close to the walls

    • So long as there are no inspection covers/eyes or any bends then you can build over them so long as you encase the pipes in concrete.

    • You must box your sewer pipe min 250mm all around pipe meaning 360 deg….according to building regulations.

  9. Hi there. Can you have a sewer pipe which connects to a septic tank, underneath the slab of a new garage? We want to build a garage over the place where there is an existing pipe which runs to the septic tank.

    • You can get permission from the council for this but you will have to encase the pipe in concrete and it should not have any bends or inspection eyes along the way. The “competent person” who does your plans for approval should know this and will do drawings for the council.

  10. What pipe must be inside the house from the toilet and what pipe outside? I know there are standards on the uv effects on the pipe?

    • Mike I suggest you talk to a qualified registered plumber. Alternatively contact the SABS directly to find out what the specs are.

  11. Hi, I hope you can help me. I am trying to find out what the minimum/maximum distance allowed between two manhole covers (for sewerage) on a residential single-building dwelling.

  12. I recently brought a property in Pretoria West and the bath does not have an access point for the trap. What does the building regulation says about the provision of the acess point on the bath

    • Baths must have traps … I suggest you ask a registered plumber to have a look at what you have and then take the appropriate action. Plumbing Standards are extremely high and include a number of Standards in addition to the National Building Regulations SANS 10400 sections that relate to plumbing and drainage. You could also contact IOPSA – the Institute of Plumbing in SA and ask them for their advice.

  13. The stand behind me is much higher than my own. Water keeps coming through underneath the boundary wall. who is responsible for making provision for the excess water. What methods can be used to drain the water.

    • The property owner of the plot where the water is coming from needs to have adequate drainage. A qualified plumber will be able to assess what should be done.

      • Hi. A number of things can be done. First problem I see is a perched water table – meaning that the plot at higher level is watering his garden and the water seeps thru to the lower plot. The only way to take it away is by sub surface drain. Preferably before the water gets to the retaining wall, but can also be done on the lower plot. Be careful not to excavate before assessing the foundation design of the retaining wall. Consult a civil engineer to design your subsurface drain and to ensure that the retaining wall is still doing what it is supposed to do – holding the earth back

  14. Hi, can a plumber extend onto the origanal copper cold water supply pipe of my house with polycop pipe, to create a new supply line. Bearing in mind that this will run under the concreate floor of the house.
    and is there a standard size for a shower enclosure?

    • Toyer you should be using a qualified, registered plumber who will know exactly what is permitted in terms of the various SANS. There are numerous plumbing regulations that fall outside of the National Building Regulations.
      In terms of shower enclosures, there is no one standard size. Here’s a link to shower enclosures provided by just one South African company. You will see that there are a myriad of options. Choose the enclosure you want before you build. Of course you can also have a shower that does not have a solid enclosure – that is either open or has shower curtains.

    • Yes you can extend from copper to poly pipe just make sure that the poly pipe is SABS approved and if there is to much rocks and stone where the poly pipe is laying……buried the poly pipe in nice building,plaster or river sand to protect pipe…

  15. What is the standard for plumbing pipes used on the outside of a building that lead from a geyser to a water connection? Can plastic tubing be used or does it need to be copper piping?

    • Neil you can use Polycop pipe. It is a popular type of polypropylene (which is a type of plastic) pipe and it can be used for pressure pipes that can carry hot water, and for pipes that supply cold water.

      • Neil using “Polycop” pipe on hot water is a bad idea. The pipe is not made to take hot water. In my yrs as a qualified plumber I have had to replace Polycop pipe more often on hot water systems due to failure. as far as I understand Polycop pipe does not have SABS to carry hot water, you will need to check SABS standards on that yourself to make sure. All hot water systems need min of 1m metal pipe (copper or galvanised) at the inlet side and outlet side of your hot water cylinder.

        • Mike you are absolutely correct that “polycop” is not a good idea as it has never been approved for hot water. The new PPR pipes that are approved for hot and cold water is the way to go. Thanks for spotting that Mike.

        • Just another correction. No galvanised pipes are permitted anymore,not on the water supply & not even on the TP discharge of a hot water cylynder.

          • Yup, you are right as well galvanised is out.

          • Copper pipe stays the best for the job and it looks so much more professional to…..just get a good plumber to do the soldering work properly…

          • what sort of pipe should be used from the municipal mains (by the meter) to the house. is it 22mm copper?

          • Jab please consult a registered plumber for this information – or your local authority.

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