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What do I do if I have a drainage problem ?
Step OneDetermine which land or assets are causing the drainage problem and contributing to excessive surface water flow.
Step TwoContact the person or authority responsible for the land or assets causing the problem:
Drainage issue from private propertyIf the drainage issue results from a common drainage line or a drainage system on private land it is generally a matter for individual landowners to resolve. It is usually advisable to contact the property owner(s) in the first instance. However, if damage is being caused by surface water flows from adjoining properties and the property owner is unwilling to address the problem, councils have the power to issue orders under s.124 of the Local Government Act 1993 for remedial action to be taken by the owner.
Drainage issue from council managed public propertyDrainage issues on public land are generally a matter for councils. If land or assets managed by the council make a significant contribution to surface water flow then it is important to notify the council of this immediately. NSW councils have procedures in place to assess and prioritise issues such as drainage against other works that need to be carried out.
Step ThreeIf you are unhappy with the response to the drainage issue you may: Contact the General Manager of the relevant council and/or your elected representatives. This may be best done in writing. It should be noted that councils are largely autonomous and have wide powers to provide local government services and facilities according to need and in consultation with their communities. Neither the Minister for Local Government nor the Division of Local Government has the power to intervene or to direct councils regarding largely operational issues such as drainage.
Step FourIf a drainage issue remains unresolved and you remain dissatisfied with the property owner’s and/or your council’s response, you should seek your own legal advice on the options available to you.
Last Updated Friday, 9 April 2010
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