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How often do you think about your home’s downpipes? If your answer is “not often”, it’s time you put it to the front of your mind – because if you get it wrong, your property is at risk of flooding and damage, and you could even be breaking local rules by local authorities. Today, we’re going to take a dive into whether connecting downpipes to stormwater systems is something you must do.

According to just about every Queensland council, it’s 100% your responsibility to:

  • Maintain your own stormwater drains, pipes, roof gutters, downpipes & pits
  • Maintain all other components of your approved stormwater system
  • Maintain a compliant roof stormwater system, including stormwater connections to street or inter-allotment community stormwater drains infrastructure.

Not even sure what a downpipe is? They are simply the vertical stormwater pipes that connect your gutters with all that roof stormwater’s destination. And to do their job correctly, of course, they need to be properly designed, connected and maintained in order to handle and direct all that water and prevent leaks and uncontrolled pooling. With a proper connection to stormwater, you won’t have to worry about water damage, a big mess and even health issues.

But is connecting downpipe to stormwater connections something you absolutely must do? We have the three most pertinent answers:

1. It’s your responsibility

Your primary responsibility is to ensure the stormwater from your roof doesn’t bother anyone else. The biggest no-no is that your poor stormwater management means water is discharged onto adjoining land or the street. Connecting those stormwater pipes to the proper discharge point is the best way to ensure this.

2. It has to go somewhere

Your stormwater drainage system also needs to comply with AS/NZS plumbing standards, meaning the stormwater drainage system from your downpipes must be discharged to:

  • The kerb/channel
  • An inter-allotment roof water pipe system
  • Or a council-controlled drainage easement or drainage reserve.

3. Water must not stagnate

It’s strictly forbidden to direct your stormwater flow anywhere with the risk of pooling and potentially becoming stagnant and contaminated – a health issue affecting us all. If you can direct your stormwater to a dedicated dam, tank or pond, though, that’s acceptable – although bear in mind that all water tank overflow needs to be connected to an approved stormwater system.

So do downpipes have to be connected to stormwater?

The answer is a qualified YES, so here are some tips to make sure you get it right:

  • Each downpipe should service only 12 metres of gutter length so your stormwater system can cope
  • Position your downpipes close to valley gutters
  • The type of downpipes you use can depend on the particular section of gutter and your roof plumbing
  • The most common downpipe-to-stormwater connection is called ‘gooseneck’, as it resembles the actual neck of an actual goose
  • Another popular connection is known as a collar and grate system – otherwise known as an ‘open grill’. It’s more suitable for some properties because it looks good and doesn’t protrude from the ground.
  • Never connect downpipes to your sewerage system or the overflow gullies.

Connecting downpipes to stormwater with our help

Does it all sound a little tricky? That’s where Gold Coast Plumbing Experts comes in – because we absolutely love everything about stormwater! Our team of clean, friendly and honest Gold Coast plumbers service the entire Gold Coast region, and beyond, so if you’ve got an issue or a question about your stormwater system, we can’t wait to hear from you!