Drainage - stormwater

Drainage easements

A drainage easement, generally in urban development, is a legal encumbrance on the property, taken at the time of development to provide Local Government with the authority to carry out whatever works are required on drainage infrastructure within an easement.

This infrastructure can include a below ground pipe system and grated inlets and is designed to accept allotment and roof stormwater. Property owners who are unable to outlet their roofwater to the kerb and channel, may be able to direct roof stormwater into an existing stormwater drain within an easement.

Generally, no structures or improvements are permitted within the easement boundaries, however some improvements may be allowed within close proximity to the easement and these enquiries should be directed Council.

Drainage easements remain part of the private allotment and owners should conduct routine maintenance of the easement along with the rest of the property.

Council will only carry out work if maintenance is required for the adequate functioning of the drain.

Stormwater drainage problems

Residents must not divert the natural run-off of stormwater. The downstream owner must accept natural run-off but may install a properly designed drainage system to reduce the effect on their property.

Stormwater must not be concentrated and discharged onto a downstream property.

Complaints regarding stormwater flow should be referred to the owner of that property and not Council. Complaints about stormwater drainage affecting Council-controlled land such as roads and parks should be referred to the Customer Service Centre.

Persons blocking or altering a watercourse may be held responsible for any damages incurred.

The discharge of litter, dirt, petrol, oil, grease, paint, etc. into stormwater is strictly prohibited as these seriously affect the environment and waterways.

Connecting into a stormwater drainage system

Before connecting into a Council stormwater drainage system, you should seek Council's approval as discharge points may be subject to conditions. Stormwater must not be concentrated and discharged onto a downstream property, without the permission of that owner.

Australia has been described as the driest continent on earth and it is for this reason that understanding and managing the total water cycle is so important. Stormwater is an integral component of the total water cycle. For conditions of discharge points, please contact Council.

Stormwater entering sewers

It is strictly prohibited to discharge stormwater into the sewerage system.

After heavy rain, the sewerage system can become overloaded as a result of property owners illegally connecting downpipes into the sewer or manholes.

This action can create a serious environmental and health hazard.

Stormwater manholes / pit

Stormwater manhole covers are generally located in roads, footpaths and parks. They are installed as part of construction or development works and are used for inspection and maintenance access.

Maintenance of the manhole cover/lid may be required if the manhole cover has been removed or damaged and requires replacement, or the manhole cover in the road has shifted or the surround has deteriorated, and is a noise nuisance when vehicles drive over it.

When a resident or builder requires a stormwater manhole/pit in their property to be raised or lowered to ground level, this is referred to as Private Works and is a quotable job by Roads and Drains Department.

Please call Council’s Call Centre on (07) 3205 0555, citing the property address and details of the work requested. A Customer Request will be raised and forwarded to the appropriate Depot.  You will be contacted in due course by an Operational Maintenance Coordinator to arrange access to the property for the purpose of quoting. 

A written quote will then be forwarded to you for acceptance. Once payment has been received by Council the work will be programmed.

Roofwater discharge

Where possible, roofwater should be conveyed via an underground piped system to the street kerb and channel, or to an approved point of discharge into an existing stormwater drain.

If the fall of the land does not permit discharge to the street channel, or if no other underground stormwater drainage system exists to convey roofwater away from the site, roofwater should be discharged to a point where it will not cause nuisance to neighbouring properties.

Surface water must not be deliberately directed onto a neighbouring property whether by pipe or by reshaping the ground surface.

Grated inlets & catchpits

Grated inlets / catchpits are installed in the kerb / gutter of the road or within a drainage easement to assist with the flow of stormwater into underground stormwater pipes. Blockages with leaves or other debris can result in stormwater backing-up and causing localised flooding on roads and into properties during heavy rain. The inlets / catchpits themselves may require maintenance due to wear or damage.

Overland flow easement

An overland flow easement, generally in rural type development, is a legal encumbrance on the property, taken at the time of development to provide Local Government with the authority to carry out whatever works are required.

This infrastructure can include earth mounds and earth drains and is designed to accept surface stormwater. The earth mounds and drains are an integral part of an overland flow easement and must not be altered.

A property owner may be held liable if these are removed and localised flooding results. No structures or improvements, including gardens, are permitted to be installed on overland flow easements to obstruct the natural flow of water.

Drainage and overland flow easements remain part of the overall allotment and owners should conduct routine maintenance of the easement along with the rest of the property.

Council will only carry out work if maintenance is required for the adequate functioning of a drainage pipe and/or overland flow path within an easement.

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