Program to identify illegal sewer connections

Date published: 17 February 2017

An inspection program of council’s sewer system will be undertaken to identify illegal connections to the network.

The Townsville Water and Waste Committee today endorsed a recommendation to commence the infiltration and inflow inspection program in Mount Low, Cosgrove, Bohle Plains, Shaw, Kirwan and Kelso on March 20.

Committee chair Cr Paul Jacob said the program was necessary to avoid expensive repairs or clean ups down the track.

“Each time heavy rain occurs there is entry of stormwater through illegal connections, for example downpipes, into the sewer system,” Cr Jacob said.

“These connections place significant load on the sewerage network and can cause sewage overflows.

“It also increases the cost to council to pump water through our wastewater plants, in turn increasing costs for electricity, chemicals and the maintenance of this infrastructure.

“There are also cost and resource implications to clean up residential properties that experience sewage spills due to the system overflowing.”

Cr Jacob said smoke testing was used to identify problem areas.

“Council identifies connections to the system by pumping smoke through the sewer and investigating each property in the program area to monitor the release of smoke,” he said.

“Since its commencement in 2008, the program has inspected 50,666 properties around the city.

“During this time we’ve identified 1,973 defects, and the owners of the relevant properties were notified of these defects and their obligation to carry out repairs,” he said.

“To date, 1,877 of those defects have been repaired.”

Reminders have been sent to residents who have not yet carried out repairs.

The Systematic Inspection Program was first launch in Townsville in 2008 and this will be the 18th program carried out across the city.

The report will go to Full Council on February 28 for approval.