Hi, I have an unsightly storm water drain in lawn and wish to a/ build higher/level with yard & b/ cover with grass.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @SueGillan. It's terrific to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about hiding a stormwater drain.
You might like to have a read through these previous topics on the subject:
There are quite a few good ideas contributed in those discussions.
Unfortunately, you can't lay grass over the stormwater or have anything permanent in place. You'll need to see if there is an access easement on your property plans. Not only is this drain an access point for the stormwater for maintenance, but it also looks to collect water in your backyard. By permanently covering it, you risk flooding the area or inhibiting maintenance crews from accessing it.
Before you consider any work, you should check your house plans and chat with your local council to find out what restrictions will apply.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
"Unfortunately, you can't lay grass over the stormwater or have anything permanent in place."
Don't shoot the messenger, but below is a photo of a storm drain, well, sorta. It belongs to an 80 year old lady whose property adjoins my backyard.
Council went through our properties with a similar drainage network as described above which wormed its way though backyards. She told me one day she didn't like it so she placed shopping bags (when they were plastic) over the 'vents' and shoveled dirt on top. I lent over the fence for this shot just now and noticed a fern successfully growing. 😁
She was so proud at the time, I just didn't have the heart to explain.
Now all this happened 20 years ago.
"Please let me know if you have any questions."
I guess my question is - does council monitor and maintain these drains? Clearly not here. Do they in larger cities?
It really depends on what the drain is for. If it's a drain pit that was installed by the property owner, then it's entirely up to them if they want to cover it. If it is an access point for the council stormwater, then technically, you shouldn't be covering it and certainly not with anything permanent that would prevent access. If it's for council access, then you'll likely find an easement on your property plans available through the local council. If there is an easement, then you shouldn't be building anything permanent over the drain or the pipework that runs through the property and that easement. Council advisors will be much more versed in this, so I'd advise contacting them.
Worst case scenario, say you lay a slab over the area and build a shed. If the council needs to perform emergency works and needs access to the easement to fix the stormwater, then I suspect that the shed and slab will need to be removed very quickly and at the homeowners cost.
They certainly weren't installed by the owners. In fact council intended to put one in my backyard but I had a small shed not indicated on their plans. But they left the grill. Dunno why.
Northern neighbour has grass growing over his next to a weather vane. Maybe I should stop typing and start building an Ark?
Good morning @SueGillan
Now that looks clever. Is this meant to take the place of the galvanised grill seen in your photo?
Can you lift your grill?
Is there a concrete lip to support this British idea?
And forgive me - one more question. What is that small concrete slab next to your grill?
I guess I'm thinking if there's nothing in Australia, we can steal the Brits idea - and make one. Do you weld? 😁
I haven't come across that type of product before. My only concern with placing something like that over the grate is if the pit also serves as a surface water collection device. You would basically block all water from draining into the pit. This likely wouldn't be an issue most of the time, but in a torrential downpour, you would probably end up with a new pond feature in your backyard.
The pit has been installed sunken quite deep into the ground, and this alludes to the fact that it could be placed there not only as an access point but also to collect the runoff from the surrounding area. What's on the other side of the fence? If it were an apartment block, this grate would no doubt be placed like that to capture water running under the fence.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
You don't think fake grass would be porous enough? Using reverse Google image - I found Sue's British site...
And from it...
"GrassTop Manhole Covers are a unique product offered only by Recessed Manhole Covers. These were developed specifically for gardens and lawned areas so that unsightly manhole covers no longer ruin the surroundings. With pre-drilled drainage holes and a double layer of factory fitted specialist membranes, grass can grow in the recessed tray while the water is gradually filtered through."