Stormwater requirements for developers


Stormwater is rainwater runoff from rooftops, paths and roads collected by a system of pipes and drains. These flow directly to creeks and the bay without being treated.

Building, landscaping and industrial activities add to heavy pollutants found in stormwater systems. These pollutants affect our water quality, kill marine life and degrade our beaches.

If you manage a building, landscaping or construction site, you're responsible to protect stormwater from pollution through building, landscaping or related activities.

Our water management page provides more information on integrated water management.

Stormwater quality management

Stormwater quality (pollution reduction) requirements including Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) standards are documented in our design standards: Civil Design Requirements for Developers(PDF, 2MB).

There are flexible options for developers to meet stormwater quality management obligations.

For residential developments with three or more dwellings, as well as all commercial and industrial developments, developers can either:

  • continue to provide stormwater treatment measures on-site, or
  • pay a fixed contribution towards Council managed stormwater projects.

Stormwater quality contributions are based on the total impervious area in each development and can be estimated with our Stormwater Quality Contributions Calculator(XLSX, 17KB)

Request a quote for the required stormwater quality in place of developer contribution payment.

For more details please see:

Flood protection

All developments must be designed to cater for 1 in 100 year storm events and need to address stormwater quantity (or flood protection) requirements outlined in our design standards: Civil Design Requirements for Developers(PDF, 2MB) .

Read our land subject to flooding page for more information about building in a flood prone area.

Sediment control

Sediment pollutes our waterways, and endangers pedestrians and cyclists.

Installing sediment fences along the low-side of a site before starting work can reduce stormwater pollution. The fence traps the sediment while allowing water to leave the site. It is important to check fences regularly (especially after rain).

Other sediment control methods:

  • diverting water around work sites, stabilising channels ensuring the diversion path does not flood or cause a nuisance to adjoining properties
  • stockpiling topsoil within the sediment-controlled zone
  • retaining a vegetated border on the site
  • ensuring all trenches have been filled in immediately after services have been laid
  • ensuring adequate site waste receptacles are in place such as mini skips, bins, dust control measures and wind proof receptors
  • sweeping the road, laneway and footpath whenever materials have left the site and on a daily basis
  • placing all soil and other building materials in waste receptors - never sweep or hose sediments down stormwater drains
  • installing temporary side-entry sediment/litter trap (similar to silt pits)
  • installing the drainage system before construction activities commence.

View our Sediment Fact sheet(PDF, 348KB)

Stormwater connection

A stormwater connection permit is required before you connect a private drain into a Council drain.

This permit allows a builder to physically connect to a drain, pit or kerb and channel and requires an inspection by our Asset Officer to ensure the asset is not damaged during the connection and that it meets our standards.

Temporary discharge permit

We do not allow the discharge of any surface water or groundwater to our stormwater system during construction. For instance, if water needs to be pumped from a basement excavation, you must apply for a temporary discharge permit(PDF, 331KB). Email your completed form together with payment details to

Alternatives include discharging to the sewer with consent from the relevant water authority, or removing water from the site via a disposal truck. Visit our construction management page for details.

Legal point of discharge

The legal point of discharge is a point specified by us where stormwater from a property must be discharged. It is usually to a Council-managed drain or the street kerb and channel.

Use our online form to apply for a legal point of discharge for your proposal or new development.

The current fee is $155.30. Applications may take up to 10 days to process, longer if more complex.

Apply for the legal point of discharge

Drainage and civil works approvals

You might need an engineering assessment in addition to your stormwater permit. Find out more on our drainage and civil works approvals page.