A MORNINGTON man who was forced to drain 2500 litres of water from his flooded backyard after heavy rain blames shoddy workmanship by the builder and is puzzled Mornington Peninsula Shire Council approved the work in the first place.
Peter Molloy, of Seaview Av, Mornington, bought his rear townhouse in February and was preparing to move in a few months later during a week of steady rain.
When he came to paint inside the garage he found the floor flooded with five centimetres of water. He was surprised there was no grill or grate running along the garage doorway to catch water before it ran inside.
But the rain didn’t only affect his garage: the backyard was also flooding – probably because a broken pipe was allowing water to flow unchecked across his grass area and under decking beside the back door.
Mr Molloy, 77, called his plumber who fixed the pipe but the water was unable to drain away because of the clay soil. It just sits under his deck and the smell is “terrible”, he says. The normally hardy buffalo grass has rotted and he has had to raise a section of grass to walk on.
Mr Molloy sent a registered letter to the builder on 25 November setting out his list of complaints which covered defective and incomplete building work. He had not received a reply by Friday 15 December. The News has not been able to contact the company.
A Land Information Certificate issued for the block before the building permit was issued describes the land as “flood-prone – liable to flooding”. It sets out a list of run-off requirements, such as 100mm stormwater drains to cope with a once-in-10-year storm event. These obligations appear to have been carried out, yet the property still floods.
The shire’s municipal building surveyor manager David Kotsiakos said buildings “can be built on flood-prone land provided the ground floor level is above the flood level and the building does not inhibit the flow of water”.
“Flooding is surface flows from an extreme rainfall event, as compared to sub-surface dampness,” he said.
The Victorian Building Authority plumbing technical and regulation unit told The News that the installation of stormwater channels that are grated were not included as regulated plumbing work under the definition of drainage work in Part 4 of the Plumbing Regulations 2008.
Only the stormwater drain itself, from the connection to the channel or strip drain, is classed as regulated plumbing work. A spokesman said there was also no specific requirement in the National Construction Code for stormwater drainage to protect a [garage] from water ingress or flooding.
However, this is cold comfort for Mr Molloy who wonders why he is obliged to pay for repair works to make his backyard and garage habitable – especially after heavy rain.