The Regulation of Stormwater Systems by Councils

Today we look at the regulation of stormwater systems by councils and their respective legal obligations. We cover residential buildings, inter-allotment drainage, and commercial buildings.

Residential buildings

Residential building with storm drain under residential and homeowner regulation
  • 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 and 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
  • During the initial subdivision of the land into individual allotments, councils may control the design of inter-allotment drainage systems.
  • Nevertheless, upon completion of the development, the only way councils can regulate this drainage system is to secure 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
  • 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 which are much more complex and expensive than those found in residential areas.
  • When drainage problems occur in those areas, then it is possible that the local government will be interested in finding a solution.

Stormwater Sydney provides Inspection, Cleaning, Maintenance, Repairs, Construction, and Advisory on stormwater systems across Sydney, ensuring compliance with Sydney standards and Council regulations.

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