Managing stormwater is an important part of development as good stormwater management practices assist with reducing the impact of flooding.
This page will assist residents in designing or carrying out stormwater related construction work within Waverley Council. It will also provide information for any residents who are affected by neighbouring construction sites, and outline property owners responsibilities for managing stormwater from their site, both during and post construction.
Before you can connect stormwater to the kerb and gutter, you will need a permit from Council to excavate the footpath and road reserve.
An Easement is a nominated section of public or private land that is used by someone other than the land owner to access drainage, sewer, water, gas, electricity or similar services.
Council’s preference is to discharge stormwater from a property through a gravity fed drainage system. However, due to various constraints, this may not always be possible.
When proposing a non-gravity based drainage system such as infiltration, charged or pump out on low level properties (i.e. developments that fall away from the street), evidence must be submitted to Council that an honest and reasonable attempt has been made to acquire an easement for drainage through any of the downstream properties or demonstrated that all avenues to establish an easement be impractical or unviable.
Applicants must first approach all downstream property owners wherever a drainage easement to drain the subject property could be established. Any request for a drainage easement must outline details of the proposed easement, the consequences of an alternative drainage system failing and present a monetary offer of compensation for the easement. The written request is to be generally in accordance with the proforma letter contained in Annexure N of Water Management Technical Manual. Council requires some written evidence to clarify that some negotiation has been undertaken with the property owner.
Where a neighbouring owner refuses to grant a drainage easement, the applicant must provide documentary evidence of this outcome. If the property owner cannot attain any written response from the adjacent downstream property owner, a Statutory Declaration stating the above must be submitted.
Section 88K of the Conveyancing Act 1919 allows for the compulsory acquisition of an easement over land if the easement is reasonably necessary for the effective use or development of other land that will have the benefit of the easement. There are several criteria outlined in the Act that must first be satisfied.
If you have been approached by a property owner who wishes to obtain an easement to drain water through your property, you may wish to contact Council for further information. Please also seek independent advice before granting or refusing the easement.
Please note, any costs associated with investigating or establishing the easement are the responsibility of the applicant. The applicant is responsible for negotiating with the downstream property owner to obtain a private drainage easement. It is not Council’s role or within Council’s jurisdiction to adjudicate on amounts of compensation. It is recommended that independent legal advice be sought.
Council does not keep records or diagrams of private stormwater systems.
Limited information about Waverley Council’s stormwater network layout can be accessed through Council’s Online Map Tool - Discover Waverley.
Please note, the information may not be up to date, and so, it is standard practice that a Registered Surveyor or a suitably qualified and practicing professional is engaged to verify any information utilised to undertake any form of works.
Development across the Waverley LGA often requires the creation of stormwater drainage and flood protection systems. These systems must be maintained so they work in the way your Development Application (DA) intended.
A Positive Covenant and Restriction on the use of land are deeds of agreement on the Title of the property created under provisions of the Conveyancing Act 1919. The agreement imposes obligations on the owner of the land burdened, in favour of a prescribed authority (Waverley Council).
In the case of a stormwater drainage system, the agreement will require the owner of the land to maintain their system, so it can perform as designed, and not allow future development to interfere with the operation of the system. Further information including the submission requirements can be found in our Guide for Submitting Legal Documents. The lodgement of these documents to Council can be made with the Application for Legal Documentation Authorisation.
For stormwater drainage systems to operate safely and efficiently, they shall be maintained on a regular basis. Example maintenance schedules for various types of stormwater drainage systems are found below.
Under the Local Government Act 1993, authorised Council officers have the authority to give written notice to the owner or occupier of the premises of the intention to enter the premises and authority to give notification of the use of force or urgent entry to such persons or authorities as appear to the delegate to be appropriate in the circumstances to inspect stormwater drainage systems and drainage easements. Prior to a Council officer entering your property, the officer should present an Authority Card.
Use the form below to obtain approval or to amend a previous approval for temporarily diverting water from excavations into our stormwater systems.
Dewatering of excavations refers to both dewatering and pump-out of rainwater from excavations and the discharge of water as a result of construction excavation. Find out more about Dewatering and Sediment Control.
Stormwater runoff and drainage can be a source of problems for some residents, especially if the water is coming from another property. The flow of water in these instances may lead to disputes amongst neighbours. Council does its best to ensure that proper action is taken if required and/or possible.
When Council will act
Council will investigate and may take action on issues relating to the overland flow of water from one property to another property, where all of the following criteria are present:
- There is sufficient evidence to show that the water has caused or is likely to cause physical damage to land or 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.
When Council will not take action
Please be aware that Council may not take action in circumstances where:
- The surface water is considered as natural run off from the property (or properties above) due to the topography and isn't 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 the council's stormwater drainage system.
- The runoff 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.
Before Council Will Take Action
Before reaching out to Council, information should be collated to support inquiries and provide context on the issue at hand. The following considerations would assist Council officers in delivering appropriate advice:
- Description of the situation
- When did it occur and how often?
- Has the issue been reported previously to Council?
- What 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 a relevant authority?
- Provide photo(s) or video of the stormwater problems it is occurring with date and time, (include with your submission)
If you're a resident living on a sloping site, you should be aware that natural surface water runoff flows from uphill to downhill. If Council investigates issues relating to surface water runoff from an uphill/upstream property and deems no action is required, you may choose to install surface water controls within your own property. Any measures that divert surface water runoff shall not have a detrimental impact on any other properties adjacent or 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. Seepage water must not be directly or indirectly discharged to Council’s street gutter.
Who to contact if your property is flooding