In the pipeline - DIY Plumbing Tip #23 - Blocked Drains Melbourne - Ownership

January 20 2015

​Blockages occur in sewer drain systems and stormwater drainage infrastructure and knowing if the blockage is privately owned or managed by the local water authority or city council is important to how you manage this issue.

Who Belongs to What?

-Stormwater Drainage.

 Generally individual lot owners or property management groups are responsible for the stormwater drainage to the specified legal point discharge. This may be a stormwater main in the street, kerbing at the edge of the road or on alleyway surface and a phone call to the local city council engineering department will clarify where the legal point charge is. Outside the legal point discharge the ownership and maintenance is usually the local city councils responsibility.

-Sewer Drainage.

The individual lot owner or property management group is usually responsible to approximately 1 m downstream of the sewer point referred to as the boundary trap (BT.). The sewer drain downstream of this boundary trap becomes the responsibility of the local water authority of which there are three in Metropolitan Melbourne. The water authority can be called to clarify the position of the BT and will provide a drainage plan.

Handyman tips for blocked drains in Melbourne.

~Purchase a sewer plan from the local water authority.

~Flow test the drain to clarify the position and extent of the blockage.

~Visually inspect your property and the adjoining public space to eliminate the chance of a blockage in street outside your property.

~Always wear protective clothing and gloves when working on drainage systems

~Use  a garden hose with or without water turned on to try and unblock the drain.

~Clean out any debris in exposed pits or drainage points.

~Utilise a domestic mop to plunge vertical drainage points.

~If you cannot  clear The drain call in a specialist plumber who is experienced in drain cleaning Melbourne.


Case Study:

Our emergency plumber was called to a property in Seaford during heavy rain this week with the report of water flooding in a basement carpark. Before our our attendance the property manager had called the local water authority believing there was an issue with their infrastructure. Upon arrival and visual inspection of the site we found that the flooding was caused by failure of the basement pit pumps. The Control Panel was checked and pumps turned to manual and one of the pumps switched on. When the water level dropped an audit was carried out on the pumping pit and we found that one of the two pumps had failed and required replacement and that the one operational pump had been blocked with organic matter. We have quoted on pump replacement and have recommended six monthly pumping pit audits at this property. This was not the only pump failure discovered during and immediately after this very heavy rain with an elevator shaft being flooded in an apartment complex in Toorak and car stackers also flooded in a commercial property in Ormond Road Elwood.

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