On Private Property

Stormwater run-off and drainage can be a source of problems for some residents, especially if they believe the water is coming from another property.  We understand that this situation can create friction between neighbours.
Where Council is of the view that remedial works are required to be undertaken we will endeavour to work co-operatively with residents to resolve these matters.
It is important for you to be able to accurately identify the source of the problem to assist Council in its investigation.
The information provided below outlines those situations where Council is able to require corrective action to be undertaken and those situations where corrective action is generally not warranted.

When the Council will take action

 Council’s Environmental Health Officers 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. 
When the Council will not take action
Council’s Environmental Health Officers have the discretion to take no action in circumstances where:
  • The surface water is 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 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 discharge from a defective or blocked private inter-allotment drainage easement.

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

Sloping blocks

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 land.  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 does not have a detrimental impact on any other properties further down the slope.

Seepage water

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.


Should you consider that assistance is required in mediating this matter with your neighbour, please contemplate using the services of the Community Justice Centre (CJC), who offer mediation in a safe and informal environment.  This is a free service and has an 80% success rate.

The CJC may be contacted on:

             Freecall:                      1800 990 777
            Fax:                             (02) 8688 9616
            Email:                          cjc_info@agd.nsw.gov.au

            Freecall:                      1800 990 777
            Fax:                             (02) 8688 9616
            Email:                          cjc_info@agd.nsw.gov.au