A state-by-state guide to who is responsible for stormwater drains

A state-by-state guide to who is responsible for stormwater drains

If you have ever been to Australia then you may think that it hardly ever rains in this beautiful country. However, this is where you are wrong. Depending on the state, it can rain quite a bit. If you ask an Australian they will tell you that when it does rain, it pours and pours. This is where stormwater drains come in handy. Every property will have its own stormwater drainage system to cope with the high amounts of water that can appear. If you have ever wondered who is responsible for these then take a look below.

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is what is left behind when there has been rain, snow, or hail. The snow or hail residue may also be known as meltwater, and can have adverse impacts on your property if you are not careful. It’s important that stormwater is effectively managed, and there are times where stormwater drains simply aren’t enough. You can get professional advice about stormwater runoff on your property to help you manage it if you need it, so get in touch with someone asap if you’re unsure about this.

Whose responsibility is stormwater drains in your state?

In the Australian Capital Territory, landowners need to design their properties to be as safe as possible from runoff, but the local council is responsible for the stormwater systems.

In New South Wales it is the local councils who manage the stormwater in public places such as parks and roads. However, those who own private land can also pay for the local councils to manage their stormwater as well. So what does this mean, it means that if someone else’s stormwater is draining onto your property then you can inform the council and they will take care of it.

In Queensland, it is solely the responsibility of the property owner to take care of all of the drains, the pipes, gutters and so on on their land. If you find yours are blocked, you need to call the help of a professional to get it fixed asap.

In the Northern Territory, local councils are told to manage, and complete any repairs on drains that are connected to private property.

South Australia is very similar to that of Queensland. This means that the property owners take care of everything on their land while the local governments look after everything else. This works well and it means that everyone is doing their part when needed.

Similarly in Tasmania the local councils have decided that it is the residents who need to look after the pipes, gutters, and other stormwater infrastructure on their own land. However, if sewage water is combined with this stormwater then the local councils will intervene.

In Victoria the stormwater is the joint responsibility of both the property owners and the councils. They work in unison to look after both the roads, kerbs, and pipes on properties. The local councils will ensure that anything that happens outside your property is taken care of if you make sure everything is working fine at home.

In Western Australia the government ensures that the local authorities are responsible for stormwater management. The government itself provides the water management plans and floodplain mapping, but it is down to the local authority to take care of any stormwater drain maintenance and repairs.

Responsibility for stormwater drains largely depends on which territory you are in, but the general consensus is the fact that it will either be the local council, or the property owner who needs to maintain these. Get in touch with a professional today if you need help with this!