Stormwater drainage

Stormwater is the run-off from rain that falls on a roof or paved area like a driveway, road or footpath. This water flows into a stormwater drain.

The drainage network is a combination of pits, pipes, open channels and natural waterways which is continually developed, managed and maintained. These carry stormwater into creeks, rivers and other catchments. The stormwater eventually ends up in the ocean. As stormwater is not treated, everyone has a role to play in keeping pollutants out of the stormwater system to ensure the long term health of our rivers, creeks and oceans.

Read more about keeping our drains flowing .

Stormwater disposal

Downpipes that collect water on private property usually belong to the property owner. Owners are responsible for their drains up to the point of connection to the Council drain or kerb and channel or to a drainage easement that runs through the property.

The Stormwater Disposal Fact Sheet ( PDF, 1.1 MB ) provides advice to help residents be aware of, and proactive about, stormwater drainage systems and surface water requirements or procedures on their property. If all residents are fully prepared ahead of major rain events, it will make us, as a region, better equipped to cope.

Drainage easements

A drainage easement is a portion of land that the property owner has granted to Council to carry stormwater to the main drainage system.

Illegal dumping of green waste and household rubbish in waterways, easements and drains increases the risk of flooding to properties and costs millions of dollars in property damage across the region.

Under the conditions attached to an easement on the land title deeds, a property owner must not obstruct the free flow of water along the drainage pathway. Dumping waste, planting garden beds or building fences across the flow path are all examples of activities that can obstruct stormwater flow.

Property owners should be aware that if a drainage easement is deliberately obstructed, they can be held liable for any damage caused to adjacent and neighbouring properties.

To find out more download the Keep Waterways, Easements and Drains Clear Fact Sheet ( PDF, 0.21 MB ) below.

To report drainage issues

Call Council on 1300 69 22 47 or make an online customer request.

Stormwater drain safety

Cairns Regional Council has developed a public awareness campaign aimed at highlighting the dangers of playing in underground stormwater drains.

Four frog characters (Croak Daddy, Calista Frogheart, Taddy the Twirp and Lippy de Slim) feature in various advertising mediums including TV and radio ad's and posters. Life-size mascot, Croak Daddy, appears at community events and shows.

Television advertisements

The following are movie clip files, viewable with Microsoft Media Player.

Hear the jingle
More information

The following information is available in the For Download area.

For further information, please contact Council on 1300 69 22 47.

For download

Last updated: 26 June 2020