Stormwater

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Stormwater is the rainfall that runs off hard surfaces such as your roof, the road, driveway, footpath, industrial yards and the lawn. Stormwater pipes collect the rainfall and carry it untreated to the nearest waterway.

The Gore District Council has 66.8km of stormwater pipeline and looks after five stormwater drainage areas – Gore, Mataura, Waikaka, Pukerau and Mandeville.

Stormwater from these areas goes into the Mataura River, Waikaka Stream, Cronins Creek and Waimumu Stream untreated.

Stormwater and the environment

Stormwater run-off from urban and rural areas can contain silt, bacteria, oil/grease, heavy metals, toxic substances, litter and household wastes. Stormwater becomes polluted as rubbish, animal faeces and pollutants are washed into the stormwater drains, through the stormwater system and into our waterways. Stormwater drains are not directed to the wastewater treatment plants.  Anything you tip or spill down your stormwater drain goes directly to our waterways.

People may think their little bit of waste won't harm the environment. But when combined with all the other "little bits" from everyone else, it contributes to high levels of pollution that pose a risk to fish, shellfish, plants, and even humans.

What you can do to help

  • Never tip oil, paint or chemicals down the stormwater drain - it takes only one litre of oil to contaminate a thousand tonnes of water.
  • Where a business has an interceptor, it should be used correctly and regularly cleaned, otherwise the overflow can enter the stormwater network.
  • Always wash paint brushes in an inside sink or a gully trap.
  • Pour all liquid wastes, such as the bucket of water used to wash the floors, down a sink, toilet or on to the lawn.
  • Don't drop litter. One burst of rain can wash plastic bags, food scraps, cigarette butts, cans and other litter into the stormwater system.
  • Always pick up dog droppings - picking up droppings prevents them being washed into waterways.  Animal droppings contain bugs that can make you sick.
  • Sweep, don't hose - sweep paths and gutters rather than hosing lawn clippings, leaves, dirt and general street pollution into stormwater drains.
  • Wash the car at a car wash or on the lawn. Most pollutants will be absorbed and broken down in the ground. Do you really need to use chemicals to wash the car? Try using a brush and a little elbow grease instead.

Be prepared

Accidents happen and when they do, it pays for businesses and industries to be prepared with a spill kit.  In each kit are instructions for cleaning spills of hazardous or potentially hazardous materials, and materials that can absorb a spill safely before it can enter the waterway.

You can buy a spill kit from various businesses who sell environmental and health and safety equipment.

What if there is a problem?

On Your Property – a blocked drain or drainage issues on your property is your responsibility to fix. You may need to contact your plumber to help solve the problem.

We have some records of each service connection location and this information can be viewed on your property file at the Council’s main office.

On the Council’s property – if you notice a blocked roadside stormwater grate or sump, or discoloured water entering waterways within the urban areas, please contact the Council as soon as possible. 

A new connection 

An application for building consent to build a new urban dwelling may require a new connection to the stormwater service.

A piped service connection application is required for a new dwelling. This includes wastewater, water supply and stormwater connections. There is a fee associated with this application.

You can find more information on Environment Southland's website or check out Keep It Clean [PDF, 5.5 MB], a booklet by the NZ Water and Wastes Association.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz