Eden, Tura Beach and Tathra residents are being asked to take some simple steps in preparation for sewer maintenance works that are now underway in parts of Eden.
The scheduled maintenance program will involve repairs and rehabilitation works and the use of high-pressure water to clear sewerage infrastructure of blockages and debris.
Acting Water and Sewerage Services Manager at Bega Valley Shire Council, Steve Marshall, said customers are encouraged to take some simple steps to prepare for the works.
“It’s fairly rare, but the use of high-pressure water to clean sewer mains can sometimes result in an unpleasant situation called blowback,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is when a blockage in the main is encountered and the water backs up to the nearest outlet, which can be a customer’s toilet,” he said.
“There are two key actions residents can take to prevent this happening: one is to seek out and inspect their overflow relief gullies, or gully traps as they are often called.
“Gully traps are found in the yard. They are small and round, protruding from the ground and usually covered with a plastic grille that is designed to pop off if there is a problem in the sewer system.
“Plumbers install gully traps to deal with issues like blowback, so any backwash ends up in the garden instead of the bathroom floor.
“It’s vital that gully traps are not overgrown with grass, or obstructed by something heavy, like a pot plant or paving slab.”
Mr Marshall said the second thing people can do is to place a small weight on the closed toilet lid.
“While jetting works are happening in your area it’s advisable to keep toilet lids closed and to place a small weight on top, like a couple of books,” Mr Marshall said.
“We’re delivering notices to all affected customers with instructions on how to prepare for the scheduled works,” he said.
“Within the notices we advise that our contractors, Interflow may need entry to backyards with a sewer access chamber. Customers are requested to get in touch with Interflow to schedule a suitable time for contractor staff to access their backyard.
“A regular sewerage network maintenance program is needed to keep the network operating and to prevent the build-up of blockages which can lead to environmentally damaging sewer spills.
“Customers can do their part by not flushing items like nappies, wet wipes and oils down the toilet. Flushing never makes them go away—instead they cause blockages that lead to expensive problems.”
Works started in parts of Eden on Monday 20 March 2023 before moving onto Tura Beach and Tathra. Works in all areas are expected to wrap up by Sunday 16 April 2023.
High-pressure water jetting will take place between 7am and 5pm (weekdays) and 8:30am and 4:30pm (Saturdays).
More details of jetting dates in specific areas will be provided in letters delivered to customers.
For enquiries about the jetting process, please contact Council’s Water and Sewerage Services team on (02) 6499 2222.
If you cannot find your gully trap, or suspect that it is blocked, please contact your local plumber for advice and service.
Image: Bega Valley Shire Council