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Tips to make sure you are stormwater wise

From drought and fire to – finally – flooding rain. Local households now need to focus on preventing the damaging effects of stormwater – the rainwater rushing down pipes, roofs, driveways, paths and grounds.

One of the most common problems for homeowners is stormwater pipe damage that occurs due to subsidence or structural movement in homes and apartment blocks.

Tell-tale signs that you may be impacted subsidence include cracked pathways, brickwork or internal walls and damage to peirs.

This damage often goes unnoticed until a large storm puts pressure on the cracked stormwater pipes, resulting in major flooding, usually inside your home or apartment.

Owners of apartments may also experience flooding due to inadequate storm water drainage on balconies.

Slow leaks can turn into mosquito-attracting mouldy pools. Sudden water bursts can become muddy fountains with stormwater causing unwanted drama in your home and garden.

Closer inspection of your stormwater pipes with a fibre-optic camera can help uncover issues before they become major problems.

Shore up your stormwater drainage with these tips and consider bringing in a plumber to help manage your stormwater effectively.

Know your stormwater system

Identify your stormwater pipes. Our customers often request advice about this, so we prepared a blog – Do you know the difference between your sewer and stormwater drainage? – with useful identifiers and tips.

Remember that your stormwater will resurface ‘as is’ within creeks, rivers, lakes or oceans where people might swim. While your home’s sewerage drain contents are processed, stormwater drain contents are unfiltered, and so directly affect our waterways. Monitor any stormwater quality changes, such as heavily polluted stormwater that looks discoloured or full of fine debris.

Legally, homeowners are responsible for stormwater collected on their property. Stormwater is usually drained to the lowest point on the property, the legal point of discharge, and released into an underground council drain or into the street ‘kerb and channel’ at the end of your driveway.

A renter will also bear relevant responsibility in caring for a rented property, keeping it clean and not washing material that could cause blockages down stormwater drains.

Points of stormwater impact around your home

Inspect pipes for leaks, breaks or potential weakness

  • Underground pipes can develop leaks and breaks through ageing and subsidence
  • Shovelling, concreting and other garden activity can easily damage outdoor underground pipes
  • Tree roots can contribute to breaks and blockages
  • Pipes of an insufficient diameter may not cope with significant stormwater events.

Inspect and repair your pipes before problems happen

  • Curran Plumbing can help you see what’s inside your stormwater pipes with a fibre-optic camera inspection.
  • Damaged pipes can be repaired using pipe relining technology rather than digging up your property.

Keep structures free of debris and channel away water

  • Keep leaves and debris out of your gutters, roofs, downpipes and tank as they cause blockages, and may lead to anaerobic fermentation and tannin leaching.
  • Channel water away quickly by installing door threshold, balcony and roof drainage
  • Inspect roof spaces regularly to ensure leaking water isn’t pooling above ceilings.

Landscape grounds to prevent flooding and erosion

  • A stormwater site plan can help reduce stormwater runoff from the site. Visit https://www.yourhome.gov.au/water/stormwater for a guide
  • Position garden beds so that stormwater is less likely to erode soils within or close to your property borders.
  • Keep your stormwater runoff clear of garbage as well as soil additives such as fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides (avoid using these)
  • Utilise gravel in driveways and paths to absorb stormwater flows
  • Add grated pit drainage to the garden where needed (heel-friendly models available).

Harvest the storm

One of the best forms of stormwater management is also cost-efficient and eco-friendly: have a rainwater tank professionally installed.

Contact Curran Plumbing and ask about stormwater drainage checks, specialist devices/pipes and installing a rainwater tank.

Need a plumber? Call Curran.