During rainfall, stormwater is the water that runs off surfaces such as pavements, roads, roofs, gardens, parks, car parks, and construction sites.

Where stormwater is collected or redirected by the development of land or construction of a drain, it is required under both planning rules and legislation to be disposed of into a public stormwater drainage system or held and contained at the location where it was collected.

Where stormwater is simply flowing and following the natural contours of the land, then it is free to run its natural course, including across property boundaries.

Council’s role in managing stormwater

Show / Hide

Council is responsible for maintaining the public stormwater systems in the City of Clarence, including public stormwater mains, manholes, pits, and open drains. Council is also responsible for managing major waterways to ensure they function correctly, as well as regulating private drainage.

Council has developed a Stormwater System Management Plan for the urban areas of the municipality. This includes plans for the management of stormwater assets and provides information on the level of risk from flooding.

Flood maps for the urban areas of the municipality, along with further information on flooding, is available via the Stormwater and Flooding page.

Your role in managing stormwater

Show / Hide

Private stormwater infrastructure generally consists of downpipes, gutters, private stormwater pipes, pits and open drains that are located within the boundaries of private property. Private stormwater infrastructure connects into the public system at the property connection point. This is usually (but not always) within the property boundary.

It is your responsibility to maintain your private stormwater infrastructure. If there is a stormwater issue caused by the failure of your own internal plumbing, you should contact a licenced plumber.

If there is an issue which appears to be caused by a failure of your neighbour’s plumbing, contact council on 03 6217 9500 and request to speak with a plumbing inspector.

Please note that it is illegal to direct or discharge concentrated stormwater onto a neighbouring property if it causes or is likely to cause a nuisance.

Roles of other authorities

Show / Hide

There are several other organisations involved in the management of water, including stormwater, and their contact details are provided below:

  • In life-threatening situations, call triple zero (000).
  • If you need assistance during a flood event, call your local State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.
  • Issues related to sewer or drinkable water assets are the responsibility of TasWater. TasWater can be contacted on 136 992.
  • Issues related to large private dams, water pooling on crown land or water pooling in state reserves are the responsibility of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE). DPIPWE can be contacted on 1300 368 550.

Issues related to water over state highways are the responsibility of the Department of State Growth (DSG), which can be contacted on 1800 030 688.


Show / Hide

When people put unwanted liquids, wastes and materials down the drain or onto roads, these pollutants can accumulate on surfaces.

As stormwater flows, it collects these pollutants and washes them into our stormwater systems, rivulets and eventually to our beaches. This is an issue for not only humans but also for aquatic animals.

Examples of items that should not end up in the stormwater system include:

  • Litter of any kind
  • Paint
  • Soil
  • Dog poo
  • Oil
  • Cigarette butts
  • Detergents and chemicals
  • Soapy water from washing cars
  • Grass clippings and vegetation
  • Soil erosion from development sites


Show / Hide

Groundwater is a natural occurrence where water soaks through the surface into the ground and flows, or is held, below ground until it finds an outlet.

Common locations where groundwater finds an outlet are in sub-surface basements, on hillsides with shallow bedrock or in low lying regions following long periods of rainfall.

Council is not responsible for groundwater and the city’s drainage systems are generally not capable of collecting sub-surface water. If you suspect you have an issue with groundwater, it is recommended that you contact a licenced plumber.

Reporting a stormwater issue

Show / Hide

You can report any stormwater issues to council on 03 6217 9500 during business hours.

For after hours and urgent stormwater issues, please call council’s after hours number on 03 6217 9700.

Please provide the information below to assist in responding to your enquiry:

  • Street address of the issue.
  • The exact location of the issue (road, footpath, driveway, the eastern side of the house, etc.).
  • If any damage to public or private property has occurred.
  • The severity of the issue (e.g. damp garden, damp garage, water inside habitable spaces in the house, water running across backyard).
  • Time/s and date/s the issue was noticed and duration of the issue, if known.
  • Photos or video of the issue.
  • Information regarding previous instances of the issue.
  • Information on previous interactions or correspondence with council about the issue.
  • Any further relevant information.