Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Pressure test for home sewerage systems

If you have something that looks like this close to your house, you have a pressure sewerage system.31 May 2021

Not all sewerage systems are the same; it’s a message Council’s Water and Sewerage Services team are taking to some Bega Valley Shire households in a bid to avoid a sticky situation.

The message is aimed at households with a home pressure sewerage system, a little-known set-up designed for properties with no direct connection to Council’s main gravity-fed sewerage network.

Council’s Water and Sewer Operations Superintendent, Steve Marshall said the pressure pumps can present a unique challenge for residents if their home utilities are incorrectly used.

“Avoiding blockages and leaks will always be a priority for sewerage system managers, and some of this responsibility rests with residents maintaining their end of the connection,” Mr Marshall said.

“If inappropriate things are placed down the toilet, they will eventually cause a blockage, which can lead to leaks and burst pipes.

“For people connected directly to our gravity-fed system, burst pipes and leaks can occur anywhere within the network, however for our pressure pump customers, these incidents can happen much closer to home.

“Items like nappies and wet-wipes can easily block a home pressure sewerage system, causing a backlog and possible breach.

“As home pressure systems are generally located close to, or within a property boundary, this can be a pretty unpleasant experience for residents.

“The good news is a pressure sewerage system is a Council-owned asset, which means maintenance and repair costs are not borne by the customer, providing the unit is correctly used.

“Every pressure sewerage system is connected to an alarm unit found on a wall of the customer’s house. Should a blockage occur, this will sound, and the resident should contact us as soon as possible.

“The system will continue to operate, with about 24 hours of emergency storage available in the unit. After that, things can get messy, so we encourage residents to get in touch as soon as they hear an alarm.

“It’s vital for your safety you do not attempt to repair or maintain the pressure sewerage system yourself. This is specialist equipment that only trained staff can maintain.

“Unfortunately, we have had instances where units have been left to overflow because the customer wrongly assumed they would be responsible for repair costs.

“We only ask that residents are responsible for keeping foreign objects out of the system, and we are alerted as soon as possible should a blockage occur.”

To avoid blockages and damage to a pressure sewerage system, only flush bodily fluids and solids, plus purpose made toilet tissue – no wet wipes or nappies – down the toilet.

Pressure sewerage systems are found in Wolumla, Candelo, Kalaru, Cobargo, Fairhaven, Beauty Point, and the Wallaga Lake area.

Visit Council’s website for more information. Should a blockage occur, or if you want to know if your property has a pressure sewerage system, call (02) 6499 2222.

Photo: If you have something that looks like this close to your house, you have a pressure sewerage system

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