MidCoast Council will conduct smoke testing of Wingham’s sewer system later this week to identify where stormwater may be incorrectly entering sewer pipes.
Staff will visit properties in the area to carry out an assessment of houselines on Friday 21 May.
Identifying and resolving leaks, defects and incorrectly installed stormwater connections into Council’s sewer mains will help reduce incidences of flooding or overflow on private property, but it will also help avoid expensive repairs or clean ups at Council’s pumping stations and treatment plants down the track.
“The amount of stormwater currently entering our sewer system during storms is placing undue pressure on our mains and pumps. This is adding large costs to our maintenance bills,” explained Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott.
“This work should help identify where some of this excess water is getting in. Then we can get the problems fixed, alleviating some of the pressure on our sewer network.”
Smoke testing involves the pumping of non-toxic, odourless smoke into a public sewer or manhole during dry weather. The smoke enters the sewer system and escapes through leaks, cracked pipes or incorrectly installed stormwater drains. It may emerge from yards, roof gutters, pipes or street drains. It is a simple way of identifying where problems are so they can be fixed.
While connecting stormwater to the sewer system is illegal, in many cases it happens accidentally.
“We want to work with the community to make sure all connections are legal and safe for the environment,” said Mr Scott.
“The first step is identifying where these problems are, which is what our crews will be doing at Wingham.”