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Protecting our waterways

Water from washing your paint brushes, spilt oil, or your car can go directly into our drains and waterways. Our drains are home to tuna, inanga and Canterbury mudfish. Stormwater drains in some parts of the District (e.g. Tai Tapu, Lincoln, Springston, Doyleston and Leeston) discharge into Council’s Land Drainage network and drain to Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere).Stormwater-Picture

Here are some tips to help protect our drains, our environment and local fish species:

  • Sweep up garden waste from your driveway rather than washing it down the drain. Don’t let rubbish get into your drains, it could cause a blockage
  • Dispose of all pet waste in your red bin.
  • Use a car wash or wash your car on grassed areas
  • Fix oil leaks in vehicles as soon as you can
  • Don’t tip any waste paint, oil, antifreeze or chemicals go down the drain – take them to the transfer station for recycling or safe disposal. Household volumes of hazardous waste are accepted free of charge.

Applying for dewatering

Builders Pocket Guide

Note that Council resource consents exclude some high risk industrial and trade activities and property owners are required to obtain their own resource consent from Environment Canterbury. Global consents provides further information on our global stormwater consents.


Your responsibility

  1. Property owners are responsible installing and maintaining their soakpits. roof soakpits in line with section E1 of the building code, see Information for designers of stormwater systems . Please contact our Building Department to discuss requirements further.
  2. All culverts over open stormwater drains and swales are the responsibility of the landowner whose access is over the drain/swale. When they need to be replaced or maintained, it is the landowner's responsibility. Property owners must apply for a new entranceway crossing online as work on culverts must comply with Council's standard drawings for culverts over Council drains and swales.
  3. Mowing of roadside berms including swales is the responsibility of adjacent property owners. It is required that grass in swales be between 50mm and 150mm in length to provide adequate treatment of stormwater.

If you have a problem with the stormwater lateral on your own property, you should call a drain layer or drain cleaning company for assistance.


Our responsibility

  • The council is responsible for the stormwater system, which consists of drains, swales, pipes, soakholes and treatment devices (wetlands, basins and proprietary devices) that manage run off from roof and hard-stand areas. Stormwater is discharged either to ground or to surface water including open drains or streams depending on the ground conditions in the area.
  • In newer parts of the District, where stormwater is discharged to surface water or near shallow groundwater, Environment Canterbury require stormwater to be treated. In the Selwyn district this is typically done using basins, wetlands and swales. In industrial areas or where there is less space, proprietary treatment devices can be used.

Integrated stormwater and land drainage planning

Stormwater and Land Drainage is managed locally in accordance with agreed Level of Service (LoS) as outlined in the Activity Management Plan (AcMP).

Selwyn District Council has begun developing Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMP's) to better manage stormwater in terms of water quantity (the control of erosion and flooding) and water quality (minimising the effects of stormwater derived contamination on the environment).

Selwyn District Council has prepared an Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (ISMP) for Lincoln: