Thoughts on stormwater sought

Invercargill City Council wants the community to have a think about what they’re pouring down the drain in a new consultation.

Council is engaging on a proposed Stormwater Bylaw, which covers all facets of the stormwater network. The main parts of the bylaw cover use, construction or alteration of the stormwater and drainage network, pollution prevention, offences, breaches, fees, penalties and dispensing powers.

Stormwater is defined as the result of precipitation – rain, snow and sleet – once it has reached the earth’s surface, whether from rooftops, land in public or private properties, or roadways. Stormwater drains into a network of pipes, ditches and ponds all of which discharge, untreated, into our rivers, streams and estuary, which can have an adverse effect on the environment. Council Manager Engineering Services Jeremy Rees said Council needed a bylaw to create a stronger framework that would help prevent businesses and residents putting contaminants down the drain.

“The bylaw will have very little effect on most people,” Mr Rees said.

“Residents will be reminded of the new rules, such as not to wash their cars in a way that the detergents flow in to the stormwater system.”

The bylaw will focus mainly on the industrial and commercial sectors that are known to discharge contaminants to the stormwater network and to prevent them from doing so. If the Stormwater Bylaw is adopted, the Invercargill City Council plans to take a measured approach for implementation.

“Council wants to take an educational stance and help commercial sites and private residences understand what they can do to contribute to better water quality in Invercargill,” he said.

Council will be hosting two engagement events – a business webinar and a Facebook live event. For details on the Draft Stormwater Bylaw consultation, and details on how to make your submission, visit or Council’s civic administration building at 101 Esk St, the Bluff Service Centre or the Invercargill City Library. Submissions close on Monday, March 7.