Stormwater

Stormwater is surface water that originates during rains. Property owners have a statutory obligation, under common law precedents and the Local Government Act 1995, to confine stormwater within their boundaries. This can be achieved by collecting stormwater in rainwater tanks, by delivering it to soakwells within your property or, where available, by making a connection to piped stormwater infrastructure.

Stormwater Manholes

A stormwater connection is a drainage manhole on a property, installed by the Developer. If you do not have stormwater connection available, you will require soakwells or a rainwater tank. If you require more information do not hesitate to contact the Shire Office on 9526 1111.

Soakwells

Soakwells are for the disposal of stormwater roof run-off. These need to be constructed and installed at prescribed distances from all buildings and boundaries. A minimum clearance from a soakwell to the dwelling is 1.5 metres. With smaller lots, the location of soakwells must be considered carefully to obtain the necessary clearances, this may also require an Engineer to certify the stormwater disposal design. It could mean locating soakwells in the front or back of the property only.

Soakwells are typically 300mm to 500mm below ground with the bottom edges varying in depth between 500mm to 2.4m. The Shire approves of concrete soakwells. Excessive storm conditions can cause flooding therefore an overflow pipe may be required. Additional soakwells may be required in the case of high rise developments. Also please note that optimal soakage will only occur if the soakwells are regularly maintained. Required Soakwell Volume (m3) = Roof Area (m2) x 0.015.

Rainwater Tanks

Installing a rainwater tank is a great way to collect stormwater for use in and around your home. Rainwater tanks come in all shapes and sizes and can be fitted to homes, businesses, schools, community centres and a whole range of other buildings. A rainwater tank does not require a building permit provided that the tank is a small proprietary type of steel or fibre glass tank with a height not more than a standard fence height i.e 1.8m. It must also have a capacity not greater than 5000L. If the tank exceeds 5000L then a Building Application is required. The location of the tank should be in the rear yard of a property and not be visible from the primary or secondary streets. The base of the tank is to be located directly on the ground or supported by a manufacture designed tank stand not exceeding 300mm in height. For all other situations a building permit would need to be obtained prior to installation.

Tips to keep the rainwater in good condition:

  • Keep gutters and roofs clean and in good repair.
  • The use of a leaf trap is recommended.
  • Screen the inlet and tank to prevent bugs, dust and animals accessing
  • It is recommended that a licensed plumber installs an approved back flow prevention device
  • Remove overhanging branches of trees, shrubs, antennas and other potential perches for birds.

Click here for more information on water tanks within properties.