Sewage overflows

When we experience very heavy rain and wet weather/flood events, a large volume of stormwater often gets into the sewerage system.

At times like this, sewage can discharge through manholes and other overflow points. In this situation, Unitywater will:

  • assign work crews to contain spills, clean and disinfect affected areas;
  • barricade affected areas if sewage spills are ongoing;
  • erect signage to notify residents of sewage spill (when a public area or waterway has been impacted);
  • divert sewage flows into less inundated parts of the system;
  • get tankers to pump sewage directly from the system to relieve the pressure on particular pump stations; and
  • conduct water-quality testing to ensure that waterways are not polluted with unacceptable bacteria levels.

Unitywater will work with councils to protect public health and as a result of wet weather incidents beaches and waterways may be closed.

We strongly advise all residents and visitors to stay out of flood affected waters during and after a storm, as the water may contain snags, sharp objects, stormwater diluted sewage, chemical waste, fallen powerlines and wildlife.

During a storm event if sewage is starting to overflow inside your house, then please check your Overflow Relief Gully is clear of obstructions and the grate is loose fitting. If the grate is blocked, please clear it!

Your Overflow Relief Gully is a critical part of your house's plumbing, and is designed to prevent your house flooding with sewage.

Download: Property Damage: A guide for property owners and tenants (PDF)
 Keeping stormwater out of the sewerage network brochure (PDF)
Download: Storm in a Teacup

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