Animal Management Building Council Works Economic Development Environmental Health Maps and Spatial Data
Planning and Heritage Plumbing Rates Roads & Council Property Sport & Recreation Facilities Waste Management Payments

Seepage & Soakage

What is soakage or seepage?
Soakage or seepage is essentially the appearance of unwanted water that is not being directed through a formed channel.  It may be caused for a number of reasons as follows:

  • Surface runoff from a neighbouring property
  • Natural underground water
  • Faulty internal plumbing
  • A leak in a neighbouring properties internal plumbing
  • Faults within Council’s stormwater main
  • Faults within Southern Water’s water or sewer main

What can I do if I have a soakage or seepage problem?
Council has an investigations officer that can assess your problem in the first instance.  The following are possible actions that may be taken:

  • Surface runoff from a neighbouring property

If water is being channelled or concentrated from a neighbouring property, Council will require the neighbouring property to redirect the water to a proper stormwater outlet.


If the water is not being concentrated then you are responsible for protecting your own property.  Council can advise on the best method to achieve this, generally through the installation of subsoil drains or surface drains.

  • Natural underground water

It is common for some properties to be subject to inundation due to underground water, particularly after sustained or heavy rain periods.  It is the property owner’s responsibility to provide protection against natural underground water.  Council can advise on the best method to achieve this, generally through the installation of subsoil drains.

  • Faulty internal plumbing

These faults vary from water from the roof discharging water directly to ground to broken internal pipes or to discharge from a hard standing area.  You should check all obvious areas of uncontrolled discharge of water and rectify these prior to contacting Council.

  • A leak in a neighbouring properties internal plumbing

If Council's investigation reveals a leak to be coming from a neighbouring property then a notice will be served on this property for the repair of the defects.

  • Faults within Council's stormwater main

As part of the investigations undertaken by Council all nearby stormwater infrastructure will be checked and if required, a camera will be used to check the condition of the stormwater pipe to ensure there are no breaks in the line.  If a fault is identified that may be causing the soakage issue then Council will arrange for repair.

  • Faults within Southern Water's water or sewer infrastructure

If during Councils investigation the soakage water tests positive to fluoride this provides a strong indication the water is coming from leaking water or sewer infrastructure. In this case Council will refer the issue to Southern Water to investigate any potential faults within their infrastructure.

How can I protect my property from soakage and seepage?
You can take the following simple steps to minimise the risk of soakage within your property:

  • Make sure all your roofs area discharge via well maintained downpipes to a tank or stormwater channel/pipe.
  • Ensure surface drains are installed to protect rooms and garages below floor level.
  • Ensure hard standing areas such as driveways do not concentrate water towards your house.
  • If you have subsoil drains to protect against ground water, make sure these are properly maintained. 

Who do I contact to report a soakage issue?
In the first instance you can contact Council's City Assets Department on 6216 6800 or by using the form below, and they will arrange for a Council Officer to investigate the matter. If after investigation and sampling of the water the issue is deemed to be associated with water or sewer infrastructure, Council will forward the issue to Southern Water for resolution.


Readily identifiable leaks or faults within water and sewer infrastructure, such as leaking water pipes or overflowing sewers should be reported directly to Southern Water on 136992.