The sewer and stormwater networks are separate systems.
The stormwater network protects against flooding by collecting rainwater runoff and directing it into pipes where it feeds into waterways. The sewer network protects your health and the environment; carrying sewage from bathrooms, kitchens and laundries to treatment plants.
Preventing sewer overflows
Property owners and residents need to ensure that stormwater doesn't enter the sewer system around their home. Excess water in the sewer may cause pipes to become overloaded and lead to sewage overflows on people's properties.
To protect your home check that water isn't diverted into the sewerage system from:
- your roof
- landscaping runoff
- Broken sewer pipes
Also, ensure that nothing is obstructing your overflow relief gully.
About sewer blockages
What goes in doesn’t always come out. Sewer blockages occur when there's something inside your pipe that stops it working correctly.
About 20 per cent of all blockages in our sewerage system result from someone putting the wrong things down sinks and toilets.
To keep your drains flowing, follow these simple tips:
- Don’t pour used motor oils or other hazardous chemicals down the drain. Contact your council for information on safe disposal.
- Make sure your roof downpipes aren’t directing stormwater into the overflow relief gully.This could cause sewage to back-up into your home during heavy rain.
- Nappies, sanitary products and other personal hygiene items belong in the bin.
- You can also place a strainer on your shower drain to catch loose items.
- Don't use the sink as a garbage bin for food scraps. Dispose of coffee grinds and tea leaves in the bin.
- Use a sink strainer to catch small items and scraps before they get washed away.
- Don't pour boiling water down the sink. Water over 65 degrees celsius could damage PVC pipes.
- Cooking oils and fats often harden in drains creating greasy plugs which can clog your pipes.
- Use the recommended dose of detergent to avoid build-up in your washing machine and laundry pipes.
- Biodegradable and phosphate-free products are also kinder to the environment and less likely to cause blockages.
Faults, leaks and blockages - who's responsible?
The property owner is responsible for the installation, repair and maintenance of all pipes and private fittings on your property up to the sewer connection point. If you detect a leak or blockage in these pipes, it's your responsibility to fix it. We recommend you contact a licensed plumber to rectify the problem as soon as possible.
We're responsible for the maintenance and repair of the pipes leading away from the connection point (your water meter) to the street. If you detect a problem in these pipes, it's our responsibility to fix it. You can report a fault here.