Stormwater drainage on private property

Stormwater run-off and drainage can be a source of problems for some residents, especially if they believe the water is coming from another property. Council understands that this can create friction between neighbours.
When the council will take action.

Council will investigate and take action on stormwater drainage complaints only where it relates to the flow of surface water from one property across the common land boundary onto another property, and where the following criteria have been met:

  • evidence shows that the water has caused or is likely to cause significant soil erosion or physical damage to a building on the other land
  • surface water has been directed to and/or concentrated in a particular area by a man-made structure or drain
  • Surface water is the result of defective roof drainage from a dwelling or outbuilding.
How to report a stormwater drainage issue

When reporting a stormwater drainage issue on private land, please include the following information:

  • Describe what is occurring
  • When did it occur and on how many past occasions
  • Have you made contact with Council about this issue previously
  • What is the source on the neighbouring land that is causing the problem
  • Describe how your land and/or building are being damaged. (include a written report from a suitably qualified person stating the land or building is likely to or is being damaged)
  • Have you obtained professional advice as to the source of the stormwater issue
  • Have you liaised with your neighbour to address this matter
  • Have you sought advice or initiated mediation with your neighbour through the Community Justices Centre
  • Do you have photos of the stormwater problem as it is occurring (include photos)
When the council will not take action

Officers have the discretion to take no action in circumstances where:

  • the surface water is natural run-off from the property (or properties above) due to the topography and isn't being redirected in any manner
  • surface water is flowing down existing hard surface areas such as driveways, tennis courts, concrete slabs or paved areas
  • the location of a dwelling or outbuilding impacts on surface run-off
  • surface water run-off occurs only in periods of exceptionally heavy rain
  • the run-off is from new development work that is the subject of a development consent and has been constructed in accordance with that consent
  • The drainage problem involves discharges from defective or blocked private inter-allotment drainage easement.

Please note: Private inter-allotment easements are the responsibility of the property owners who are burdened by and/or benefited by the easement.

Sloping blocks

If you're a living on a sloping site, you should be aware that natural surface water will flow down the slope following the contours of the block. Unless the cause of the surface water meets the criteria above, you have responsibility to install surface water controls. Any diversion of surface water must be carried out in a way that doesn't have a detrimental impact on any other properties further down the slope.

Seepage water

Seepage water is the responsibility of individual property owners. Where sloping blocks have been excavated to obtain a flat yard or building site, seepage drains should be constructed to redirect water to a stormwater drainage system.

You should liaise with neighbours to address any problems. If possible, drainage easements can be created to direct water to a council stormwater drainage system.

Disputes resolution

If you wish to formally manage discussions, you may also consider contacting the Community Justice Centre. The centre offers free advice and mediation services and can be contacted on 1800 990 777 or through their website.