Council often receives complaints from the public regarding stormwater discharged from adjoining properties especially during periods of heavy rainfall.
Stormwater is rainwater that runs off surfaces such as lawns, roads, roofs, car parks and natural ground surfaces. Water that is unable to enter the underground drainage system will find its natural way to the nearest watercourse via stormwater overland flow paths. These are usually roadways, public reserves, pathways and often flow through private property.
Where a property has a stormwater installation such as roof gutters, downpipes, subsoil drains and stormwater drainage for the premises, Council may direct the property owner to connect to Council’s stormwater drainage system, if available and practical to do so.
All landowners must ensure that the approved stormwater system on the property is suitably maintained and complies with Council’s requirements. It is also the responsibility of property owners to ensure that any easement for stormwater on the land is kept clear of debris to allow for the natural flow of stormwater, and to accept natural stormwater overland flow from neighbouring properties or public land.
For the discharge of stormwater from a property or to a development to be lawful, it must comply with all laws (Federal, State, Local and Common law) current at the time and should not cause any actionable nuisance to others.
The 'lawful point of discharge' is a term used to describe a location where stormwater can be released that is under the lawful control of Council or another statutory authority (for example, the Department of Transport and Main Roads).
The regulatory authority will determine the lawful point of discharge in accordance with the criteria described in the Queensland Urban Drainage Manual (QUDM) current at the time. In some instances, a drainage easement or a written discharge approval from downstream property owners will be required to allow the proposed method to discharge stormwater from a property.
To learn more about stormwater management, please view the factsheet here.