Stormwater is a generic term for rainfall that lands on the Earth’s surface and becomes runoff, representing a significant proportion of the natural water cycle

Who can I contact if my property is flooding?

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

Stormwater Policy (POL 037)

Council's Stormwater Policy (POL 037) sets out Council’s requirements as the local authority for the management and regulation of stormwater.

Stormwater management can be broadly defined as managing the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff from a catchment with the aim of:

  • minimising stormwater impacts on aquatic ecosystems;
  • minimising flooding impacts; and
  • utilising stormwater as a water resource.

This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the appropriate Council Stormwater Management Plan and Engineering Guidelines. This Policy does not cover every Council requirement relevant to Stormwater.

Stormwater Policy POL 037 617.6 KB Download

Stormwater Issues on Private Property

As a result of the climate and topography, flooding and nuisance issues from stormwater is a common problem for many residents, especially if they believe the water is coming from another property. Council understands that this can cause disputes between neighbours, and Council does its best to ensure that proper action is taken if required and/or legislatively possible.

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 all of the following criteria has 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.
  • surface water is the result of defective roof drainage from a dwelling or outbuilding.

When reporting a stormwater drainage issue on private land, please include the following information;

  • describe what is happening
  • when did it occur and on how many past occasions
  • have you made contact with Council about this issue previously
  • what is the source on the neighbouring land that is causing the problem
  • describe how your land and/or building are being damaged. (if possible include a written report from a suitably qualified person stating the land or building is likely to or is being damaged)
  • have you obtained professional advice as to the source of the stormwater issue
  • have you liaised with your neighbour to address this matter
  • have you sought advice or initiated mediation with your neighbour through the Community Justice Centre (details below)
  • take photos of the stormwater problem as it is occuring

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 isn’t redirected in any manner
  • surface water is flowing down or across existing hard surface areas such as driveways, tennis courts, concrete slabs or pave areas
  • the location of a dwelling or out building 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 from a 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 eg pipes and drainage pits.

If you’re a resident living on a sloping site, you should be aware that natural surface water run-off flows down the slope following the contours of the block.

Unless the cause of the surface water meets the criteria above, you carry 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 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 draingage system.

You should lilaise with neighbours to address any problems. If possible, drainage easements can be created to direct water to a council stormwater drainage system.

If you wish to formally manage discussion, you may consider contacting the Community Justice Centre.

The centre offers free advice and mediation services and can be contacted on 1800 990 777 or through their website

Stormwater Management Levy

The Annual Stormwater Levy is intended to enable the progressive delivery of a range of fundamental improvements to the stormwater system for the greater community, it's not about individual properties.

Some of the planned improvements include;

  • improved water quality of receiving waterways into which stormwater is discharged
  • reduced risk of localised flooding
  • reduced risks to the general public associated with stormwater and related infrastructure
  • increased stormwater harvesting and re-use
  • education of the greater community to ensure that an understanding and appreciation of the total stormwater environment and encourage community  acceptance and ownership of the stormwater system
  • integration of stormwater management initiatives within other regulatory authority regional management plans.

The maintenance and operation of Council's stormwater system is funded from the general budget and has been largely limited to the day to day operation of the system, with only minimal preventative maintenance, asset augmentation and renewal works being undertaken.

Recognising that the traditional funding mechanisms are limited and are not adequate to fund the maintenance of key public infrastructure in a serviceable and safe condition, the State Government amended the Local Government Act to encourage Councils to implement a program of major improvements for the management of stormwater through the introduction of a stormwater charge.

In accordance with the Local Government (General) Amendment (Stormwater) Regulation 2006 under the Local Government Act 1993, Councils are encouraged to implement a stormwater charge to facilitate works to improve the management of stormwater in their local area.

By implementing the charge, Wagga Wagga City Council will be able to raise funds in addition to the existing funds already allocated to stormwater management assisting Council with the delivery of critical works to improve water quality, reduce the risk of local flooding and optimise opportunities for stormwater harvesting.