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Draining and flooding

Drainage and planning approval

Council’s Developments and Drainage Section checks plans submitted by developers of subdivisions and residential units as part of the planning approval process. Issues considered include:

  • Has each property or unit been provided with proper drains to connect to?
  • Is the existing pipe system in the area large enough to cater for the additional drainage connections? If not, special provision has to be made on the development site to temporarily store stormwater so that the existing pipe system is not overloaded, which could cause flooding in heavy rain.
  • Is proper provision made for traffic and parking needs?
  • Are the roadways in the developments designed properly?

Once all the pipe drains in easements and roadways on the subdivisions have been constructed properly, Council takes over responsibility for the future care and maintenance of this new infrastructure.

Existing drainage and flooding problems

Council also investigates and resolves drainage and flooding concerns raised by residents. Pipes are designed to a certain size to cater for the normal range of rainfall. When extremely heavy rainfall occurs, stormwater can start flowing “overland” because this pipe system is full. This can cause problems for residents, particularly those with properties in gullies.

When flooding does occur, it is usually due to the fact that the rainfall has been abnormally heavy, rather than the pipes being too small. However, there can be refinements made to Council’s drainage system and a program of drainage improvement works has been developed with funding provided by Council each year.

In some of the older residential areas in the municipality, drainage problems can arise as pipe drains were not installed as part of the original subdivision.

Contacting council

If flooding is a problem, residents can approach Council about installing drains under a Special Charge Scheme.

The cost of installing the drains is paid for by the residents who would benefit from the new drains. People wanting to know where to connect their house drains to, or people wanting to build over drainage easements on their property can also contact Council’s drainage unit for advice.

Generally, if an easement contains a Council drain, Council is unable to give permission to build over the easement as it is important to have access to the pipe at all times (so Council can dig it up if necessary) in case it gets blocked and results in the flooding of downhill properties.

In the first instance, you should complete and submit a Service Request.

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