The primary function of Australian residential and commercial drainage systems is to manage water flow around homes and properties. They are an essential component in preventing flooding and erosion, as well as protecting the structural integrity of buildings and surrounding landscapes.

All drainage systems in Australia must comply with local regulations and standards to ensure public health and safety, and to protect the environment. These systems include surface, sub-surface, stormwater and sewerage drainage systems.

This blog post will look at the different types of drainage and how they keep flowing to meet your ongoing plumbing & drainage needs.

Understanding Surface Water Drainage Systems

Surface water drainage systems collect and manage rainwater or snowmelt that falls on the surface of a property, such as a home or community building. These methods are necessary to prevent water levels from pooling around the foundation of a building and causing structural damage, erosion, mould, flooding and potential health hazards.

These systems may include stormwater drainage pipelines, rainwater harvesting systems, surface swales or infiltration trenches for your home or business. In Australia, the regulations regarding installing and maintaining surface water drainage systems vary from state to state, which is why our plumbers are qualified to undertake installation or repair.

What are Sub-Surface Drainage Systems?

A typical sub-surface drainage system includes an underground network of pipes or channels typically made of PVC or other durable materials and buried at a depth below the ground’s surface. The drains connect to a series of catch basins or utility holes, allowing easy access and maintenance of the system.

This drainage system collects water through various methods, including perforated or a stretch ag pipe, gravel trenches, or drainage wells. The collected water makes its way to a nearby body of water or treatment facility. Sub-surface drainage systems can handle a variety of flow rates to work effectively for a site’s specific needs, such as compacted or sealed surfaces, or where the area is too steep to channel water away effectively. 

Types of Water & Waste Drainage Inside Your Home & Community Buildings

You will find several types of drains and plumbing within the interior and exterior of our home office buildings and commercial applications, which we will look at closely below.

Stormwater Drains

In Australia, a storm drain is critical in managing the water flow during heavy rains and storms. The drainage systems design is to collect and channel rainwater away from urban areas, preventing flooding and protecting property and infrastructure from damage. The system typically consists of a network of lines, channels, and detention basins in streets, parks, and other paved areas. The water collected by the storm drain runs to nearby creeks, rivers, or the ocean.

Stormwater management is also an important aspect of protecting natural habitats. The Australian government has implemented various practices to reduce the volume and improve the quality of stormwater runoff. These include rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavements, and other low-impact development techniques that help to filter pollutants out of the stormwater before it is released.

Water Pipe

In Australia, hot water pipes are typically coloured red or have red markings on them, while for cold water, they’re typically coloured blue or have blue markings on them. These colour codes help to easily identify the hot and cold and prevent confusion when working on plumbing systems. 

This drainage system transports hot water from the water heater to various fixtures in the home, such as the shower, sink, and bathtub. The cold water pipes transport cold water from the main water supply to the fixtures in the home, such as the toilet and washing machine.

Sewer Pipe

A sewer drainage system plays a crucial role in the collection and transportation of wastewater. The pipe materials are PVC, concrete, or clay. Installed underground, they transport waste from homes and businesses to treatment facilities. 

These pipes’ primary function is to correctly dispose of waste without contaminating surrounding habitats, waterways and ponds. Additionally, sewer drainage systems prevent blockages and backups, which can cause health hazards and damage buildings and infrastructure. Overall, the proper functioning of these is essential for maintaining public health and the overall sanitation of a community.


Downpipes play a vital role in the drainage of rainwater in Australia. Typically made of materials such as PVC, metal, or aluminium and are connected to the gutters of a building. Their primary function is to collect and channel rainwater away from the foundation of a building, preventing water damage and flooding. 

They also help to prevent soil erosion around a building by directing water away from the foundation and into drainage systems such as stormwater channels or underground drainage systems. Overall, their function is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of a building, protecting it from water damage, and preventing environmental damage caused by water runoff.

Recycled Water Lines

Recycled water pipes transport treated wastewater for non-potable uses such as irrigation, industrial processes, and toilet flushing. The pipe materials are resistant to corrosion and can withstand the chemical properties of recycled water. Using recycled water for non-potable purposes helps conserve drinking water resources and reduce the demand for freshwater systems.

Where Are Water Drainage Systems Located?

Water drainage systems are situated below ground. Their main components include the sewer main, which connects the building to the municipal sewer system, and the building’s internal plumbing, which consists of the lines that carry wastewater from fixtures such as toilets, sinks, and showers to the sewer main. 

Drainage systems can also include underground lines that carry stormwater away from the building’s foundation to prevent water infiltration. These pipelines are typically located in a crawl space and may be connected to surface drainage systems such as gutters and downpipes.

Ask Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting About Your Drains

Ask Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting about the complete range of services they deliver, including different types of water drainage. You can expect our crew to get to your site quickly and offer an appropriate solution, regardless of the conditions of your system. On completion, we clear away any debris to ensure we leave a location clean and tidy.

Keep clogged or damaged drains from disrupting your daily routine; ask about our complete range of low-cost drain services. From routine cleaning and maintenance to emergency repairs, we have the expertise and equipment to keep your drainage system running smoothly. 

Protect your property and ensure the longevity of your pipes by calling us now and scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced plumbers.