27 November 2020
Tathra residents are being asked to take some simple steps in preparation for sewer jetting taking place in the area this week and next week.
The scheduled maintenance program uses high pressure water to clear sewerage infrastructure of blockages and debris, which on rare occasions can result in an unpleasant situation called blowback.
Council’s Water and Sewerage Services Manager, Chris Best said the jetting program is a vital part of keeping the Shire’s sewerage system in good shape.
“Sewerage systems obviously benefit from regular cleaning. Without maintenance, they will block and overflow into the environment,” Mr Best said.
“Jetting is one of the key processes we use to reduce chokes and blockages caused by roots, debris and things that have no place in a sewer.
“Another process is that of prevention, keeping inappropriate items out of the system before they build up and cause expensive and damaging problems.
“We’re in the process of relaunching a public awareness campaign on keeping things out of a sewer that shouldn’t be there, but for now, we’re asking people to take some simple steps in preparation for jetting.
"Most importantly, we're asking residents to seek out and inspect their sewer overflow relief gully, or gully trap as it's also known.
“This vent is designed to pop off if things are going wrong in the sewer. Plumbers put them in to deal with issues like blowback so nasties only make it as far as the garden instead of the bathroom floor.”
Mr Best said that blowback occurs when pressure builds, caused by the build-up of debris and blockages.
“Pressurised air and water will always seek the path of least resistance, so if a gully trap is blocked the next outlet in line may be the customer’s toilet.
“Wanting to avoid a situation like this, we’re asking customers to check their gully trap is not overgrown with grass, blocked, or covered by something heavy, like a plant pot or paving slab.
“Gully traps are small and round, protruding from the ground and usually covered with a plastic grille. They should be unobstructed. Inside the house, a simple precautionary step is to keep the toilet lid closed.
“Blowback is extremely rare, but when it does happen the outcome can obviously be very unpleasant, so taking these simple steps will go a long way to keeping everything where it should be,” Mr Best said.
If you have any questions about the jetting process, please contact Bega Valley Shire Council’s Water and Sewerage Services on 6499 2222. If you cannot find you gully trap or suspect it is blocked, please contact your local plumber for advice and service.
Sewer jetting in Tathra will wrap up by 5pm on Friday 4 December, with no jetting taking place on Sunday 29 November.