THE Fraser Coast Regional Council will begin tests to locate illegal stormwater connections next month.
The inspection program will identify the sources of stormwater and groundwater leaking into the Hervey Bay sewerage network.
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Division 9 Councillor David Lee said smoke will be injected into the sewerage lines to identify leaks or illegal connections.
“Leaks can allow ground water to enter the sewerage system and illegal connections channel stormwater straight from rooves into the sewerage system.
“During storms the amount of sewage heading to the treatment plant can be more than five times normal dry weather flows.
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“That extra water has to be treated and that costs ratepayers’ money. It can cause the treatment plants to overload and have a negative impact on the environment.”
As part of the inspection program a non-toxic, non-staining, odourless coloured smoke will be injected into the sewers.
“As the smoke escapes from cracks in pipes or incorrectly installed stormwater drains, we can see faults that need fixing,” Cr Lee said.
“Smoke may emerge from yards, roof gutters, pipes or street drains. It is also possible that smoke may appear inside a house if the drainage traps are dry.
“The smoke is not flammable and will not cause any harm to people, pets or plants.”
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Cr Lee said that the discovery of properties with illegal connections would not necessarily mean fines would be issued.
“Our experience is that once made aware of issues, most property owners comply with the request to rectify problems,” he said.
Residents will be notified of the timing of inspections.
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The inspection program is scheduled to run from Monday, November 1 to 16.
Inspection programs for Eli Waters and Howard will start in early 2023.
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