The Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022 was adopted by the Council on 9 June 2022 and came into force on 1 July 2022.
The purpose of the Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022 is to:
The bylaw regulates some activities and behaviours to reduce the potential for contamination of stormwater, or damage to the network that carries stormwater.
The Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022 replaced the Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw 2014, effective from 1 July 2022.
There is also a new separate bylaw covering water supply and wastewater - the Water Supply and Wastewater Bylaw 2022.
The Christchurch City Council makes this bylaw under sections 145 and 146 of the Local Government Act 2002.
This preamble is explanatory and is not part of the bylaw: This bylaw replaced the stormwater parts of the Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw 2014 as part of a bylaw review process, and was adopted in 2022 as a standalone bylaw.
Explanatory note: This bylaw is to help manage stormwater within the district so as to protect people, property and the environment by minimising the impact of flooding, erosion and contamination of stormwater. It is in addition to controls on stormwater imposed by the Canterbury Regional Council and Christchurch City Council under the Resource Management Act 1991, the Building Act 2004, or any other act, regulation or bylaw.
The Council holds a Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent from Environment Canterbury for the discharge of stormwater. This places obligations on the Council to improve the quality of stormwater that enters the network and is discharged to the environment. Waterways are part of the receiving environment for stormwater and form part of the network that carries stormwater to the sea. Council has a stewardship role in the protection, restoration and management of waterways and their margins. Land associated with waterways also forms part of our flood protection infrastructure e.g. stopbanks. The Local Government Act 2002 enables the Council to regulate to protect land and infrastructure associated with land drainage (section 146). The bylaw is part of how the Council can give effect to Te Mana o te Wai.
Objectives, policies and standards relevant to this bylaw can be found in the Council’s Te Wai Ora o Tāne Integrated Water Strategy, the Waterways and Wetlands Natural Asset Management Strategy, the Infrastructure Design Standards and in the consent that the Council holds for the discharge of stormwater from its network (CSNDC).
|Approval||means any approval, licence, permit or consent issued under this bylaw or any relevant legislation.|
|Boundary||means any boundary which is shown on a survey plan approved by the Chief Surveyor and which is deposited with Land Information New Zealand, whether or not a new title has been issued.|
|Chief Executive||means the Chief Executive of the Christchurch City Council.|
|Condensing water||means any water used in any trade, industry, or commercial process or operation in such a manner that it does not materially change its chemical or physical state.|
|Contaminant||has the same meaning as defined in section 2 of the Resource Management Act 1991.|
|Council||means the Christchurch City Council, or any person authorised to act on its behalf.|
|CSNDC||means the Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent issued by Canterbury Regional Council (CRC214226), which enables the Council to discharge stormwater to land, water and coastal environments, in accordance with certain conditions, and includes any variations to the consent.|
|Customer||means the person, or authorised agent, who uses, or has approval to use, the stormwater network supplied by the Council.|
|District||means the territorial authority area of Christchurch City Council.|
|District Plan||means any relevant operative or proposed district plan prepared by the Christchurch City Council under the Resource Management Act 1991.|
|Drain||means an open channel or pipe for conveying stormwater; and drainage has a corresponding meaning.|
|Earthworks||means any mechanical excavation, or substantial manual excavation, such as levelling, filling, retaining, contouring or landscaping a site; and includes moving, removing, placing or replacing earth, rock or soil.|
|Environment||has the same meaning as defined in section 2 of the Resource Management Act 1991.|
|Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP)||means a plan that identifies the environmental risks associated with erosion and sediment from a site and describes the methods and controls that will be used to mitigate and manage those risks.|
|Floodplain||means an area of low-lying land adjacent to a waterway that is inundated by water during heavy rainfall or a flood event.|
|Flood protection infrastructure||means any stopbank, bund, embankment or other structure associated with a waterway that helps to manage stormwater and reduce the risk of flooding, and which is owned or administered by the Council. It does not include protective works that do not have a land drainage function, such as sea walls.|
|Industrial premises||means any site undertaking any business activity that is listed in the Register of Industrial and Trade Activities, as well as any site where the Register does not apply, but activities occur in an area or way that the Council considers may contaminate stormwater.|
|Industrial Stormwater Audit Programme||means the Council’s programme of work to monitor and improve the stormwater discharges from industrial premises.|
|Land drainage||means the draining of surface and sub-surface water from the land by natural or constructed drainage channels.|
|Maintenance Access Corridor||means the land required to access any part of the underground stormwater network for maintenance purposes.|
|Occupier||means the owner, operator, or site manager of a premises or property, as is applicable.|
|Overland flow path||means any flow path taken by stormwater on the surface of the land.|
|Private stormwater system||means any stormwater system that serves one or more properties and is not owned, managed or maintained by the Council. It includes any component that drains water from a property up to the point of service connection with the stormwater network.|
|Prohibited substance||means a contaminant in stormwater that has not been expressly authorised by the Council. Prohibited substances include, but are not limited to: sediment, cement, construction by-products, green waste, litter, detergents, soap, swimming/spa pool water, metal residues, leachate, petrochemicals, pesticide, solvents, substances labelled “biodegradable” or similar, and any other hazardous substance.|
|Property||means the following:
|Regional Plan||means any relevant operative or proposed regional plan prepared by Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) under the Resource Management Act 1991, such as the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP).|
|Register of Industrial and Trade Activities||means the Register established under this bylaw, which sets out industrial and trade activities that may contaminate stormwater.|
|Restricted activity||means an activity in relation to the stormwater network which is regulated in clauses 12-16 of this bylaw.|
|Risk classification||means the level of risk for stormwater contamination, as assessed by the Council, based on the activities and practices of an industrial premises.|
|Site works||means any substantial earthworks, including excavation, grading, significant landscaping, installation of septic tanks, trenches, construction of pavement and driveways, and any works associated with the construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building.|
|Stabilised||means an area of land sufficiently covered by erosion-resistant material (such as but not limited to; grass, mulch, weed matting, bark, aggregate, asphalt, concrete, or paver blocks), to prevent erosion of the underlying soil by water.|
|Stormwater||means the water resulting from precipitation (e.g. rain or snow) that is:
|Stormwater connection approval||means an approval in writing given by an authorised officer of the Council, permitting a person to connect to the stormwater network.|
|Stormwater device||means any system, facility or equipment designed or installed to receive stormwater and to store it, delay runoff, control flow, filter contaminants or sediment, monitor, or otherwise manage the quality or quantity of stormwater.|
|Stormwater discharge approval||means an approval in writing given by an authorised officer of the Council, permitting a person to discharge stormwater to the stormwater network.|
|Stormwater network||means any infrastructure, facilities and devices operated, owned or administered by the Council, for the management of stormwater or for the purpose of land drainage. This includes, but is not limited to: pipes, drains and waterways; kerbs and channels; swales and detention ponds; flood protection infrastructure, such as bunds or stopbanks; and treatment and measuring devices or facilities.|
|Surface water||means water in rivers, watercourses and artificial waterbodies, lakes, wetlands, springs or coastal waters, but excludes groundwater (water below the surface).|
|Waterway||includes a watercourse (as defined in section 2 of the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941) and drainage channel (as defined in section 503 of the Local Government Act 1974), and any open drain or waterway as defined in the relevant district plan and the regional plans.|
Explanatory note: Clause 37 applies where a stormwater discharge approval is suspended or cancelled.
Conditions may include, but are not limited to; on-site stormwater management practices or the installation of a stormwater device to manage the quality or quantity of stormwater being discharged from a property.
Explanatory note: Before making any resolution under this clause, the Council will consider the views and preferences of persons affected by the decision, applying the principles in section 82 of the Local Government Act 2002 and the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. All resolutions made under this clause will be recorded in a register available on the Council’s website.
Explanatory note: Neighbouring property includes Council land (such as the road corridor). A resource consent may be required from Environment Canterbury in relation to any spring water under the Land and Water Regional Plan. Where possible, water from artesian sources should feed into waterways. Sometimes this is not possible, for example, if a new spring emerges in a developed part of the city where old waterways have been modified, or where a spring has been capped, but the cap has degraded. The Council should be notified if anyone is intending to cap or modify a spring.
Explanatory note: Obstructions or alterations to overland flow paths and floodplains restrict or change the containment and flow of stormwater in periods of heavy rain, and could cause flooding, property damage, or threats to public safety. Examples include constructing buildings, fences, or retaining walls; laying concrete; and undertaking other site works, landscaping or earthworks.
Explanatory note: Flood protection infrastructure related to land drainage is regulated by this bylaw, but other protective assets such as sea walls are excluded. As well as any bylaw offence, damage to any local authority works or property is also an offence under section 232 of the Local Government Act 2002. Section 232 of the Local Government Act applies to sea walls.
Explanatory note: The details of each specific site and the width and location of the Maintenance Access Corridor will be determined by the Council. Deeper, and usually larger, pipes require a greater area for maintenance access.
Explanatory note: Any works to be undertaken within the road corridor (which includes the road, footpath and berm) is regulated under the Utilities Access Act 2010 and requires the submission of a Corridor Access Request to the Council before work commences.
Explanatory note: Reducing erosion and sediment from earthworks helps to prevent habitat degradation in our waterways and protects the stormwater network from damage or reduced functionality from sediment.
Explanatory note: Erosion and sediment control requirements for earthworks associated with a building or resource consent will be managed in the consent conditions. Projects that are exempt from building consent requirements (such as demolishing a building or replacing a small driveway), will need to prepare and implement an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan to meet the requirements of this bylaw.
The skills and experience of a person suitably qualified to prepare an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan will vary depending on the complexities and level of risk associated with the earthworks, including the extent of the works, proximity to any waterways and the slope of the site.
The Council’s Traffic and Parking Bylaw has clauses to prevent material or debris from being deposited on roads, and enforcement action could be taken under that bylaw or under section 357 of the Local Government Act 1974 (Penalties for damage to roads) in relation to mud on roads, or under this bylaw in relation to stormwater contamination arising from mud on roads.
Explanatory note: The appropriate measures will depend on the scale and duration of the earthworks, the slope of the site, the closeness to any waterways, and the potential for rainfall. Likely measures include preventing runoff, protecting waterways, installing perimeter controls, and managing vehicle access to prevent mud and sediment being tracked or deposited onto the road near the site.
Explanatory note: Where a property owner fails to comply with any request under subclause (5), the Council may undertake the work specified and recover the costs from the property owner under section 459 of the Local Government Act 1974.
Explanatory note: Discharges from industrial premises are at higher risk of stormwater contamination due to the nature of the activities being carried out on-site. Contaminants that enter the stormwater network jeopardise the Council’s ability to comply with the CSNDC.
Explanatory note: There are two ways a business may be considered an industrial premises under this bylaw. Either the business is undertaking an activity listed on the Register of Industrial and Trade Activities, and at a scale indicated in the Register; or where the Council considers that the business activity may be occurring in an area or way that is likely to contaminate stormwater (where the business activity or area is not otherwise captured by the Register).
Explanatory note: Conditions may also be imposed by the connection and discharge approval requirements under clause 6. A default condition on all Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licences is compliance with any corrective actions required as part of an industrial stormwater audit.
Explanatory note: A fee will be charged as the premises will be entered into the Industrial Stormwater Audit Programme, and will require monitoring and engagement at the level of a high-risk premises until further information can be confirmed about the site. The licence fee will be equivalent to a high-risk Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence fee.
Explanatory note: Every occupier holding an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence (including High Risk by default premises) will be included in the Industrial Stormwater Audit Programme.
Explanatory note: clause 35(3) and (4) apply in relation to any monitoring of industrial premises under this clause.
An authorised officer will give notice to the occupier prior to entering any site, in accordance with entry powers under the Local Government Act 2002.
Explanatory note: Some sites hold a resource consent for the discharge of stormwater, issued by Canterbury Regional Council. As part of the implementation of the CSNDC most of these sites will transition from management under a Canterbury Regional Council resource consent to management under this bylaw. Sites assessed as presenting an unacceptably high risk of surface water or groundwater contamination will remain under the regulation of Canterbury Regional Council. Sites that will not transition and sites that pose an unacceptably high risk are excluded from the CSNDC.
Explanatory note: The occupier of any premises discharging to the Council’s stormwater network will also need to meet the connection and discharge approval requirements under clause 6, regardless of any consent held with the Canterbury Regional Council.
Explanatory note: In addition to enforcement taken under this bylaw, the Council may also require the removal of any structure, material, or other debris that is in breach of the bylaw under the applicable legislative power (i.e. section 163 of the Local Government Act 2002, section 43 of the Christchurch District Drainage Act 1951, or section 62 of the Land Drainage Act 1908).
Explanatory note: Once cancelled, an occupier can no longer discharge to the stormwater network, and will need to seek the appropriate consents from the Canterbury Regional Council to discharge stormwater to land or water. If an occupier wishes to reconnect to the stormwater network, they will need to apply under clause 6.
Explanatory note: Under section 175 of the Local Government Act 2002, the Council has a right to recover against any person who willfully or negligently damages Council property. Other statutes such as the Christchurch District Drainage Act 1951 and the Land Drainage Act 1908 also allow the Council to recover the costs of certain works where an owner or occupier has failed to carry out those works at the direction of the Council.
Explanatory note: Any fees are set out in the Council’s Annual Plan or Long Term Plan. The Council also sets a targeted rate in relation to land drainage.
The initial resolution to make this bylaw was passed by a Committee of Council on 10 November 2021, and was confirmed, following consideration of submissions received during a special consultative procedure, at a subsequent meeting of the Council on 9 June 2022.
This register is associated with, but is not part of, the Christchurch City Council Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022. It outlines which businesses are required to apply for an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence.
The Register was adopted by the council on 9 June 2022, under clause 26 of the Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw.
Improving the quality of our waterways is a priority for the Council and our communities. It is also a requirement of the Council’s resource consent from Environment Canterbury to discharge stormwater to the environment (The Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent, or CSNDC).
Untreated industrial stormwater discharges are one of the key contributors to poor water quality in urban waterways. There is an increased risk of stormwater contamination from activities and practices carried out at industrial sites. We recognise this is not the only contributing factor, but to help address this particular source of contamination, the Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence has been introduced.
The purpose of the ISDL system is to support improvements in stormwater quality discharged from industrial sites. The system is set-up to monitor and mitigate that risk, working closely with industries to achieve outcomes in line with the Council’s obligations under the CSNDC.
 Other contributing factors include sediment-laden water from construction sites or washed down from the Port Hills, vehicle contaminants, earthquake-derived sediment, wastewater overflows, and household building products and everyday stormwater runoff that collects metals, chemicals or bacteria (e.g: copper from brake pads, zinc from tyres or household roofs, chemicals from house or vehicle washing, bacteria from animal poo)
Some industrial premises will need to obtain an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence (ISDL) under the new bylaw. The need to hold an ISDL is based on the type of activity that is undertaken at the industrial premises.
Industrial and trade activities identified as requiring an ISDL are set out in the Register of Industrial and Trade Activities, which is available alongside the Bylaw on the Council’s website. It includes things like chemical industries; metal manufacturing, processing or finishing; tyre or rubber manufacturing; petroleum and coal product industries; waste management and resource recovery (including vehicle dismantling); and landscaping suppliers.
Businesses undertaking activities not on that list, or undertaking activities which are on the list, but at a smaller scale than indicated in the Register, do not need to apply for an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence, unless directly asked to by the Council.
Most premises that currently have individual resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury will transition to management under the Council by 1 January 2025, or at the expiry of their current resource consent. These premises will need to apply for an ISDL prior to surrendering their consent with Environment Canterbury, and within six months of the latter of either of these dates.
Any industrial premises which has their own resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury and has been expressly excluded from the CSNDC, will not transition to Council regulation, and does not need to apply for an ISDL. The risks related to these premises will continue to be managed by Environment Canterbury, under their individual resource consent.
Environment Canterbury, as a regional council, has responsibilities under the Resource Management Act 1991 in relation to how land and water are managed in the Canterbury region. ECan’s Land and Water Regional Plan sets this out, including what people can and cannot do, and when a resource consent is needed.
The Christchurch City Council, as a district council, manages stormwater for the district through a public stormwater network, and so has to hold a resource consent from Environment Canterbury to discharge stormwater from the public stormwater network to the environment. The Council recently consolidated a number of older consents into one new resource consent (the Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent, or CSNDC).
The CSNDC places new obligations on the Council to improve the quality of stormwater being discharged from the public network to the environment, and reducing contaminants from industrial sites is one area where improvements are required. This is why a new system is being brought in by the Council, through the Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw. The new system is designed to support improvements in the quality of stormwater being discharged from industrial sites via the public network, to the environment.
The higher the risk for stormwater contamination at a site (based on type of industrial activity and practices carried out on site), the more monitoring and staff time is required to protect the stormwater network and comply with the Council’s resource consent to discharge stormwater. The risk classification determines how often a business is audited, and the risk-based fee structure reflects the increased resource requirements for higher-risk premises.
Contamination risks to stormwater can be reduced through management practices, treatment devices, and other onsite improvements. The risk-based fee structure also helps to encourage voluntary mitigation to reduce contamination risk. This has benefits for both the stormwater network and the natural environment, as well as the individual business, in terms of a cost reduction in annual licence fees.
The Council needs to be able to identify the industrial premises in the district which present the highest risk for stormwater contamination in order to comply with its resource consent to discharge stormwater.
Timeframes for compliance are set out in the Register of Industrial and Trade Activities.
The Council is focussing on the highest-risk industries first. Some must comply by 1 February 2023, while others have until 1 July 2023 to comply. The aim is to have all industrial premises compliant within 12 months of the bylaw coming into force.
Some businesses may get direct notification requesting that an ISDL is obtained – in these cases, the compliance timeframe will be set in that letter of notification.
Industrial premises that hold an individual resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury may have a longer timeframe to comply – please see “What if my business has an individual resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury?” (above)
The bylaw sets the ability for the Council to charge fees related to the Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence, but it does not set the actual amount to be charged.
All fees are proposed, consulted on, and set through the Council’s Annual Plan (or Long Term Plan) process each year.
The indicative annual licence fees consulted on through the Draft Annual Plan 2022 are:
There is no charge for industrial premises assessed as low risk.
The first annual licence fee will be payable upon confirmation of licence approval.
Note: The exact fees will be confirmed in June 2022 through the adoption of the Annual Plan 2022. If adopted by the Council as proposed, fees will be in place from 1 July 2022.
The bylaw provides for other additional fees that may be charged in future years, but these will not be charged in 2022/23. If they are charged in future, they will first need to be consulted on and set through Council’s Annual Plan or Long Term Plan. These fees include:
The annual licence fee covers:
Any additional audit costs over and above what is accounted for in the licence fee can be recovered as additional monitoring fees.
If the Council is aware of a business that should hold an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence, but does not, the Council will write to the occupier, advising them of their obligation to seek a licence under the bylaw.
Where no action is taken, the Council may classify the business as a High Risk Industrial Site, and charge the corresponding annual licence fee. The business will then enter the Industrial Stormwater Audit Programme, and will have to cooperate with any audit requirements.
Any breach of the bylaw (including not holding a licence when required to), could lead to prosecution. A person convicted of a breach of a bylaw made under the Local Government Act 2002 may be liable for a fine of up to $20,000.
Achieving improved water quality in our waterways requires a range of different approaches, from onsite stormwater treatment, to behaviour change and education to empower communities to help stop contaminants getting into stormwater.
The bylaw is just one way in which the Council can contribute to this goal of reducing contaminants. The Council’s new bylaw has a number of changes to help reduce or prevent contamination in stormwater:
Other than the bylaw, the Council is undertaking, or is involved with, the following activities to prevent contamination in the stormwater network: