How To Fix Your Stormwater Blocked Drain
APRIL 29, 2022
WHAT IS STORMWATER?
Basically, excess rainwater is known as “stormwater”. When it rains, water runs off your roof and into downpipes, or off the ground and into the nearest stormwater drain. After flowing into gutters or drains, stormwater runs through underground stormwater drains into natural waterways, creeks, rivers or bay/oceans without any treatment to remove pollution.
It’s important to note that only rainwater should ever go down the stormwater drain. This way our creeks, rivers, lakes, beaches, bays and oceans stay healthy and clean. Pollutants in stormwater can harm or kill aquatic life that lives in waterways, including many endangered species and native animals.
WHAT IS YOUR STORMWATER DRAIN?
Stormwater drains are designed to safely transport large volumes of rainwater away from your home and property and back into our waterways. When it rains, water runs off outdoor surfaces such as roofs, streets, roads and open spaces into the nearest stormwater drain.
Your home’s stormwater drain should only be used for rainwater, it’s not a place to sweep debris, litter or pour any debris or rubbish into.
Your stormwater drain is separate from your main sewer drain. Your main sewer drain carries wastewater to a sewage treatment facility where it’s chemically treated before being reintroduced to the natural environment.
A stormwater drain will look like a sunken drain in your backyard or concreted outside area, a grated drain on the street or a slab covered open drain on the side of the road. You could have a downpipe connected straight into a stormwater drain near your home also.
SIGNS YOUR STORMWATER DRAIN IS BLOCKED
Stormwater drains are built to handle large volumes of water. They are designed to take this water away from your property and the roads around your property – so most people will not notice a blockage until a heavy rain incident where the drain becomes completely blocked with debris.
However, there are some warning signs.
If you’ve noticed your stormwater drain blocking very fast with any rainy day, you could have a blockage in your stormwater drain that’s restricting the flow of water.
Also, if a minor rain event is causing any type of flooding to your garden or property; if rain is gushing through your gutters and pipes, or you hear gurgling sounds from your drains in any rain event, you could have a blocked stormwater drain.
It would be wise to engage a professional, licensed plumber or blocked drain specialist to attend to your stormwater drain ASAP and inspect the drain for any blockages.
WHAT CAUSES A STORMWATER BLOCKED DRAIN?
In a sudden heavy rain downfall or a consistent downfall of a lot of rain, it’s easy for a stormwater drain to become blocked. When this happens, the excess water has nowhere to go and that’s when we see localised flooding on our roads and backyards.
Sometimes, the stormwater drain blockage can even result in low-level flooding of your home or business.
To prevent these emergency (and costly) events, you can take some preventative measures to ensure your home and property are best protected in the event of a massive rain event.
- Your home’s drainage points and gutters form an important part of the community stormwater management and should be regularly maintained and cleaned. This is especially important in the lead up to any storm season or months of expected high rainfall.
- Keep your gutters as well as your backyard free from debris: leaves, twigs, sediment, excess mulch or soil – all can block up a Stormwater drain very quickly!
- Make sure there are no physical obstructions or blockages on top of your stormwater drain so in the event of a sudden storm, water can easily flow away from your property.
WHAT IS STORMWATER POLLUTION?
When it rains, water runs off all surfaces like your roofs, cars, roads and gardens into your stormwater drain. Water carries other things along with it into the stormwater drain, this is known as stormwater pollution.
The most common causes of stormwater pollution include litter, cigarette buds, grease, oil, soil sediment, paint, chemicals found on roads and cars as well as debris from your garden.
Unfortunately, some individuals in our community have been caught intentionally disposing of kitchen waste and other debris down stormwater drains. A few years ago The Sydney Morning Herald reported on three ACT restaurants needing warnings issued from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for doing just that!
Thanks to the Environment Protection Act 1970 it’s illegal to cause stormwater pollution. These laws exist to protect our natural environment and give the EPA and local Councils authority to issue a range of different warnings, penalties and fines to businesses and individuals who abuse stormwater drains and knowingly pollute our stormwater system.
Reducing stormwater pollution also helps ensure clean and healthy waterways for our recreational uses such as walking, fishing and boating.
HOW TO PREVENT STORMWATER POLLUTION
In a downpour, fast-flowing water will pick up anything in its path and carry it down the drain. So the cleaner you keep your gutters, gardens and roads, the better.
Clear Water Victoria has created a list of ways you can help prevent stormwater pollution:
- Place cigarette butts in the bin. Cigarette butts are a major cause of stormwater pollution.
- Know the difference between a sewer drain and a stormwater drain. Wastewater that goes into the sewerage system gets treated. Ensure wastewater is only discharged to the sewerage system and save stormwater drains for rainwater.
- Never pour oil down any drain! Oil is not only harmful to stormwater drains. It can cause major problems for any drain in the home. Dispose of grease and oil in the bin. Make sure oil is not kept anywhere where it could spill into drains, and never hose oily water or waste into gutters or stormwater drains.
- Make sure your yard or business premises are litter-free. Regularly sweep up litter and place it in the bin so that it can’t wash down the drain when it rains.
- Cleaning water that contains chemicals, detergents or paint residue should never be poured down the stormwater drain. This water needs to be disposed of as wastewater down the sewer. Switching to environmentally friendly cleaners and detergents instead of using harsh cleaning chemicals is another great initiative.
- Keep your backyard tidy by sweeping up leaves, grass cuttings and other garden debris and placing it in the green bin.
HOW TO FIX YOUR STORMWATER BLOCKED DRAIN
Our team of blocked drain specialists will use a CCTV sewer camera to inspect your stormwater pipes and drain to see exactly what is causing your stormwater blocked drain. The camera will also show if there is any structural damage to the pipes, and depending on the extent of the damage we can repair and replace it.
To clean and clear your stormwater blocked drain we would most likely use a jet blaster. These bad boys send a high-pressured jet of water down the drain to flush the stormwater line of any debris or sediment that has accumulated.
Our team at VIP Drains are equipped with jet blasters capable of clearing garden debris, dirt, sediment, and tree roots that could be causing your stormwater drain to block.
If you’re looking for a more preventative approach and want our team to assess your stormwater drain for any potential threats or blockages, the high-pressure jetting can be used to clear any sediment build-up of a matter before a flooding incident.
IS A STORMWATER BLOCKED DRAIN AN EMERGENCY?
A Stormwater blocked drain is considered a plumbing emergency. This is because a blockage can present a threat to our waterways, public health and marine life.
Due to the mix of debris, chemicals and even waste found in stormwater drains, the water that floods around the stormwater as a result of a blockage can become contaminated, carrying disease and toxins.
Not to mention that a blocked stormwater drain increases the risk of flooding to your road, driveway and even your home. So stormwater blocked drain must be handled as an emergency plumbing situation and handled by professionals.
Our team at VIP Drains are local, Sydney blocked drain experts. In a plumbing emergency, we can be onsite within the hour and clear your blocked stormwater drain. For a $0 quote, please call our team today on 0480 024 323 or book in your service here.