Stormwater run-off on private property

Stormwater run-off and drainage can be a source of problems for some residents, especially if the water is coming from another property. Council understands that this can cause disputes between neighbours.  Council does its best to ensure that action is taken, if required and where legislatively possible.

Please be aware that Council will not take action in circumstances where:

  • The surface water is natural run off from the property (or properties above) due to the topography and is not 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.
  • Surface water is a result of overflows from stormwater absorption pits where contours of land and lack of access prevent direct connection of a building's roof water to Council's stormwater drainage system.
  • 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.

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

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.


Be advised that you must provide the following in writing to Council before any investigation can commence:

  • A description of what is occurring.
  • When did it occur and how often?
  • Has the issue been reported previously to Council?
  • Where is the source of water?
  • Describe how your land and/or building is being damaged (include a written report from a suitable qualified person stating the land or building is likely to/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 Justice Centre?
  • Provide photo(s) or video of the stormwater problems it is occurring with date and time, (include with your submission)

Your submission to Council can be sent via post or email at:


If you are a resident living on a sloping site, you should be aware that natural surface water run off flows down the slope following the contours of the block. Unless the cause of the surface water meets the criteria above, you carry the 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 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.

If you are experiencing storm water issues, Council encourages you to please speak with your neighbouring property owner and try to resolve the matter. 

If contact with your neighbour does not reach a resolution, please contact the Community Justice Centre on 1800 990 777 or via their website   

You may also consult with a Stormwater Engineering Consultant to seek the necessary information to commence any civil proceedings.  It may be useful to also obtain video footage of your claims for these proceedings.