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Wollongong City Council

Roof Cleaning and Restoration

You don't need to get permission from Council to clean or restore your roof. However it's important that any work is done carefully so you don't pollute our waterways.

Letting polluted wastewater enter stormwater drains, roadside gutters or waterways is an offence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, and can attract significant fines.

Pollutants like oxides, algae, paint flakes, concrete and sediment can also kill seagrass, aquatic plants and marine life.

Council's Compliance and Enforcement Policy PDF, 203.33 KB explains how we decide what action to take in cases pollution from roof cleaning.

Steps for cleaning your roof

These are some steps you can take to avoid polluted water from your roof entering our waterways. This is a general guide only, and you may need to take different steps depending on your situation.


  • Where possible, disconnect downpipes and redirect waste water to the garden or a holding tank so it can be disposed of by a licensed liquid waste disposal contractor.
  • If it's not possible or practical to disconnect downpipes, block them while you're cleaning and feed the wastewater onto lawns or gardens.


  • Consider drilling a hole in the roof gutter, blocking downpipes and diverting water to garden beds. When you've finished cleaning, you can plug the hole with a grommet.

Stormwater drains

  • Use sandbags or a portable bund (a barrier to contain water) in the roadside gutter to protect stormwater drains.
  • Use a vacuum or bilge pump to remove captured wastewater and direct it to your lawn or garden. Make sure no wastewater flows into the stormwater drain.
  • Always keep a spill response kit handy, including a shovel, broom and rags to clean up residues.
  • Don't wash or hose any remaining waste materials down the stormwater drain.

Don't over-do it

  • It's possible to over-clean the roof. Try to keep cleaning times to a minimum. This will save water and help prevent run-off entering waterways.

Example setup

See our example setup diagram PDF, 200.21 KB as one suggestion for how you can manage run-off from roof cleaning.

Note: the information on this page is based on a Fact Sheet developed by Gold Coast City Council with funding from the Australian Government’s Regulation Reduction Incentive Fund.