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Responsibility for stormwater and drainage

Urban stormwater runoff is a shared responsibility between residents or property owners, Councils, the Department of Transport and Melbourne Water.

About stormwater

Urban stormwater runoff is rain that isn't absorbed into the ground and runs off the surface.

Stormwater is carried through a network of:

  • pits
  • pipes
  • tanks
  • overland flow paths
  • roadways
  • public open space (passive and active)
  • retarding basins
  • wetlands and waterways.

Council responsibilities

Knox City Council is responsible for managing stormwater at the local or precinct level (generally catchments below 60Ha) in local roads and streetscapes.

We provide flood protection for rainfall events up to a five-year average recurrence interval (ARI) storm in residential areas and up to a 10-year ARI event in commercial and industrial areas.

Flood mitigation prioritisation is largely based on maintaining flood protection to internal (habitable) floor areas and excludes things like:

  • gardens
  • yards
  • garages
  • sheds.

Melbourne Water responsibilities

Melbourne Water is the regional stormwater drainage authority. It generally provides the stormwater infrastructure for catchments larger than 60Ha in area. This includes

  • stormwater pipes
  • flood retarding basins
  • wetlands
  • urban waterways.

Melbourne Water provides flood protection for rainfall events between the 10-year and 100-year ARI.

These are the large, intense storms that have a one per cent chance of happening in any given year.

Your responsibilities

Residents or property owners are responsible for:

  • stormwater infrastructure within the property boundary
  • household drainage, and
  • stormwater connections.

You must maintain stormwater infrastructure servicing your property. This doesn't include authority-owned infrastructure in declared sewerage and stormwater drainage easements.

You must make sure your stormwater pipes are always in good working order.

Approved point of discharge (APD)

Every property is given a point to direct its stormwater runoff. This is known as an Approved Point of Discharge (APD). At this point your stormwater runoff enters the relevant authority's drainage network.

All stormwater-related issues beyond the APD are the responsibility of the asset owner - Council, the Department of Transport or Melbourne Water.

Stormwater runoff from your property is your responsibility until it connects to the relevant authority's infrastructure.

This includes if your property's stormwater passes through public land or a neighbour's property.

Household drainage

Council does not have a legal responsibility to maintain or repair household drainage infrastructure (including tapping) or to inspect it for internal defects.

This includes:

  • roof gutters
  • downpipes
  • rainwater tanks, and
  • in most cases, the property stub.

Household drainage is the responsibility of the:

  • property owner
  • resident
  • tenant
  • body corporate.

The responsible party must construct, alter and maintain these drainage assets to Council standards.

We highly recommend using a licensed plumber for internal drainage issues.

Stormwater connections

A connection from a residential building to Council's drainage system or roadway kerb is the responsibility of the property owner.

You need to get an approval from Council to construct, change and maintain these connections, at your own cost.

If these works continue into the road reserve or need access to a Council easement drain, then you may need additional consent via a permit.

Call Council's Asset Preservation Department on 9298 8000.

Properties on septic tanks

For information about properties on trunk sewerage or septic tank, mains water supply, tank water or greywater reuse, call our Health Services Department on 9298 8000.

Drinking water or sewerage pipes

For questions about water supply pipes, sewerage pipes or system faults, call South East Water on 132 812.

Need help?

Contact us and we will come back to you.

Or call our Customer Service team on 9298 8000.

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