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Stormwater is excess rainfall or water that doesn't soak into the ground. Stormwater includes rainwater that runs off hard surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and roads into the gutter.

Buller District Council is responsible for the collection and management of stormwater around the district to protect our community's health and safety and minimise property damage.

Stormwater along state highways is managed by Waka Kotahi, however Council maintains parts of this network in Granity and Ngakawau on their behalf, under a cost share arrangement.

Rural land drainage and natural waterways including creeks, rivers and streams are managed by West Coast Regional Council in partnership with private property owners.

Looking after our stormwater network

Stormwater in our district is not treated apart from sediment removal and is discharged into natural waterways. Everything that goes down the drain ends up in our waterways. It is important to keep stormwater clean and free from pollution to keep oil, grease, paint, metal particles and animal waste out of our streams and rivers.

To report any problems with stormwater on public property please contact:

  • WestReef Services
    • 03 788 9090

  • Buller District Council
    • Westport: 03 788 9111 / 0800 807 239
    • Reefton: 03 732 8821 or 03 732 8092 after hours

Drainage issues on private property are the responsibility of the landowner. You may need to contact your plumber to help solve the problem.

Heavy rain and flooding

Anything which could cause loss of life, serious injury or loss of property is considered an emergency. Please contact 111. All flood waters should be treated as contaminated with wastewater.

Blocked sumps

Roadside stormwater sumps are cleared regularly but can quickly become blocked in heavy rain by leaves and rubbish. It is a good idea to check and clear debris from nearby sumps prior to forecasted weather events.

Please consider what effect cabbage trees and other other plants that loose lots of leaves may have on the network, as well as the effects of tree roots on stormwater pipes from nearby plantings.

Stormwater infiltration – Westport

Prior to the commissioning of the Westport Wastewater Treatment Plant foul sewage and stormwater were often discharged to the same pipe which was then discharged to the receiving waterways. This stormwater infiltration now causes significant loadings on the plants during wet weather, with sometimes as much as ten times more flow entering the plants than during normal dry weather flow.

As some areas of Westport experience a considerable backup of sewage/stormwater during moderate to heavy rainfall, Council are investigating where stormwater infiltration can be removed. This may include the separation of stormwater at various residential properties.

Council would appreciate any efforts by property owners to separate stormwater from foul sewage lines on their properties, particularly in areas where problems exist. If you require advice please contact Council 0800 807 239.

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