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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
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Stormwater responsibilities

The Otago Regional Council, private landowners, and the Dunedin City Council are all responsible for stormwater.

Otago Regional Council

Under the Resource Management Act 1991, the Otago Regional Council (ORC) is responsible for controlling discharges of contaminants (including stormwater) to land, water, and the coastal marine area.

The ORC does this through the Regional Policy Statement for Otago, and rules in the Regional Plan: Water, and Regional Plan: Coast. Overall, these regulatory documents seek to maintain water quality but improve it where it is degraded. Most discharges of stormwater are permitted (subject to meeting certain conditions), but some require a resource consent.

Private landowners

Landowners are responsible for stormwater and watercourses on their property.

Some private stormwater systems extend beyond property boundaries, and may be the responsibility of more than one owner, or of a single owner with an easement over the land where the drainage passes.

If a landowner discharges stormwater to land or water, they must meet ORC requirements. If a landowner discharges stormwater to the public stormwater system, they must meet our conditions.

Dunedin City Council

We are responsible for the public stormwater system (such as gutters and drains in public roads, and the piped network below ground), and for ensuring stormwater discharges at the outlet meet ORC requirements.

The 3 Waters Strategic Direction Statement 2010-2060 (or the "3 Waters Strategy") and Integrated Catchment Management Plans provide direction for our stormwater management:

  • The 3 Waters Strategy prioritises improving the quality of stormwater discharges to minimise the effect on the environment.
  • Integrated Catchment Management Plans (ICMP) identify and prioritise specific stormwater issues, present management options and make recommendations for work.

Discharges from our stormwater system to fresh water are generally permitted, but some stormwater discharges to coastal water require consent from the ORC.

We have consents from the Otago Regional Council to discharge stormwater into the coastal marine area, in the upper Harbour, the Harbour at Port Chalmers, and at St Clair beach. These consents require we implement our Integrated Catchment Management Plans (ICMP), and monitor both the discharge and the environment. Further information is available on the Stormwater monitoring page.

Regulation by the DCC

The District Plan requires all properties to connect to the public stormwater system, where available, while unserviced areas must have onsite stormwater disposal. The Dunedin Code of Subdivision and Development 2010, in the related information section has specific requirements, guidelines and minimum engineering standards for new stormwater systems.

To help minimise adverse effects on the environment (and meet ORC requirements), everyone needs to be aware of what they allow into stormwater drains. We have set limits on what may be lawfully discharged to the public stormwater system, which can be found in Schedule 1E of the Trade Waste Bylaw 2008 in the related information section

To improve stormwater management, we are considering the need for better targeted regulatory controls on discharges to the stormwater system, such as a stormwater bylaw.

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