What is Stormwater?
What we refer to as stormwater is excess rainfall or water that doesn't soak into the ground. Stormwater includes rainwater off the roof and water that runs off hard surfaces, driveways and streets into the gutter.
In Central Otago, stormwater is usually managed within the grounds of each property. Soils in the district are generally well draining and allow rainwater to be easily absorbed. Water is usually drained into a soak pit where it soaks into the ground. This approach is preferred as it minimises the cost to ratepayers when compared with a fully reticulated stormwater disposal system.
Stormwater is managed separately to the wastewater from our businesses and homes. Stormwater connections are not usually permitted into the waste system. This helps avoid significant and unnecessary waste treatment costs, which would be funded through rates. There are a few exceptions, so if you think there is a reason why on-site disposal won’t work for you, please contact Council. Specific authority is needed to connect stormwater to the sewerage system.
Preventing Stormwater Pollution
As stormwater travels directly to waterways through pipes, natural water courses and open channels, stormwater pollution is a risk to water quality. Currently, stormwater treatment is not required and any pollutants mixed in with stormwater also flow into water sources. It is important to keep stormwater as clean as possible. Clean stormwater means safer swimming, healthier food chains, better fishing, and more attractive riverbanks and coastlines for walking.
How Can You Help?
Whether you're a resident or a business, you can help keep the stormwater network healthy.
- Reduce pollution: If you come across a stormwater pollution problem contact Council
- Keep stormwater drains clear: When there's bad weather, you can help prevent serious flooding by removing rubbish or leaves from nearby roadside drains.
- Report missing stormwater drain grates: Without the covers the holes could cause serious injury, in particular to cyclists and small children.
Managing & Monitoring Stormwater
Keeping it Clean: Preventing Stormwater Pollution (NZ Water & Wastes Association)