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Sewer Overflow on Your Property

Occasionally, wastewater systems may overflow. This can be the result of blockages, flooding, broken or aging pipes or infiltration.

If there is a sewer overflow on your property or if you live in an area prone to flooding, it is important that you:
  • Contact Council to report the overflows. Council has procedures in place to ensure that overflows are stopped or screened to minimise damage.
  • Wear protective clothing (typically gloves and overalls) if you are cleaning any overflow so there is no direct contact with the waste.
  • Check external overflow points to ensure they work correctly to prevent internal overflow.
  • Plan ahead for flood events. This may include arranging alternate accommodation during the overflow event.
Council will identify properties at risk of sewer overflows during high rainfall and conduct a routine inspection of the external plumbing fittings, roof discharge and sewer connection points.

Council may also consider the installation of special sewer valves on individual properties that are prone to frequent sewer overflows. Council will install these devices but the owner is then responsible for their maintenance.

Other assistance that Council is able to provide varies according to the location of the overflow, as shown below:
  • Inside a house, unit or premises: Council will remove waste then wash and disinfect the area. In certain circumstances, residents may apply for compensation for damage.
  • Within a yard or in a non-habitable structure: Council will remove visible waste and disinfect the area. Council may investigate the low point that may have created the overflow and consider relief options.
  • Inundation of entire land: If there are signs of sewage in the waters, Council can provide the necessary cleaning listed above. If the overflow is the result of flooding or other extreme weather, Council may have to wait until the event is over before attending to the overflow.

Sewerage Pump Station Overflows

Tweed's Sewerage Pump Stations are fitted with an orange light which flashes when an overflow occurs at the site. The Sewerage Pump Stations are also connected to a telemetry system so in most instances Council will be aware of an overflow as soon as it occurs.

Overflows at Sewerage Pump Stations are common during flooding. If the light is flashing during an extreme wet weather event, please do not call the number provided on the Sewerage Pump Station. Flooding will cause most Sewerage Pump Stations to overflow and Council will generally only be able to react once flooding subsides.

Sewage Odour Complaints

Council has a number of mechanisms in place to control odour from its facilities. If you have a complaint regarding odour, please consider first whether the odour is a result of:

  • Internal sanitary drainage on your property - if there is a sewerage blockage on your property, it is the responsibility of the resident or home owner to address the issue
  • Wetlands or mangrove areas
  • Stormwater channels
  • Drainage

If you experience odour from Council's water or wastewater facilities (such as reticulation, sewerage pump stations (SPS) or wastewater treatment plants), please Contact Tweed Shire Council. Complaints will be recorded and investigated to determine the cause of the odour and the best way of addressing the issue.

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