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Tree roots in a stormwater drain causing localised flooding is an issue confronted by many homeowners, particularly during our summer storms on the Gold Coast.

So imagine the issues faced when the tallest commercial office building on the Gold Coast at 118m tall and with 27 floors above ground and five levels of basement parking gets roots in their drains.

tree roots in stormwater drain at 50 Cavill Ave Surfers Paradise repaired by Whywait Plumbing ServicesWell, this scenario is precisely what has occurred at the Gold Coast’s premier office building, GDI Property Group’s refurbished “50 Cavill Avenue” in the heart of Surfers Paradise on the corner of Cavill Avenue and Beach Road. High profile tenants at 50 Cavill Avenue include Channel 9, Mantra, CBRE and Regus.

As you can see in the photo on the right, 50 Cavill Avenue is indeed a prestigious office building with a great street appearance. Part of that appearance is a magnificent fig tree in a grassed area on the very corner of the property at the Beach Road entrance. The tree can be seen on the bottom right of the photo.

tree roots in stormwater drain at 50 Cavill Ave Surfers Paradise in 100mm pipe exposed by Whywait PlumbingUnfortunately, over the years since being transplanted onto the site, the tree roots of this beautiful tree had slowly but surely gained access to 50 Cavill Avenues primary stormwater drainage system.

Stormwater drains are a critical part of any building and are designed to comply with AS 3500.3:2015 to ensure that the materials used, the design, installation and testing of roof drainage systems, surface drainage systems and subsoil drainage systems will always work.

Unfortunately, as we frequently witness, the stormwater drains are installed not in accordance with the designs causing flooding.

This is in the main due to the fact that stormwater drains are inspected and certified by private building certifiers, rather than council plumbing inspectors which in our experience frequently means they are never inspected to ensure they are compliant.

Every summer after storms and massive rainfall events, we see the consequences of poorly designed, poorly installed and poorly maintained stormwater drains all over the Gold Coast. Stormwater drains like most plumbing are hidden underground so are easily overlooked until the summer storms arrive.

As you can see from the photos above and below on the left the tree roots infiltration at 50 Cavill Avenue is extensive inside these 100mm stormwater drains. The tree roots in these photos are more than 30m away from the fig tree and are perfectly formed plus being incredibly strong, requiring power saws to cut through them.

The process to rectify these drains at 50 Cavill Avenue is hugely complex. We have had to hydro excavate extensive areas of grass and soil to locate 50 Cavill Ave tree roots in drains repaired by Whywait Plumbing Serviceswhere the tree roots are entering the stormwater drainage system whilst at the same time protecting the Moreton Bay fig tree.

tree roots cause flooding at 50 Cavill Ave Surfers Paradise repaired by Whywait PlumbingThe photo on the right shows a 6m length of tree roots lying on the concrete floor that we removed that were utterly encompassing the entire interior of a 100mm pipe.

We are all aware we have had plenty of rain this summer, and that stormwater drains have been tested to the limit.

But you should never be complacent where your stormwater drains are concerned primarily if you have trees on your property or neighbouring properties. Infiltration by tree roots similar to what has happened at 50 Cavill Avenue can slowly sneak up on you if you are not vigilant.

Overflowing, slow draining or gurgling drains are your warning signs whenever you experience a rainfall event. They should never be ignored as they seldom go away and should be investigated immediately.

If you suspect your stormwater drains are not working effectively contact Whywait Plumbing now on (07) 5580 4311 to organise a site inspection to ensure, you have fully functioning stormwater drains.