As a property owner, you must ensure that stormwater is draining adequately from your property.
There are two categories of stormwater:
- from a building (or structure)
- from overland flow (across the ground).
For detailed information on managing stormwater and roof water drainage, please refer to the Queensland Urban Drainage Manual.
Stormwater drainage for buildings
It is essential to manage water drainage responsibly on your property.
This includes maintaining:
- roof water pipes
- gully/rubble pits.
Roofwater and stormwater needs to drain to at least one of these areas:
- the kerb and channel
- an inter-allotment roofwater pipe system
- Council-controlled drainage easement or drainage reserve
- rubble pit
- other lawful disposal system.
You cannot direct water flow to cause the water to pool and become stagnant. This does not apply to dams, wetlands, tanks and ponds.
All dwellings (or buildings) are issued with building approvals, which state what the builder must do for water drainage on the property. For example, approvals might include conditions requiring drains to be connected to the kerb or a rubble pit.
All roofwater infrastructure that is located on Council property, such as underground roofwater pipes that connect from the property line to Council's kerb and channel, remain the property of the homeowner who is responsible for maintenance up to, and including, the connection point (i.e. kerb adaptors and surrounding concrete kerb).
If you are installing a new roofwater discharge point, that does not require an Operational Works Permit, or replacing an existing roofwater pipe and/or kerb adaptor, you will need to complete and submit to Council an Approved Discharge of Roofwater to Kerb & Channel - New/Repair [PDF, 0.5GB] form prior to undertaking any works.
Council has limited power on stormwater issues and can only follow up on what is outlined in the original building approval.
Stormwater from overland flow
Overland surface water flow is when water flows between private properties. This usually happens when properties are sloping and will naturally flow downwards to the lowest point.
Property owners have to accept natural overland surface water flow from neighbouring properties. However, property owners must also take reasonable steps to manage their stormwater runoff in a way that allows neighbouring properties to enjoy the 'normal' use of their land by ensuring that alterations to the overland flow paths are non-worsening.
Up-slope properties are not responsible for the natural overland flow towards down-slope properties unless the flow has been more concentrated than it naturally would be. Down-slope property owners need to manage natural surface water appropriately.
Council encourages property owners to work collaboratively to deal with stormwater. Licensed drainers may provide ideas and solutions to stormwater issues.
Council has limited jurisdiction over neighbourhood disputes about overland surface water. This type of dispute is a civil matter and if you and your neighbour(s) cannot reach a satisfactory solution, you can contact mediators through the Queensland Government.