NSW storm and flood updates 2022

Find out how to keep your community safe after flooding; what to do with waste material and hazardous materials; and how to clean a flood-affected property.

If you are impacted by the floods, Service NSW is providing a one-stop shop for people and businesses to access all available recovery services. Call 13 77 88 or visit service.nsw.gov.au to access the following information:

  • Accommodation advice
  • Relevant charitable services
  • Mental health and wellbeing services
  • Support for businesses
  • Financial assistance
  • Insurance and legal support
  • Replacing lost ID

Building site run-off 

If you see run-off from a building site or your property is affected by run-off because of the floods or heavy rainfall, please contact your council to report it. Councils are the environmental regulator for local construction projects. The EPA can help you with major or state significant construction projects and you can report any issues to the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555.

Waste levy waivers

After flood events, the NSW Government waste levy can be been waived for waste arising as a result of storms and floods. The waiving of the levy helps residents in impacted government areas dispose of their flood-damaged goods and possessions. Announcements of any waivers will be made shortly after events and the areas that are eligible will be listed here below on the EPA website.

For those in impacted areas, please check your local landfill websites to ensure waste facilities are taking debris, opening hours and whether there are special requirements for disposing of flood damaged waste.

Waste facilities will need to ensure the waste is flood generated before and government waste levy can be waived.

Waste facility gate fees may still apply.

Community safety

Safety is the number one priority for those in flood impacted areas. Please be alert for instructions from NSW government departments that are responding to the flood and be aware of evacuation orders from the NSW State Emergency Service.

Avoid flood impacted areas and damaged building or structures, unless they are deemed safe by authorities. Be mindful that there may be large submerged debris in flood waters which can be an unseen hazard.

If an immediate response is required, where there is imminent risk to the community or the environment, call Fire and Rescue NSW on Triple Zero (000), including for a HAZMAT response.

When collecting and removing rotting material such as spoiled food or vegetation, always wear a P2 face mask. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling flood-generated waste.

While cleaning up after flooding, be mindful where materials might contain asbestos and take appropriate precautions.

If you encounter material that you suspect may be hazardous please avoid it and call Environment Line on 131 555 or info@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Dealing with waste material when clean-up commences

During a flood clean-up, it is important to protect yourself and to be mindful of the environment around you. If you are in in a Disaster-Declared Area, your local council is your initial point of contact to seek assistance or phone Service NSW on 13 77 88 for information on what assistance is available. Operators will refer you to the appropriate support.

If you are not in a Local Government Area covered by the NSW Government’s Immediate Relief Teams, liaise with your council about arrangements for clean-up in your area.

You can start managing your waste by separating it into the following groups:

  • food waste (use your red lid bin first. If the bin is full put food waste in a container on the kerbside)
  • hard bulk waste (furniture, carpets, mattresses)
  • green waste (vegetation)
  • scrap metal (whitegoods and e-waste)
  • hazardous materials (gas bottles, paint, pool chemicals, unlabelled drums)

Separating waste into the different waste types means we will be able to send the right waste to the right place and save valuable landfill space.

Building materials, furniture and any other flood-generated waste are included in the levy waiver and this applies to waste from both public and private land.

Find out about water safety around flood waters and how to deal with flood mudhousehold and hazardous chemicals and asbestos if you have been impacted by storms or floods

Cleaning your flood affected property

  • Every area affected by flood water inside your house needs to be cleaned, including empty refrigerators and cupboards.
  • Wash mud, dirt, and debris from your house with a hose, starting at the highest point and working down to ground level.
  • Where possible, remove all wet items such as floor coverings, rugs, mats, furniture, bedding, linen and clothing. If floor coverings are removed, thoroughly clean and dry the floor underneath before new material is laid.
  • Begin drying out the house as soon as floodwaters recede – open doors and windows during dry days, use fans where possible, check for trapped water and mud in wall or floor cavities.
  • Hard-surface floors, walls, benches and sinks should be thoroughly cleaned with hot soapy water and disinfected by wiping or spraying surfaces with a chlorine bleach solution or a product labelled as a disinfectant. Once disinfected, allow to dry.
  • Flood-affected mattresses are difficult to treat and may need to be discarded.
  • Furniture, such as lounge chairs, may be air dried in the sun then sprayed thoroughly with a disinfectant solution. Consult a local furniture renovating company if you are unsure about their condition.
  • Soft toys should be discarded. Solid toys should be washed and then disinfected.