Today we look at the regulation of stormwater systems by your council and their respective legal obligations. We cover residential buildings, inter-allotment drainage, and commercial buildings. Its important to understand the council regulations of stormwater systems and the separation of repsonsibilities between property owner and council. 

Residential buildings

Residential building with storm drain - Stormwater Sydney

  • In most states, the building drainage regulations exist within the building and/or drainage codes of the State.

  • Many municipalities have specific requirements (local legislation) for maintaining rainwater tanks. As well as constructing roof-water drainage systems. These rules are generally applicable to both new buildings and existing building extensions.

  • In general, maintaining their drainage system in good working order is a legal requirement for all homeowners/occupants.

Inter-allotment drainage – Council or owner regulation?

Inter-allotment drainage under Council regulation - Stormwater Sydney

  • During the initial subdivision of the land into individual allotments, councils may control the design of inter-allotment drainage systems.

  • Upon completion, councils can only regulate the drainage system by securing easements over the drainage pipes and overland flow paths.

  • If there are no easements, then councils often have little authority to regulate any interference with this drainage system.

Commercial Buildings

commercial carpark storm drain pit - Stormwater Sydney

  • Drainage systems requirements within industrial and commercial developments often differ from those that are applied within residential areas.

  • Such areas are typically required to have stormwater collection and treatment systems. Both of which are much more complex and expensive than those found in residential areas.

  • When drainage problems occur in those areas, it is possible that local governments will be interested in finding a solution.


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Stormwater Sydney provides complete stormwater management for commercial and residential properties. Design, Cleaning, Maintenance, Repairs, Construction, and Advisory on stormwater systems across Sydney, ensuring compliance with Sydney standards and Council regulations.

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