Building and Development

Stormwater Drainage on Private Property

Due to the Central Coast‘s climate and topography, flooding and nuisance issues from stormwater are common problems for many residents in the Gosford LGA.

It is not unusual for residents to believe that stormwater is coming from another property and council understands that this can cause disputes between neighbours, and does its best to ensure that proper action is taken if required and/or legislatively possible.

Who can I contact if my property is flooding?

For emergency help in flood events, contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.

When the council will take action

Council 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 being produced that substantiates the surface water has caused or is likely to cause physical damage to land or 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; or 
  • Surface water is the result of defective roof drainage from a dwelling or outbuilding. 

Stormwater Drainage Issues on Private Property Fact Sheet

Stormwater Drainage Issues on Private Property Electronic Form

When the council will not take action

Officers have the discretion to take no action (or are unable to take action) in circumstances where:

  • The surface water is natural run-off from the property (or properties above) due to the topography and it isn't redirected in any manner
  • Surface water is flowing down and/or across 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 discharges from defective or blocked private inter-allotment drainage easement infrastructure (e.g. pipes  and drainage pits). 

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

Residents living on sloping sites should be aware that natural surface water runoff flows down the slope following the contours of the block.

Unless the cause of the surface water meets the criteria above, every property owner carries the responsibility to install surface water controls.

Any diversion of surface water must be carried out in a way that doesn't 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.

Disputes resolution

If you wish to formally manage discussions, you may also consider contacting the Community Justice Centre. The centre offers free advice and mediation services and can be contacted on 1800 990 777.

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