Water committee chairman Greg Belz says the list of items found in the city's sewer network beggars belief.
Water committee chairman Greg Belz says the list of items found in the city's sewer network beggars belief. Allan Reinikka

Sewer use hits the skids

A CALL has gone out for people to be more careful about what they put in the sewers after $20,000 damage was caused to a filter at North Rockhampton Sewerage Treatment Plant.

Water committee chairman Greg Belz says the list of items found in the city's sewer network beggars belief.

Fitzroy River Water workers have fished-out timber, bricks, cameras, tape measures, whole bed sheets and, most baffling of all, a washing machine motor.

“The sewer system is a wastewater disposal and is not designed to process hard materials,” said Cr Belz, who says it is obvious that some of the rubbish found in the sewers has not been flushed down toilets. “Hard materials can cause malfunctions at the treatment plant, adding extra costs and hindering the effective and efficient treatment of sewage for the community.”

Officials revealed this week that an automated step screen at the treatment plant was damaged and out of action for a number of weeks.

It required extensive repairs and design modifications before it could be reinstalled and put back on line.

Cr Belz said staff managed to maintain full compliance with sewer discharge standards during pump blockages and the damage to the screen.

But if people didn't stop putting rubbish in the sewers he feared the system could malfunction and cause horrendous problems for the community.

“It's a problem to some extent that we have always had but it's an issue that is not going away and while FRW is doing all it can to keep costs down it is a major concern.”

Crews are continuing to smoke-test the sewerage network in selected parts of the city to flush out people who have made illegal connections to the sewers.

“People should take care to ensure that they don't flush unsuitable material or place items into the sewerage network,” he said.

Earlier this month it was revealed that 10 homeowners had been put on notice to disconnect their stormwater pipes from the sewers. And Cr Belz said that smoke testing crews had identified a number of other households configured to direct storm water into the sewerage system.

FRW is determined to stop the problem of unhealthy surcharges of sewer material into yards and houses during heavy rain.

Crews are currently testing the network in Park Avenue.

 

Items found in Rockhampton’s sewers

  • Entire bed sheets
  • Timber
  • Building bricks
  • Cameras
  • Tape measures
  • Washing machine motor



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