The Central Coast‘s climate and topography make flooding and nuisance issues from stormwater common problems for many residents. Find out about your responsibilities and how you can avoid and resolve disputes.
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In an emergency
For emergency help in flood events, contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.
On sloping sites natural surface water runoff follows the slope and contours of the block. Every property owner is responsible for to installing surface water controls on their own site.
Any diversion of this natural flow must be carried out in a way that doesn't have a detrimental impact on any properties further down the slope.
Where sloping blocks have been excavated to obtain a flat site, seepage drains should be built to redirect water to a stormwater drainage system.
Liaise with neighbours to address problems. If possible, drainage easements can be created to direct water to a council stormwater drainage system.
When the council may take action
Council officers will investigate and may 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, and where:
- evidence is produced that substantiates the surface water has caused, or is likely to cause, physical damage to land or buildings 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.
When 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 has been constructed in accordance with a development consent
- the drainage problem involves discharges from defective or blocked private inter-allotment drainage easement infrastructure (e.g. pipes and drainage pits).
Note: private inter allotment easements are the responsibility of the property owners who are burdened by and/or benefited by the easement.
If you become involved in a dispute the Community Justice Centre (phone 1800 990 777) offers free mediation for neighbourhood disputes.