Most issues regarding water flowing across a neighbouring block (overland flow) are dealt with between the relevant property owners.
Council may become involved in issues relating to water flowing across a block if the water is being concentrated and directed onto a neighbouring property – for example, where:
- a property owner has installed a down pipe that has an outlet near a neighbouring property
- an agricultural drain or seepage drain outlet is causing the water to flow across a neighbouring property.
However, if water is flowing across a property due to any of the following, the owner should seek independent advice or deal with the neighbour directly:
- The water is a naturally occurring overland flow.
- The water is on the property because of the construction of a fence, wall, or building that is causing it to dam rather than flow.
- The building dates from a time before the enactment of the Building Act (i.e. before 1975). Many properties dating from that time were not required to be connected to the stormwater system and consequently have pipes that simply empty onto the ground below.
If the water is the result of heavy rain drains do not always cope. The legislation and regulations covering the dimensions of pipes and stormwater systems are written with average rainfalls in mind and do not make allowance for heavy deluges. For this reason, even approved stormwater disposal systems may appear inadequate on occasion due to extreme weather conditions. A licensed plumber and drain-layer can provide advice on pipes and drains.
Many water flow problems can be dealt with effectively by installing seepage drains. Seepage drains prevent pooling and allow the water to be directed away from properties and into the stormwater system. A licensed plumber and drain layer can provide advice on installing seepage drains and other measures to deal with stormwater.
The following points may provide further assistance for stormwater issues -
- Speak to your neighbour first. Many people do not realise the problem is occurring and are happy to co-operate.
- A licensed plumber and drain layer can provide advice on the source of water and how best to resolve the problem.
- A solicitor can assist with other aspects, such as legal considerations between neighbours, including liability and damages.
- View an interactive map of your property's stormwater infrastructure here.
- Where landowners cannot resolve the problem, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) can provide further guidance.
- Stormwater Guidelines
A plumbing approval is required if it is proposed or required to connect the rainwater tank to plumbing fixture.
If the rainwater tank does not connect to any plumbing fixtures a plumbing approval is not required.
Where the rainwater tank is connected to plumbing fixtures the tank must have the ability to be continuously topped up from the reticulated Unitywater water supply and have the ability to be switched back to the reticulated supply via an approved switching device. A backflow prevention device must be installed to reduce the risk of contamination of the Unitywater reticulated water supply.
The Queensland State Government Health Department does not recommend the use of rainwater for human consumption, bathing, utensil washing and food preparation where a reticulated water supply is available.
Property boundary and easement setbacks may need to be considered prior to choosing location for rainwater tank