Stormwater management Print

Design Outcome

​​​​​Design Checklist

  1. The development causes minimal impact on stormwater quality, and minimises the generation of stormwater
  2. Water management devices and te​chniques are incorporated into landscaping and outdoor areas
  3. Regular management and maintenance of stormwater devices ensures their ongoing effectiveness


Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs and paved areas can harm the environment and cause damage to private property. Major stormwater issues include flooding, erosion, impacts on water quality and public stormwater infrastructure costs. Rain falling on a development must be either retained on site or conveyed elsewhere – usually through the city’s stormwater network. 

The best opportunity to reduce the impact of stormwater on urban infrastructure and the environment occurs on the development site itself. However, to manage a development’s stormwater in optimal ways requires thoughtful incorporation of systems during the early stages of​ design and site planning.

Better Design Practice

Minimise potential stormwater impacts.

Minimising stormwater runoff and contaminants at source is the best way to reduce adverse effects on our streams, harbour and coastal environments. Minimisation techniques include:
  • Minimising contaminant generation through careful selection of building materials (e.g. avoiding zinc based products).
  • Minimising impervious surfaces to encourage stormwater infiltration and reduce runoff (low impact design).
  • Filtration and attenuation of car park runoff – e.g. rain garden, sand filter, permeable paving.
  • Providing roof gardens and green roofs – these encourage evaporation and transpiration, slow down stormwater runoff from roofs, remove contaminants and can look very attractive and improve building insulation.
  • Providing rainwater tanks and roof / gutter detention to detain stormwater on site so that it can be re-used and / or discharged off site after peak flows have passed.

Incorporate water management early in the development’s design stages.

Incorporation of features to minimise stormwater runoff should be undertaken early in the development’s design - this is because retrospective application may be limited by the structure and layout of buildings and landscaping. For example:
  • bioretention devices​ need space and should ideally be integrated into streetscape design or other landscaping
  • green roofs and roof / gutter detention systems require good waterproofing and a suitable supporting structure.

Plan for future management and maintenance of devices to ensure ongoing effectiveness.

Future maintenance of installed devices must be planned for so that they continue to function effectively in the long term.​

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