During the wet season, sewer overflows can occur due to the extra pressure placed on the sewerage network from the large inflow of stormwater (rain runoff).
The sewer system is designed to take five times the normal dry weather flow. However, this can often be exceeded in intense rainfall events because of stormwater inflow.
The problem is exacerbated by illegal connections to the sewer system, broken house drains and sewers and flooded drains and manholes.
Frequently asked questions
What will council do to rectify this problem?
Council crews will attend to affected properties as soon as possible, where they will redirect overflows away from the residence where needed and where possible.
They will also carry out a clean up of the area, including dilution and disinfection.
What if the overflow occurs within the home?
Council crews will attend to the affected property as soon as possible to stop the internal overflow.
They will also clean and disinfect the contaminated area.
What is council doing to prevent these sewage overflows from occurring?
Council has been carrying out an extensive program ahead of wet season to better protect the city against sewage overflows.
In big rainfall events, overflows are inevitable but council has been undertaking a range of actions to minimise the impact and number of incidences.
This includes a smoke testing program – which is progressively being rolled out across the city - to pinpoint and fix areas that can cause sewage overflows.
This includes broken manholes, illegal property connections (and those in poor condition), and submerged manholes in flooded areas.
Other work includes installation of pressure gauges at pump stations, relining of sewerage mains, and the purchase of generators to provide emergency power supply at some of the city’s pump stations.
Air-locking of toilets
My toilet isn’t flushing – what is the problem?
If water rises to the top of the toilet bowl and drains away very slowly, then air locking may be the problem.
If the drainage system is full, the air can’t go into the vent pipe. This creates an air bubble and that blocks the drain.
How do I fix air-locking?
The air can be relieved from the system by placing a flat ended object (such as a screw driver) between the rubber ring and the pipe on the pan connector behind the pedestal. Air escaping will be heard.
This will only work if you do not have a concealed bend pedestal.
For more information, please phone the Customer Service Centre on 1300 878 001 or send an email to Townsville Water.