Sewer smoke testing starts in the Merimbula area

Bega Valley Shire Council has started a month-long sewer and stormwater smoke testing program in Merimbula.

Smoke is seen coming from the garden of a brick house.
Smoke testing helps to identify problematic connections to Council’s sewer system

11 June 2024

Bega Valley Shire Council has started a month-long sewer and stormwater smoke testing program in Merimbula.

Smoke testing is a cost-effective method to pinpoint issues within Council’s sewerage network, including non-compliant stormwater connections.

Contractors introduce non-toxic smoke into the sewer system, which emerges at locations with potential problems like cracked pipes and failing seals.

Testing also detects smoke coming from residential stormwater infrastructure such as downpipes and gully traps.

The presence of smoke may indicate a non-compliant household connection to the sewer system, adding significant pressure to the infrastructure.

During heavy rain sewerage infrastructure can become overwhelmed if stormwater enters the system.

Sewer spills from an overstressed system can threaten our marine and lake industries and significantly impact surrounding environments and waterways.

If a non-compliant connection is found, property owners will be contacted with details on how to rectify the issue.

Although some property owners may be unaware of problematic connections, the NSW Local Government Act clearly states that rectifying such issues is the property owner's responsibility.

Residents are reassured that smoke used during testing is non-toxic, non-staining and odorless, and will not enter homes with a functional plumbing system. However, people with respiratory conditions, such as chronic asthma and emphysema should avoid direct exposure as a precaution.

Smoke testing starts today, June 11 and will continue throughout the month in the Merimbula area.

Affected residents will be notified via letterbox drop and do not need to take any steps to prepare.

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