Stormwater

Council's responsibility  

Crossovers

Runoff from public land

Disputes between neighbours

Improving your drainage

Further information

Landowners’ responsibilities

Landowners are required to accept natural overland flow from adjoining properties or public land and must not divert or redirect the flow from its natural path onto neighbouring properties.

A downstream property owner cannot erect any type of barrier that interferes with the path of stormwater unless provision is made for the flow to discharge to an approved drainage system. If you are downstream, you must accept the ‘natural’ run-off onto your property.

When constructing hardstand (hard surfaced) areas e.g. driveways, concrete and paved areas, landscaping and any other impervious surfaces or drains you must control the stormwater in order to prevent concentrated flows onto any adjacent property. A landowner must not discharge concentrated flows illegally across lot boundaries. A concentration of flow is anything that is beyond the natural run off of the land in its undeveloped state.

Council may direct a property owner to connect to Council’s stormwater drainage system or other legal point of discharge as determined by Council.

In unsewered areas, land owners have responsibilities to manage stormwater so that it does not enter effluent treatment areas. For more information on these responsibilities, visit Council's wastewater page.

Landowners have further responsibilities in terms of the maintenance of any private drainage infrastructure, such as gutters and downpipes, which are regulated by the Victorian Building Codes. If you are undertaking building works, stormwater is an essential consideration. Keeping Our Stormwater Clean is a useful resource on this topic for people intending to undertake significant works.

 

Council’s responsibility

Council provides roads and drainage systems which convey stormwater to creeks, rivers, lakes and foreshores; some of these drainage systems may be located on private land within drainage easements. Council may direct a property owner to connect to Council’s stormwater drainage system or other legal point of discharge as determined by Council.

The Victorian Water Act 1989 makes provision for the control of stormwater and Council may issue property owners with a written notice if they are in breach of this act.

Council has set requirements in terms of its responsibilities to maintain its drainage infrastructure. Any operational issues experienced with Council infrastructure should be reported by contacting Council on 5232 9400.

Crossovers

If you construct a crossover within the road reserve you must ensure that drainage along the road is not disrupted. Standards of crossovers vary from location to location depending on the infrastructure present. You are required to apply for a Works Within the Road Reserve Application before undertaking crossover works. Council will advise you of the appropriate crossover standard as part of this process.

Runoff from public land

You may experience stormwater runoff from public land through your property. Road Authorities such as councils have broad powers under the Water Act to discharge water from roads through natural gullies. Any enquiries can be made to 5232 9400.

Disputes between neighbours

Problems with overland stormwater flows between neighbours are generally a civil matter to be resolved between the respective land owners. Respective land owners should discuss the situation to try and find a mutually agreeable solution. For more information on your rights of dispute, please visit the website of the Dispute Settlement  Centre of Victoria at www.disputes.vic.gov.au provided by the Department of Justice.

Improving your drainage

For information on how to improve the function and sustainability of your property’s stormwater system, please visit http://www.yourhome.gov.au/water/stormwater

Further information

Council

Contact details below.

Plumbing Industry Commission

General enquiries 1300 815 127
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
Docklands, VIC 3008

Department of Justice

General enquiries (03) 8684 0000 or 1300 365 111 (regional callers)
Department of Justice, Victoria, Australia
GPO Box 4356
Melbourne VIC 3000