Managed properly, stormwater is a valuable resource that can enhance the liveability, sustainability and resilience of cities. We achieve this for Greater Sydney by working with councils to improve the health of our waterways, provide opportunities for stormwater re-use, and protect people and properties from flooding. So how do we manage stormwater, and how do we redirect it?
Urban environments are packed with hard surfaces such as roofs, roads and footpaths that prevent rain from soaking into the ground. Stormwater is the water that flows on those surfaces after rain. Often it flows from property drains to street gutters operated by local councils, and these drains may connect to our large channels, pipes and creeks. This is what forms our stormwater trunk drainage system.
Our stormwater network provides services to about 627,300 properties. It consists of:
Only authorised maintenance crews can enter our stormwater system. Stormwater systems includes open channels, drains and underground tunnels. They're dangerous because:
Stormwater can carry pollution like litter, sediment, grease, oil and metals that are picked up from roads and properties. This pollution affects the quality of our local waterways. We've installed over 70 Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices to help clean stormwater. These include trash racks, sediment traps and litter booms.
If you're connecting to our stormwater pipes or developing your property, you must meet our stormwater quality targets.
About 70 projects across the Sydney region are collecting and re-using stormwater, a practice known as stormwater harvesting. These projects include using stormwater to:
Together, these projects collect over 1.3 billion litres of water each year. This is about the same as 520 Olympic swimming pools.