Stormwater drains and sewerage

Stormwater drainage network

Stormwater is the rainwater that runs off roofs, roads, footpaths and other surfaces. This water flows into a stormwater drain, which then flows into creeks, rivers and other water catchments, and eventually ends up in the ocean.

The stormwater drainage network in Merri-bek is a combination of drains, pits, pipes, open channels and natural waterways.

The ongoing development, management and maintenance of this network is outlined in the Moreland Drainage Asset Management Strategy.


Reporting a stormwater drain issue

Stormwater drains can be owned by an individual property owner, Council or Melbourne Water.

Each person or organisation is responsible for looking after and cleaning their own drains.

Drains and pipes on private property

Property owners are responsible for the drains and pipes that collect water on private property, including the pipes which run under the footpath or nature strip.

If you have a blockage of a pipe or drain on your property, you need to seek advice from a registered plumber.

Owners are responsible for drains on their property up to the point of connection to:

  • The Council drain or kerb and channel, known as the legal point of discharge. This includes the pipes which run under the footpath or nature strip.
  • A drainage easement that runs through the property.

Sometimes private drains run through other properties - either along a formal drainage easement or an implied easement.

Council requires developers to install on-site water detention systems on new private buildings. These systems temporarily hold the water and release it slowly into the drainage system so as not to cause flooding downstream. These systems are owned by and the responsibility of the property owner.

Stormwater drains

Council looks after and cleans its own stormwater drains, but not private drains.

Council is responsible for maintaining and cleaning kerb and channel drains, drainage pipes and pits in the street and most (but not all) drains in drainage easements.

Council drains flow either to a creek or a large diameter main drain. Melbourne Water maintains these larger diameter main drains and is also responsible for rivers and creeks.

Council has stormwater quality targets and sustainable water management programs to protect our waterways.

If you receive advice from a plumber that a Council stormwater drain is blocked, broken or flooded, contact Council to report the issue.

Sewerage system

All wastewater leaving the inside of a building, including hand basins, sinks, showers, baths, laundry and toilets, flows into a sewerage pipe.

This wastewater flows to the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee. This plant processes around half of Melbourne's sewage and produces almost 40 billion litres of recycled water a year.

The sewerage pipes outside your property belong to and are maintained by Yarra Valley Water. Contact Yarra Valley Water on 13 2762 to report a sewerage system fault or burst water main.