Stormwater is the water that goes down a drain outside your home or on the street. This water goes straight to our streams and rivers.

Our stormwater system is designed to protect you and your property from flooding. This includes

  • piped stormwater drainage system from properties and roadways
  • maintaining and upgrading open waterways, ponding areas and pump stations.

Watch: Find out about how our stormwater system is working to prevent flooding.

Stormwater system overview

Palmerston North is serviced by separate drainage systems for sewage and stormwater run-off.

The stormwater drainage system has developed over the past 100 years in a form typical of most New Zealand towns and cities. A system of stormwater pipes collect stormwater runoff from roads and from private properties (run-off from driveways and roofs of buildings) discharging to the road channel, and funnels the stormwater to the nearest watercourse.

Where do stormwater drains lead?

The stormwater drains from your house and the gutters in the road empty into underground stormwater systems.

Their contents are quickly discharged into nearby waterways, streams and the Manawatū River.

Unlike wastewater, the contents of stormwater drains do not need to be treated prior to their discharge into a stream or waterway, as it is not contaminated.

Protecting our streams

Are you polluting a stream?

Many people do not realize that hazardous household waste products that they wash with or dump into stormwater drains and house downpipes discharge directly to local waterways.

Disposed oils, detergents, paint compounds, solvents, pesticides, and many other common household products down stormwater drains end up in streams. Most of these contain chemicals that are toxic to fish, and many small discharges from numerous sources can poison streams and rivers.

Do not pour anything into a stormwater drain that could be toxic to wildlife.

Common household products hazardous to fish

  • Paints and solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Motor oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Diesel
  • Petrol
  • Washing detergent
  • Degreasers
  • Disinfectants
  • Drain and toilet cleaners
  • Drycleaning agents
  • Household cleaners