Drainage, flooding and your property

Stormwater drains from your property to an allocated location: probably an underground drain or to the kerb and channel in the road. This point is known as the Legal Point of Discharge.

All drainage infrastructure on private properties up to the Legal Point of Discharge is the responsibility of the property owner. All drainage issues beyond this point are the responsibility of Council.

Report a drain or pit that is blocked or needs maintenance: contact Customer Service on 9490 4222.

As a property owner you are responsible for ensuring that storm water pipes are connected to the Legal Point of Discharge and that stormwater runoff does not affect other property owners.

Preventing or minimising flooding

You can prevent or minimise flooding within your property during extreme weather events by:

  • maintaining drainage systems to ensure they are functioning well;
  • keeping gutters, down pipes and pits clear of leaves and debris; and
  • make sure excess stormwater can escape via an appropriate overland flow path.

If you suspect a blockage in a drainage pipe, we recommend you contact a licensed plumber to investigate.

Flood prone properties

If your property is listed as flood prone, you can expect to be affected by flood waters after heavy rainfall.

Properties that have been identified as being flood prone may be included in a ‘flooding’ map or overlay in the planning scheme. Overlays help us to manage development to minimise the effects of overland flows and flooding on new buildings. In addition, development must not increase flood risk or hazards to people and neighbouring properties.

Preparing your flood-prone property

If your property is flood prone, you can prepare for extreme weather events.

Watch how water drains in your garden or grounds during minor rainfall events. Plot overland flow paths through your property and work out if there are any obstructions – water tanks, gates, side and boundary fences are barriers that can exacerbate the effects of flash flooding on properties and dwellings.

You can also:

  • choose permeable fencing that allows flood waters to pass through and not ‘back up’;
  • choose landscaping materials carefully: tree roots, leaves, and gravel can cause blockages within drainage systems;
  • relocate garden sheds containing valuable items clear of known flood paths; and
  • reduce the risk of flash flooding by notifying Council of blocked pits in the roadway and drainage network.

Storm water connections for properties where there is no Council drainage system

Some older residential areas do not have a direct connection to public storm water drainage assets. In these areas, properties are likely to drain to soakage pits (also known as rubble pits or soak away) or private drainage lines. Maintenance of these drainage systems lies with the property owners they serve.

If there are persistent problems with storm water runoff in your area, there are 2 options for the construction of more suitable drainage infrastructure.

  1. design and construction of the drainage through a 'Drainage Scheme' whereby work is funded by the property owners it services and the ongoing maintenance will be the responsibility of Council. It becomes a Council asset; and
  2. construction of a private drainage system. We must approve a private system, but the installation and ongoing maintenance of the system is the responsibility of the property owner(s).

Contact Council to determine closest point of connection for your stormwater or for further advice relating to a future drainage scheme.

Flooding from a neighbour’s property

Your neighbour is responsible for controlling stormwater runoff from their property.

Faulty guttering or an overflowing tank

If the flooding has been caused because your neighbour’s down pipes or guttering is damaged or missing (not blocked), or their rainwater tank overflow is not connected to the underground stormwater system, we recommend you talk to your neighbour to make them aware of the issue. If you can’t reach a resolution, contact our Building department by calling 9433 7777. We'll investigate and consider next steps, with enforcement action potentially appropriate if a breach of the Building Act identified.

Landscaping, paving or new sheds

If your neighbour has recently completed work in their grounds that has redirected or caused water to flow onto your property, this is a civil matter. This includes landscaping or installation of a shed that is less than 10m2. We recommend you discuss the matter with your neighbour. If you can’t reach a resolution, contact the Dispute Settlement Centre on 8684 1333 for a non-legal mediation service, or take legal action through a solicitor.

Flooding from a building site

Individual builders are responsible for management of stormwater on a building site during construction. If your property has been flooded by surface water from a nearby site, you will need to take your own legal action.

Complaints about buildings under construction should be directed to relevant builder or building surveyor. Look for their contact details on the building sign at the front of the property or ask us for their details.

Call our Building Department on 9433 7777.

Driveways and drains

Pipes under private driveways are the responsibility of the property owner. The property owner is responsible for ensuring storm water is not obstructed by blockages at these piped sections.