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How to quickly solve a stormwater drainage problem

This homeowner needed to repair a stormwater drainage problem they had to avoid a dispute with the neighbours and prepare it to be sold.

Summary

Get a stormwater drainage plumber to repair flooding drains

A lot of people living in Sydney think that plumbers are only able to change taps, unblock drains or clear blocked toilets. Although our company has stormwater drainage plumbers in Sydney who can help with other aspects of your plumbing as well as any bathroom plumbing problems. Our team have experienced professionals that can be contracted in all suburbs of Sydney to repair, replace or install anything related to your property’s plumbing from the connection on the street to storwater drains.

One of the things Nu-Trend’s plumbing team receives calls for is repairing drainage problems on a property. This is especially common for homes that have been built on sloping ground or are positioned below other homes but are in direction of water run off pathways. Depending on the landscaping around each property, whether retaining walls have been put in place or if there is the correct stormwater drainage installed the volume of water that can be managed may not be sufficient.

Our team of plumbers can assess a site & provide advice as well as recommendations to repair stormwater drainage problems, even if they are just blocked.

Hire a stormwater drainage plumber in Sydney

Depending on the situation, a stormwater drainage problem can create all sorts of damage to either your own property or the ones around you. In 80% of cases you may get away with it as average rainfall levels have been decreasing year on year for the last 20 years in Sydney. Although since 2020 there has been really unusual weather patterns with flooding in New South Wales caused by heavy downpours. This can lead to an overflowing stormwater system that can cause all kinds of property damage which can include;

  • Water can build up and flood lower levels of a property that has living spaces or a garage.
 
  • Water can wash off into a neighbours property.
 
  • Water can damage house footings, building foundations and cause other types of unseen damage that isn’t immediately obvious.
 

There are also the legal obligations to consider where any property must have the ability to disperse water correctly. Nu-Trend is a Sydney plumber that can be contracted to inspect your stormwater drainage system to see potentially how efficient it is. We can even install a Onsite Stormwater Detention (OSD) outlet and inlet pipes, discharge control pits, tanks, basins, wiers and orifice plates. We also inspect blocked stormwater drains to establish the efficiency of the entire collection network to ensure proper run-off to any OSD systems you may already have installed.

 

What caused the stormwater drainage problem?

The house owner had to deal with two different issues relating to the stormwater drainage for this property.

a) It was about to be put on the market to be sold. So any existing problems or damage needed to be repaired to make sure it was suitable for sale & to achieve the highest selling price possible.

b) There was an ongoing dispute with the neighbour about where and how the stormwater was flowing between the properties. There was high volumes of concentrated water filling the neighbour’s yard during periods of heavy rain. This was caused by insufficient stormwater drainage installed that wasn’t capturing the water and flowing it away from either of the dwellings.

How much does it cost to fix a stormwater drainage problems?

No stormwater problem is the same as another, therefore it is impossible to quote a fixed price to repair these types of plumbing problems. Simple issues could be related to a blocked stormwater pit that needs cleaning but the other end of the spectrum could be the need to install new drainage systems, retaining walls and piping. 

For this property in Sydney it turned out to be a job for our plumbers that took one and a half days to complete, costing around $2,500 ex gst to correct the drainage issues for this house. It wasn’t as simple as grabbing a few PVC pipes and joining them together, as licensed plumbers in Sydney we follow the correct procedures according to the latest Australian Standards; 

 

  1. Identify the source and path of the stormwater flow using our CCTV Camera Inspection tools to look through all all the downpipes and storm water drains to the property.

  2. Confirm there were no blockages or other underlying issues preventing the correct water flow to occur.

  3. Using both the CCTV and Locator Tools we found the outlets in the ground that were directing the water flow into the neighbour’s yard.

  4. Run water tests to make sure what we could see was actually causing the problems.

  5. Determine a solution for the problem without excessive cost due to the property about to go to market.

  6. Install and test the new solution.
 

 

This was a cost effective solution to solve the drainage issues even though the piping was visible. All the piping we used was made of strong PVC with a mix of 90 and 45 degree bends to reach the appropriate locations. 

What was an alternative solution to solve this drainage problem?

For every site that Nu-Trend attends we always give the house owner a few choices to solve their plumbing problems. In lots of cases there will be a simple way to repair something & then a longer term solution that fully corrects the underlying issue. 

In this situation the more costly, but longer term, solution would have been to do a complete dig to correct the underground piping and create a new redirection. This would have been a visually more appealing outcome as the piping would have been under the group and this would have reduced the risk of the above ground piping getting damaged. In this scenario the Client was under time and financial pressure to sell the property quickly, so they opted for the exterior piping option.

Another potential solution is to install on site detention units. Getting one constructed can be done so that there is a delay in the release of water from residential properties to the town stormwater system. This can reduce flooding, soil erosion, impact on vegetation or damage to building structures or walls. In New South Wales most councils have mandated on-site detention for new properties or subdivisions getting built to help manage stormwater flow in built up areas especially.

There are three types that are normally considered;

 

OSD Tanks – are underground storage tanks constructed on a residential property. They collect water and store water from roofs, hard surfaces and landscapes to then regulate the slow release of water to the town’s stormwater system. A professional plumber will need to install these OSD tanks to meet all state and council regulations

 

 

OSD Pits – are normally concrete structures built into your backyard or landscaping to allow for water runoff to be channelled into the detention system. They can include discharge control pits which allow for slow-release of water through a custom-diameter orifice plate. They can also be cleaning and maintenance pits for stormwater pipes under your yard.

 

OSD Basins – are above ground water detention systems for collecting and temporarily storing stormwater, releasing water gradually into the town stormwater system to minimise the risk of flooding. 

 

Nu-Trend’s team of plumbers can work with any builder, landscaper, architect, developer or renovation company to ensure your drainage system complies with council, plumbing and building codes of Australia..

Do you have to maintain your stormwater drain?

You should check with your local council as many will require your stormwater detention systems to be inspected and maintained annually to check that it is able to function correctly. If it is not regularly serviced and isn’t able to manage the capacity of water required, it could even become an insurance issue if flooding were to occur.

Trained professionals in Sydney can inspect your system to look for things like;

  • Sediment build up – we can look inside the drainage system to see if there is any sediment or sludge buildup along the walls and pipes of the detention system to prevent water flow blockages.
 
  • Dirt or debris – looking for dirt and debris like leaves, bark and other issues that can prevent water flow seamlessly flowing between the detention system and the main stormwater system. This can even include kids toys, plastic bottles or other items that make their way into the system over time.
 
  • Organic matter – it may be possible for animals to get trapped inside a pipe, food scraps to get washed away or other organic matter building up that blocks the piping.
 
Depending on the size and complexity of your system we can use high-pressure water jet blasting to clear blockages and even inspect everything with our CCTV camera equipment that can look inside the pipes underground.

Depending on the situation having stormwater drainage problems can create all sorts of damage to either your own property or the ones around you. In 80% of cases you may get away with it as average rainfall levels drop year on year. Although in the situations where there is heavy downpours an overflowing stormwater system can cause all kinds of havoc.

Water can build up and flood lower levels of a property, rooms, garages or wash off into a neighbours property. Water can damage house footings, building foundations and cause other types of unseen damage. 

There are also the legal obligations to consider where any property must have the ability to disperse water correctly.

In New South Wales, local councils have the responsibility to manage stormwater drains and systems from public land (for example, roads and parks), private land that pays council rates or other land like Department of Housing properties. Where it can become a grey area is when water is running off a building or structure from one property into another one. This is where it is important to consider your neighbours to make sure they are not being adversely effected.

In most cases the stormwater flows from property drains to street gutters that are managed by a local council. Sometimes these drains connect to large channels, pipes and creeks, which creates what’s known as a ‘trunk drainage system’. Eventually all the water ends up into the waterways in the local area.

If the stormwater isn’t channeled correctly from a property it can flow into neighbouring houses into people’s backyards, swimming pools or even outdoor rooms.
 

Stormwater runoff can cause a number of environmental problems if it isn’t managed correctly.

The fast-moving stormwater runoff can erode stream banks, damaging hundreds of miles of aquatic habitat.

Stormwater runoff can push excess nutrients from fertilizers, pet waste and other sources into rivers and streams.

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Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent bathroom renovation and plumbing contractor in Sydney. Rick and his team provide a wide range of services for home owners in houses, units, apartments or businesses.

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