Buying a Block: Storm Water Discharge Point

by Greg on September 23, 2013

Storm Water Drain

One check that is often forgotten when buying a property is how storm water is removed from the site.

Fifty or more years ago when land was cheaper it was not unusual for blocks to be quite large compared with the size of the house. This meant that disposing of storm water in the garden was acceptable and many properties were built without connection to a surface water sewer.

Dealing with the attendant problems if you plan to extend or subdivide a block without a stormwater discharge point can add thousands of dollars to your costs.

Disposal to a small garden area isn’t going to work.

In order to protect neighbouring properties from overflows from your property the council are likely to make discharge to an approved point conditional on any development permit.

Possible options are:

1. Construct a pipe to an existing surface water sewer.

This may involve negotiating with adjacent property owners. Very difficult to achieve unless the affected neighbours also want to subdivide. This solution, if achievable, is likely to be very expensive.

2. Connect to the street drainage system.

A typical street connection will look something like this kerb outlet:

kerb outlet

The connection can be at a reasonable cost as long as the house is above the road.

If the house is below the road the costs will be a lot higher as you will need to provide a pump station and storage for the storm water.


Brian Ashworth

Brian is a Civil Engineer with over 40 years experience in the construction industry. He, and his wife, have had three new houses built. The first in England and the other two in Australia. One of the Australian houses was designed by Brian as a Passive Solar House and the other, a project home, orientated and extensively modified to make the best use of the sun. He has been running the Anewhouse blog for two and a half years.

This post is based on Brian’s latest book ‘Guide to Buying a Block’. The guide available as an E-book and can be purchased on his website.

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