Seepage and groundwater

Ever asked yourself what the difference is between seepage and groundwater?


Seepage occurs when water slowly flows through porous materials. Seepage can result in puddles, discolouration/ textural changes, mould, mildew, smells, etc. Seepage can be caused by dripping taps, leaking pipes, cracked drains, damaged garden irrigation systems, etc.

Seepage can occur after recent heavy rain or when there has been no recent heavy rain:

  • After heavy rains, surface water runoff, natural underground water or faulty stormwater systems could be the cause of seepage.
  • When there hasn’t been recent rain, faulty plumbing, damaged water infrastructure or natural underground water could be the cause of seepage.

Seepage on private property

Seepage on private property is a property owner's responsibility.

If private property infrastructure has been excluded as a source, naturally occurring groundwater may be the source.

Property owners may wish to consider engaging an engineer/consultant or drainage specialist who can investigate the cause and provide advice on how to address seepage on private property.

We are not responsible for seepage on private property.


Groundwater can also cause seepage.

Groundwater is a natural occurrence where water flows or collects beneath the surface. When groundwater makes its way to the surface, seepage can occur.

Weather, natural underground water, and solid structures (such as buildings, driveways, retaining walls or rocks) can influence the flow of groundwater to the surface and cause seepage.

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for seepage caused by broken or damaged stormwater drainage assets that we own.

We are not responsible for naturally occurring groundwater seepage.

If you believe seepage is caused by City-owned assets, please contact us.

Barwon Water responsibilities

Barwon Water is responsible for broken water or sewer infrastructure causing seepage – please contact Barwon Water.

Page last updated: Monday, 18 December 2023