Blocked Stormwater Drains: Your Guide

Blocked stormwater drains guide cover

Blocked stormwater drains are a common problem that occurs during heavy rainfall or flooding. For most of Australia, unexpected weather events have resulted in widescale blocked storm water drains in 2022 that have wreaked havoc on unsuspecting homeowners.

For home or commercial building owners, ensuring that your storm drains are free from blockages is essential for mitigating your risk and ensuring that your property does not flood. Just like sewers and toilets, stormwater drains can become a real problem when they are not serviced or properly maintained over time.

Why do blocked stormwater drains occur?

There are a number of reasons that you may experience a blocked stormwater drain at your property. Some of the most common culprits of blocked drains include:

  • Leaves or debris that has built up over time
  • Construction materials that have not been properly disposed of and have blocked your drains
  • Tree roots that have grown and, over time, clogged your drains
  • Grease, oil, and other non-natural substances that have been poured down the drain

Can you see the common denominator across all of these issues? They are all entirely preventable.

Preventing blocked stormwater drains is all about risk mitigation. It’s important to keep your drains clear and free of any potential blockages. If you notice any signs of blockages such as water pooling around the edges of the drain or slow drainage, then you need to act fast. When rainfall is light, you may be able to unclog them without any serious damaged. Conversely, when rainfall is heavy, you may not have time to prevent flash flooding on your property.

why do blocked stormwater drains occur

How can I fix a blocked stormwater drain?

If you are looking for an answer to the question of “How can I fix a blocked stormwater drain?”, then there is a good chance that you have already found yourself in a difficult situation. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to try and fix the problem yourself.

Firstly, we recommend that you locate the source of the blockage to identify what is causing water to not drain properly. Using our guide above, you should be able to see one of a few different items that are causing the problem.

Secondly, once the problem has been located, you will need to try and remove the debris or blockages. In some cases, this may be as simple as sweeping away debris or clearing out the problem that is causing the water to pool.

If, like many people, you are not able to find the cause of the problem or deliver a solution, then you need to call in a blocked drains professional. A qualified plumbing professional will be able to use professional tools to locate the blockage and deliver a solution. Once the blockage has been removed, it is important to flush the system with clean water by running a hose into the stormwater drain.

How much does it cost to clear blocked stormwater drains?

The cost of clearing blocked stormwater drains in Perth can vary depending on the size and location of the blockage. For smaller blockages such as those mentioned above, you may be able to clear the drain yourself using a plunger or other simple tools. However, for larger blockages, you will need to hire a professional plumber with experience clearing out blocked stormwater drains.

When it comes to hiring a professional company to clear the blocked stormwater drain, it will depend on the severity of the blockage and the length of time it takes to clear it. In most cases, you will need to pay a call-out fee and then a few hours’ worth of labour which may range from $300 to $500, to clear a small stretch of blocked drainage. Larger projects with substantial blockages may require more time, and professional tooling, and end up costing quite a bit more.

preventing stormwater drains guide

Who is responsible for blocked stormwater drains in rental properties?

The answer to this question depends on the specific situation. In some cases, the landlord or property owner may be responsible for maintaining and clearing blocked stormwater drains. However, in other cases, the tenant may be held responsible. It will depend on the nature and cause of the blockage.

When in doubt, it is always best to check your rental agreement to determine who is responsible for stormwater drain maintenance in your particular case. If you believe that you are not at fault for the issue, then you should consult with local authorities for advice.

Final Thoughts

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it is important to ensure to keep your stormwater drains are clear and free of debris. A blocked stormwater drain can cause serious flooding problems which can lead to property damage and costly repair bills.

Acting fast is the key to mitigating larger problems. If you notice that your stormwater drain is beginning to become clogged, you should take action immediately. You can attempt to clear the drain yourself using a plunger or a plumbers’ snake. If you cannot clear the drain yourself, you should contact a professional plumber for assistance immediately.

Ignoring a blocked stormwater drain can lead to serious consequences. If the blockage is not cleared and heavy rains fall, the resulting floodwaters can damage your home, your belongings, and even pose a health hazard – don’t risk it, stay on top of your stormwater drains all year-round.

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