Reporting stormwater issues

Stormwater is rainwater that flows across land surfaces. On sloping sites, it is natural for this surface water to follow the slope and contour of the land to the lowest point. Because of this, a property owner is not responsible for the natural flow of rainwater over the land.

If you think stormwater run-off is causing significant structural damage to a building on your property, follow the steps below to resolve the issue.  

Before you report

Step 1.Investigate the possible cause

Is the water causing damage or is it just ponding? During heavy rain, stormwater may pool up as the volume of the rain falling is faster than the water draining. Once the rain subsides, it gives the surface water a chance to drain. This may take a few hours or a few days, depending on the soil and land area. It may be necessary to install additional drainage on your property. 

Step 2.Talk to your neighbour

If stormwater is running onto your property from a neighbour's property, talk to your neighbour to let them know this is having an impact on your property. Property owners are responsible for diverting their stormwater in a way that doesn't have a detrimental impact on any properties further down the slope.

Step 3.Resolve the issue through mediation

If you are having difficulty resolving a stormwater dispute with a neighbour, contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC). These are government-funded but independent centres that specialise in settling differences between neighbours without entering into complicated legal processes.  

Step 4.What is the damage?  

Gardens and soil washing away, ponding of water on grass or driveways are not damage we will investigate. If the stormwater is affecting a septic system, make a report using our reporting sewage system issues form. If structural damage to a building has occurred as a direct result of stormwater that hasn't been diverted correctly, we can investigate to determine the issue. This can take some time. 

Step 5.Report the issue 

Provide as much detail as you can regarding the issue.